The results are out for last year’s UK staycation figures and Scotland, it seems, has held its place as the premier UK destination for those forsaking their foreign holidays. According to VisitScotland the number of British residents taking a break in Scotland dropped just 1% from the previous year, despite serious travel restrictions caused by extreme winter weather, volcanic ash clouds, the poor economic climate and airline strikes. The data, presented at the annual Expo Trade Fair in Aberdeen, show numbers held firm due to a 6.3% rise in Scots opting for a home holiday.
To put these results in context, domestic holidays in the UK as a whole for 2010, were down 5%, with the rate of UK spending showing a similar downturn. Spending in Scotland fared better, down 4% from the previous year, which shows, given the enduring popularity of Scotland as a visitor destination, better value too for those who head north of the Border for their holidays. This is clearly a factor recognised by the 16 million people, that’s three times the resident population, who book overnight stays in Scotland, a whopping 83% of whom start their journey from within the UK.
The value for money Scotland’s visitors get compared to the rest if the UK is outlined in the UK Tourism Survey, which shows the average hotel room in Scotland has maintained its value over the last 5 years with a fall of just 0.2% over the period. This compares with a fall of 2.3% across the UK and 2.7% in England, for the same period. So what makes a short break in Scotland so attractive? Guest houses and hotels in the Highlands and Islands are reporting significant increases in bookings which shows the Scottish scenery plays its part, but throughout the country the historic and cultural attractions have maintained their appeal for UK and overseas travellers alike.
Image: Scottish Highland Bull by Gjeewaytee, on Flickr