Britons stay at Home

By | Category: Travel rumblings

It is no surprise to anyone that Britons are travelling abroad less this year but some countries are feeling the pinch that we have stayed away from their countries last year as well.
Thailand has announced that they had 50,000 less UK visitors than they had in 2007. Nonetheless 700,000 of us made the long journey to Bangkok or the coastline or both. One of the reasons for the decline could have been due to the fact that a number of Brits go to Thailand for the winter sun and last December, you might remember, was the time that Bangkok’s international airport was virtually shut for a few weeks because of demonstrations against the then government. So some of the fall in numbers must be due to that. Another reason might have been the fuel surcharges which have been slow to drop on some airlines.
Well this year they want three quarters of a million of us to go there and they will promote Thailand as the best destination for value for money so watch out for the advertising later in the year as the persuade us that Thailand is the winter destination to visit.
So if we didn’t go to Thailand, where did we go? Spain had a slump in numbers and next week in London at the annual STEPS show, they will try and persuade the travel trade why the trade should persuade you that Spain is where we should go. (More on that after I have been there)
And it might not have been Greece. This year TUI, who own Thomson and First Choice, are saying that UK bookings to go to Greece are down by 25% this year only beaten by the Scandinavians who are 30% down on last year. The Greek government is concerned so it has upped its ad campaign spend for this year to €75 million;- a lot of money in anybody’s language. And it is concerned that without more tourists it might see 90,000 job losses.
Unlike Britain where, if the year lives up to the forecasts, it will be a bumper year for tourism with jobs created not lost.

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