Holidaymakers are choosing campsites and self-catering breaks over B&Bs and guesthouses, as the number of visitors to the UK last year dropped to the lowest level since 2004.
According to provisional figures from the International Passenger survey, the number of visits to the UK from overseas residents fell by 8 per cent on 2008 to 29.6m, while spend increased by just 1 per cent to £16.5bn.
In the meantime, 15 per cent fewer Britons made trips abroad as more chose to holiday in the UK and reduce international business travel.
Patricia Yates, VisitBritain director of strategy and communications, said: “Looking forward to 2010 we are predicting a relatively small growth in numbers of inbound tourists of 1 per cent, but value increasing by 4 per cent as the pound remains relatively weak.”
Self-catering holidays grow popular
Those consumers, both international and domestic, choosing to holiday in the UK, favoured cheaper self-catering breaks over half or full board.
According to figures from VisitEngland’s Business Confidence Monitor for accommodation providers, 65 per cent of campsites and 47 per cent of self-catering accommodation reported an increase in guest numbers in 2009, while almost half of guesthouses and B&Bs said they saw a decline in trade.