Holidays at home are on the increase, with more than one million more holidays taken in England this year, according to tourism body VisitEngland.
The figures released from the United Kingdom Tourism Survey show that holiday trips taken by UK residents in England in the first four months of 2009 are 13% higher than in the same period last year, while outbound travel from Britain is down by 18%.
James Berresford, VisitEngland chief executive, said that after much speculation and expectation about 2009 being the year to holiday at home, the results were encouraging.
“Time will tell if the trend for holidaying at home continues throughout the summer, but this early indication that people are rediscovering holidays in England is welcome news to the leisure tourism sector,” he said.
The monthly report shows that overall trips taken throughout England in the month of April have increased by 34%. However, the Easter break falling in April rather than March in 2009 played a significant part in the rise.
However, business travel fell 11% over the four month period as companies continued to look for ways to save money in difficult economic conditions.
The total spend on overnight travel since January is down 5% across all types of trips, but the holiday sector in England bucked the trend once more with a 4% increase over the same period.
Berresford warned that that businesses were still having a tough time and business travel was still a big concern.
“However it seems for now that leisure travel is helping to keep the numbers at the same level as last year, which is certainly encouraging given the differences in the economic climate in the two comparative years,” he said..
By Janie Stamford
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