Staycations increase hits foreign holiday market

Marketing aimed at stay-at-home vacations seems to have paid off as figures show a drop of 13% in foreign holidays.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), last year saw a 15% drop in foreign holidays, the biggest decline since records began. The figures reveal that instead, Britons have opted to enjoy domestic holidays or enjoy the sunshine at home – which has been the focus of marketing by firms such as Merlin Entertainment and JD Wetherspoon’s.

The figures come as Greece and Turkey holiday specialist Goldtrail went into administration, leaving 16,000 tourists stranded and waiting for emergency flights to take them home, while thousands others had summer holidays cancelled.

London remained the favourite place for Britons to visit, while Edinburgh was the most visited city outside London, with a reported extra 133,000 visitors.

The ONS says: “In the 12-month period to May 2010, the number of visits abroad by UK residents decreased by 13% when compared with the 12 months to May 2009, from 64.5 to 56.1m – a drop of 8.4m.”

The statistics also reveal that business trips abroad have fallen victim to the recession, and less people are visiting family abroad.

“Visits for business reasons fell 19% and for holidays 13%. Visits to friends or relatives dropped 8%,” the ONS says.

– Subscribers can read Marketing Week’s feature on how brands have adapted communications to reflect the staycation trend here

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