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‘Staycation’ research shows “permanent shift” in attitudes

A survey shows an increase in people staying in England for their holidays and a shift in attitudes. We reproduce an article from  TravelMole, 14 May, 2010.

Staycation research shows “permanent shift” in attitudes

Almost half the population will consider taking more domestic breaks in the future, a new study into the ‘staycation’ claims.

The VisitEngland research found an 18% rise in the number of domestic holiday trips taken with travellers spending £1 billion more in 2009 than in the previous year. The research identified two groups who changed their behaviour in 2009 to generate the uplift in domestic holidays. Together, the ‘Staycationers’ account for one in four of the population.

One group – ‘Switchers’ – accounted for 13% of respondents and included a high proportion of families. They were primarily motivated to switch a foreign holiday for one at home because of financial constraints.

The second group – ‘Extras’ – accounted for 15% of respondents and tended to be younger, and were more likely to be single. This group was less affected by the credit crunch and their economic situation and was more motivated by a desire to explore the UK and go somewhere new. They also took more overseas breaks in addition to more domestic breaks.

The study found that 86% of Staycationers described their holiday experience as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’, and 80% described their break as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ value.

More than half said their holiday was better value than the overseas holiday it replaced. And 90% of Staycationers expect to take at least one break in England this year.

Some people will choose to travel abroad again when they can afford it, but with half the population expecting that they will take more domestic breaks even beyond 2010, the year of the staycation seems likely to have a longer term impact for English tourism, according to the domestic tourism agency.

The research discovered that the uplift in tourism last year has helped awaken a “latent pride” in England as a holiday destination, and as a result, in the longer term, almost half the population expect to take more domestic breaks then than they did in the past.

VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford said: “These findings prove that England’s new found popularity as a holiday destination is not merely a flash in the pan.”

“Of course, circumstances last year certainly encouraged more Brits to take a break at home, however this research shows that there is a more permanent shift in attitudes to holidaying at home.”

“It’s a hugely rewarding experience to rediscover your own country and it’s clear that once you do, you want to do it again and again. “England is a wonderful destination. We have some of the world’s best countryside, coast line, cities, festivals and people – literally on our doorstep. With so much on offer to see and do I’m not surprised England is becoming more and more popular with Brits as a top class holiday destination.”

The research was carried out over two stages. In an initial quantitative stage, 1,000 adults were interviewed about their attitudes to the credit crunch, their holiday behaviour in 2009 and their plans for 2010. A qualitative stage followed with eight group discussions in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds among respondents with a variety of opinions towards domestic breaks.