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Hospitality businesses set for bumper month as over 10 million Brits plan holiday at home

By Luke Nicholls , 26-Jul-2012
Last updated on 26-Jul-2012 at 13:20 GMT

More than 10 million Brits – 21 per cent of the adult population – plan to make the most of the summer by taking at least one holiday or short break in the UK, with 8.9 million of those planning to take the trip in England.

These are the findings of VisitEngland’s Summer Trip Tracker, which also discovered that the ‘staycations’ are likely to generate £2.3bn in tourism spend for the UK economy.

Around 10.8 million Brits are currently ‘undecided’ about taking a trip away during the summer, with concerns around their financial situation (39 per cent of this group) and the weather (28 per cent) being the main drivers of doubt.  Twenty-two per cent are waiting to see if there are special offers or deals to take advantage of over the summer period.

“I’m delighted to see that over 10 million people are planning to holiday at home this summer,” said James Berresford, VisitEngland’s chief executive. “The industry has a vast opportunity to inspire those still undecided and convince them that England is the place to be this summer. 

“If we convert even half of those who are undecided about taking a summer break in England, we could potentially contribute an additional £600m to the UK economy. The trend for last-minute bookings is strong, this coupled with the recent return of sunshine to our shores could provide the industry with a welcome boost.”

VisitEngland also revealed that Brits are fully in the Olympic spirit with 10.8 million Brits having attended the Torch Relay or torch relay event. Six per cent say they have tickets to the Olympics, while 6 per cent are hoping to go to free events in London to soak up the atmosphere during Games time.

Last month, BigHospitality reported the findings of VisitBritain’s International Passenger Survey, which revealed that a record number of internationals were flocking to the UK, creating a significant increase in both the volume and value of inbound tourism compared with the previous year.

The Pink Book

Meanwhile, the national tourist board has launched the latest version of The Pink Book- a comprehensive guide covering everything operators need to know about running an accommodation business.

Sponsored by UK self-catering holiday specialist cottages4you, the guide has been completely updated for 2012 and contains practical information for tourist accommodation - from obtaining entertainment and alcohol licences to food hygiene, and health and safety.  Tourism Minister John Penrose MP unveiled The Pink Book on Tuesday to local accommodation operators and tourism staff in his constituency of Weston-super-Mare.

Penrose said: “England boasts a huge variety of accommodation businesses, which provide excellent service and a memorable experience for millions of visitors each year, from both home and abroad. 

“Whether you run a B&B in the Lake District, a holiday cottage in Cornwall or are looking to set up a new business – The Pink Book is a one-stop shop for getting it right.”

'Fantastic year'

Katharine Tonkin, cottages4you general manager for the South of England, added: “As the UK’s largest holiday letting agent, we pride ourselves on maintaining the highest standards possible. With more than 14,000 properties on our books, we fully appreciate the value of The Pink Book as a way of clarifying the legislation, guiding our owners and providing a wealth of information to make holidays in the UK great.

“Britain is having a fantastic year so far, with the Jubilee and forthcoming Olympics, and we hope that holidays at home continue to prosper – especially if the sun comes out this week.

“It’s vital for the UK market to offer customers the best of British, so we hope this latest guide will help all those involved in providing fantastic holidays and short breaks.”

The Pink Book is the seventh edition of the guide to be published, and is free to members of VisitEngland’s Quality Assurance scheme. For more information, visit www.visitengland.org    

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