Why We Holiday At Home

By | Category: Travel rumblings

It’s official. Today it is announced that “staycation” has been accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary so they must think that the word, if not the holiday idea is here to stay. Unlike some tour operators who have blamed reduced profits this year on weather, volcanic ash, strikes and the economy for the fact that Britons and Irish are not going abroad. So is the staycation just a passing fad?
The head of Wyndham’s In Europe, thinks not. He says that British holidays are not about weather or price but about “experience.” Having liked what they found in 2009 when probably the economic impact made many people stay at home, people stayed for 2010. But will that happen in the future? Most tour operators think we will return to our love affair with going abroad. Wyndhams, who own Hoseasons and UK cottages 4you, will hope otherwise but they would wouldn’t they.
One thing that doesn’t put people off going abroad is not speaking the language. Hotels.com have come out with some survey results showing that 61% of us don’t try to speak the local language when we go abroad. Londoners apparently are least likely to have a stab at speaking the local language whilst those in the south-west are most likely to try and speak it. Oddly enough the young are the least likely age group to try and speak a foreign language.
But if we do go abroad, one benefit will not be savings at the duty free stores. Kelkoo, the web comparison site has claimed that some survey results show that holidaymakers could shop online and save more money than if they bought the same items at some duty-free shops. The suggestion is that some stores are not passing on all the value of not having to charge the full amount of VAT. Heathrow was accused of offering the worst tax free discounts amongst European airports. Heathrow was quick to hit back saying the results were misleading, incorrect and included items that Heathrow does not sell. It looks like French airports offer the best deals. Shame it was only amongst European airports. How would Singapore and Bangkok airports fare?
So if the weather doesn’t take us abroad or duty free savings and prices don’t play an impact what are we left with? Although we seem bad at languages that doesn’t deter us from going so something must be keeping us here. Maybe Wyndhams have got it right. The “experience” is getting better and more of us are liking what we find. But there could be one other thing. The collapse of XL, Globespan, Goldtrail and now Kiss might have caused some of us to be wary of cheap overseas deals. All of the collapsed big names are in the cheap end of the market. Holidaying at home removes some of the risk.

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