After years of neglect and a decline in popularity “holidays at home” are now fast becoming the latest thing and the tourism industry as a whole is matching this renewed enthusiasm with re-vamped hotels, rejuvenated resorts and new attractions. In fact, the UK tourism industry has seen year on year growth despite the recession and unlike many other UK industries, the domestic tourism sector is looking very healthy indeed.
There are a few surprises in the statistics such as the fact that weekday travel is growing faster than weekend travel. Perhaps it is down to the increasing numbers of over 70s with their free time and disposable income? Less surprising is the fact that rural and seaside holidays are increasing faster than city breaks and trips to towns.
In the accommodation sector most types saw growth but it was the humble B&B that saw the biggest growth in visitor numbers between 2012 and 2015. Room occupancy has also grown across the year – most noticeable in the normally quieter winter months from November through to March. Winter occupancy now runs at about 50% in comparison to 80% during the summer peak months. This is excellent news as room occupancy is vital to the survival of the hotel or guesthouse.
So all in all things are looking very healthy for the domestic tourism industry here in the UK. With the fall in the value of the pound against the dollar and concerns over safety in many popular overseas destinations the UK market is set to continue to get stronger and stronger.