Statistics from the tourist board’s Business Confidence Monitor, released yesterday, show a positive picture for the industry, in which 87 per cent of accommodation providers say they are satisfied with the summer months from June to August.
The positive results are being put down to sustained interest in English holidays by British tourists, with 40 per cent of businesses claiming to have more repeat visitors than last year. One in three business also reported an increase in overseas visitors, and nearly half reported the same levels as last year.
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s chief executive said: “This is a positive indication that this summer was a success for many businesses in England. The increase in repeat visits coupled with the decline in overseas trips by Brits points to a growing trend to holiday at home.”
He added: “The increase in international visitors goes to prove that England is competing well on the global stage.”
Crucially, 76 per cent of those asked said that business had either increased or stayed the same, compared to the same period in 2009 which was, according to VisitEngland a record year for leisure tourism in the country.
Hotels and camping and caravanning businesses performed best, with 51 per cent and 42 per cent reporting increased visitor numbers respectively. And although hotels reported using discounts to attract visitors, only 13 per cent of the industry overall said they resorted to discounting extensively.
However, figures also released yesterday suggest that not all of the hospitality sector can count on such an optimistic outlook.
Research commissioned by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) suggests that consumers are likely economise on eating out and entertainment in the coming year.
According to the YouGov poll 46 per cent of British adults said they would cut back on going out for meals, with 40 per cent economising on going out for entertainment, while 34 per cent said that they would cut back on going out for a drink.
Just under a fifth of people said they did not plan to economise at all.
Despite the gloomy figures, the experts said that there were still opportunities for growth. Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the WSTA, said: “The signs are that consumers remain cautious about their spending and will look to cut back on going out if necessary. However, businesses that get the offer right are still doing well.”