Staycations decline

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
Blackpool Tower

how have domestic destinations done this summer? Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Yesterday Just about Travel mentioned that the number of people taking overseas holidays had increased according to ABTA’s latest Holiday Habits report. I suggested that people might be taking both an overseas holiday and a short breaks in the UK.

But Holiday Habits suggests that the number of Britons taking a holiday in the UK has fallen from an average of 2.1 to 1.8.

ABTA blamed the fall on a prolonged cold spell followed by the ‘Beast from the East’ bringing snow to the UK in March, plus the World Cup. It did say however that this summer’s heatwave is likely to provide a boost for UK tourism for next year.

If you talk to seaside destinations or some of the regional tourist authorities they would say that it has been a good year for staycations so is one side correct and the other misleading us?

Some would argue that as ABTA members primarily sell overseas holidays that it would be natural for them to want to see a drop in staycations. Others would say that domestic destinations and holiday providers often talk up the UK market.

Bournemouth beach

Did destinations like Bournemouth see a drop in numbers as ABTA suggest?

The answer could be that both are right.

The survey work for Holiday Habits was carried out up until August whereas England didn’t drop out of the World Cup until 14th of July. That could mean that some people were leaving holiday choice decisions until the end of the survey period especially as England were not expected to do so well. Could the results be biased from those who were surveyed during the period when we had wet and cold weather in the first three or four months of the year? The survey will obviously be reporting how people felt at the time they were asked and therein may be the answer.

People change their minds and they may have jockeyed back and forward in their thinking depending on the weather and other matters.

Many years ago the University of Westminster undertook a study asking the same people the same questions at different times in a long flight. The answers changed throughout the journey making it difficult to assess which might be the “correct” answer. The conclusion was that they were all correct – at the time of asking!

When the official figures are released we will know what really happened this year.

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