UK economy to receive a £3.2 billion boost as 11 million families take Easter staycations | UK | News

Britain’s buoyant tourism industry will deliver a £3.2 billion economic lift this Easter as millions of families holiday at home.

Analysis by Visit England shows 11 million people will take a staycation over the upcoming long weekend as the good times return.

The forecast is a significant increase on last year when the figure stood at 6.5 million and is equal to 20 per cent of the population.

And in further good news, an additional 10.5 million people said they were currently undecided and might well hit the road regardless.

Visit Britain chief executive Patricia Yates said: “Tourism businesses and destinations will be looking to the critical Easter weekend for much needed cash flow after the lean winter months so it’s really encouraging to see so many of us are planning a holiday at home.

“We also know from our latest research the cost of living remains a concern and while people are still keen to take a break, many are booking late, taking shorter breaks, wanting to save on accommodation, activities and eating out, highlighting the ongoing challenges for industry.

“So please do go out and explore the amazing destinations and attractions here on our doorstep this spring, tourism businesses will be very pleased to see you.”

Windsor Great Park, the sweeping grounds adjacent to magnificent castle, Stonehenge in Wiltshire, Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of the Sir Winston Churchill in Oxfordshire, Eden Project in Cornwall, and Canterbury Cathedral remain enduring pulls for visitors.

London remains the biggest draw, with attractions including the Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, The National Gallery and Tower of London always hugely popular.

Of those heading away for an overnight domestic trip during Easter, the majority were planning a short-break of one-to-three nights.

The positive outlook comes after the UK’s special relationship with America has helped saved domestic tourism, which was decimated by successive lockdowns as scores of business went bust.

The industry suffered a £97 billion hit during the pandemic and tens of thousands of businesses and attractions lost months of trading. In 2020 UK tourism saw two-thirds of its value wiped off.

But enduring appeal of our heritage and history and the magical spectacle of King Charles’s Coronation last May has seen record numbers flock here.

The US is currently the UK’s largest and most valuable market with 4.6 million visitors spending £6 billion. Americans hand over £1 in every £5 spent by overseas tourists.

The UK was the number one European destination for Americans in 2022, the first time it had sealed top spot since 2018.

This has been helped by a strong recovery in transatlantic airline routes, with flight bookings from the US up one third compared to 2019.

Visitors say their UK bucket list includes exploring history and heritage, experiencing local food and drink, visiting famous and iconic tourist attractions and places, and experiencing the coast and scenery. The top three perceptions US travellers have of Britain, according to VisitBritain’s analysis, are history and heritage, vibrant towns and cities and a mixture of old and new.

One here the top five destinations are London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Oxford.

Nick de Bois, British Tourist Authority Chairman, said: “We know there is pent-up demand for travel to Britain and our renowned history and heritage are proven tourism draws and [events] watched by a global audience of hundreds of millions, show our hospitality, creativity and warm welcome to the world, driving tourism here.”

Malcolm Bell, Head of Visit Cornwall, said: “We have seen a revival of interest from overseas customers, especially from the USA, with many of our tour and driver guides

very busy and making up for the Covid years when we only had the domestic market. Cornwall has certainly not lost its appeal and is benefiting from the pent up demand caused by the travel restrictions during the pandemic.”

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