Recession an ‘opportunity' for domestic tourism

30 March 2009 by
Recession an ‘opportunity' for domestic tourism

The recession presents a huge opportunity for domestic tourism but only if the industry communicates the benefits of holidaying in the UK.

That was the central message from speakers at last week's Best of Britain and Ireland Travel Trade Forum at London's ExCel.

The comments followed research from VisitEngland which revealed that 21% of people who went on holiday abroad in 2008 would consider looking to the UK for a break in 2009 to save money.

Tourism minister Barbara Follett opened the show claiming the domestic tourism industry could help the UK move out of recession.

But speaking to Caterersearch sister title Travel Weekly, she warned that the industry needed to improve its communication methods.

"We've got to get even more inventive in how we market the product," she said. "The idea is to employ more modern forms of communication, such as the web, rather than just relying very heavily on a physical presence."

VisitBritain's director of strategy and insights Patricia Yates agreed. "I do think the industry needs to start working up good examples and demonstrate real holidays that offer better value than overseas," she said.

Commenting on the rise in domestic tourism, Conservative shadow culture minister Tobias Ellwood said: "People are choosing to look under their noses. The irony is it has taken a recession for that to happen."

But Liberal Democrat tourism spokesman Don Foster added: "The real question is whether we grab these opportunities."

See Travel Weekly's interviews with the tourism representatives from all three major political parties

New tourism minister Barbara Follett grilled by Caterer readers >>

UK tourism deficit rises to £20b-plus in 2008 >>

Weak pound could boost UK tourism >>

Government must take ‘decisive action' to save tourism, industry body warns >>

By Daniel Thomas

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