End of the road for the summer holiday?

Red no parking sign against cloudy blue skyIt is no coincidence that the rise of the ‘staycation’ has come at a time of recession and since 2008 more and more Britons have decided to holiday at home rather than absorb the cost of travel to foreign climes. Now, as the recession bites even harder, with consumer spending down 0.6% in the first quarter of 2011 according to the Office for National statistics, mirroring similar declines in income and job market prospects, it seems that more Britons this year than ever before are opting out of a summer holiday altogether.

A report published by IMG Direct, based on 2000 poll participants, makes for gloomy reading, not just for those who like their holidays, but also for the travel and tourism industry. The poll results extrapolated show that more than 17 million Brits are not planning summer holidays this year, nearly 3 million more than in 2008, before the recession. Furthermore, of those who have opted out of holidays in the last three years, it appears 88% would normally holiday in the UK. So is it the end for the summer holiday altogether? Well, not necessarily, according to agencies such as VisitScotland, who point to the rise of short breaks and overnight stays, which seem to be replacing the traditional two week holiday.

It seems it is attitudes to holidays which are changing and not just destinations. More than a third of those polled stated they were using their savings to pay for their holidays this year rather than flexing their credit card and this is a trend which looks set to continue. Saving in advance is the sensible option in such a financial climate and it helps too researching the best deals for UK short breaks and hotel accommodation, one area of the industry which continues to buck the trend.

Image: Red no parking sign against cloudy blue sky by Horia Varlan, on Flickr

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