The UK is set to become the leading destination for British holidaymakers this year, according to BDRC Continental's Holiday Trends 2012 survey.
The survey of 1,008 adults showed that 58% of respondents plan to stay in the UK - more than twice as many as those considering Spain and four times as many those considering the United States.
While there is a slight decline in the number of planned holidays across all age groups, the survey shows that the British are reluctant to give up their holidays.
Families are a particularly important factor in boosting the UK holiday market, with the proportion of families considering spending their main holiday in the UK increasing from 38% in 2009 to 70% in 2012.
Steve Mills, director of market research company BDRC Continental, believes the findings of the survey heralds a new trend among holidaymakers. "Families remain committed to taking a main holiday and one of the legacies of the staycation is the realisation that you don't have to abandon holiday plans completely in difficult times," he said. "And it's not just about perceptions of saving money. Holidaying in the UK has become a positive choice. Standards of service and accommodation are undoubtedly improving and people are rediscovering what the UK has to offer."
Holiday Trends 2012 shows that UK resorts have the opportunity to retain their staycation visitors - 79% of holidaymakers who chose the UK in 2010 claimed they would return the following year, while 88% holidaying in 2011 claimed they will return in 2012.
The Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee are expected to have an impact on UK holidaymakers this year. With regard to the Olympics, 21% said that the sporting event would make them more likely to take a domestic holiday compared with 17% who said it would encourage them to go abroad.
Meanwhile, the Diamond Jubilee and the additional bank holiday on 5 June also look set to have a major impact on the population, with 19% claiming that the Jubilee would make them more likely to take a UK holiday compared with only 11% who said it would be more likely make them go overseas.
However, while more people are holidaying in the UK and one in four expect to spend more money this year, it comes against a backdrop of insecurity. Almost 58% of respondents think it is likely they will lose their jobs in the near future, or are uncertain about job security.
By Janet Harmer
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