Stay at Home Tourism Unlikely to Satisfy by:Dan Williams
Reading the reports about the dramatic shifts in holiday trends you might expect "stay at home tourism" to be about to take off in a big way.
In the UK the devaluation of the British pound against the Euro has seen many people opting to take holidays in the UK this year. Popular resorts in the south of England are experiencing healthy visitor numbers and the once popular British pastime of caravanning is seeing a resurgence. But for how long will these "old style" holidays satisfy the typical British traveller who has become used to the warm weather of Southern Europe or the excitement of a trip across the Atlantic to the United States?
In other countries the trends are slightly different but exhibit comparable traits. In Germany for example the resorts of the Black Forest and Harz Mountains may become the preferred choices above the most popular destinations in the past of Austria and Italy. Of course the Germans don't have the same currency issues and therefore may even be tempted to take a trip to the UK to take advantage of the exchange rate shift. However with nearly a quarter of Germans preferring to take a beach holiday, the UK is unlikely to satisfy. The Germans are already quite content to stay at home for their holidays, with over half of all trips booked by Germans being made to home locations, including the resorts on the North Sea and Baltic coasts.
Environmental issues are also affecting the German holiday market. Eco holidays or packages that offer reduced carbon emissions seem to be increasingly in demand. For many, that means forgoing the flight to the resorts of southern Spain and taking a rail or road trip to somewhere closer to home. As the weather continues to play its part, climate change may be a good thing for the German home travel industry.
For the UK holiday maker things are unlikely to be so simple. The UK has experienced a succession of summers recently when the weather has put a dampener on holidays at home. This year could well be the one and only chance the home tourism market has to secure an increase in numbers. Money issues will tempt many families to try out a holiday at a UK resort, either in a hotel or a campsite perhaps. Unless the weather plays its part and delivers warm dry days, that UK audience could easily be lost forever. The UK can be a miserable place for a holiday when the weather is poor.
So what is the price of a decent warm weather holiday? For British people, holidays are very important and many will choose to forgo other luxuries in order to make their foreign holiday affordable. For families going on holiday as a group, the thought of a wet fortnight away during the summer, struggling for things to keep the children occupied, may be a step too far.
So how can the UK family make their usual holiday abroad affordable? Well for many who, so far, have not ventured onto the internet, things could be remarkably easy. Searching and booking a cheap flight, then deciding on a resort and hotel could easily make up for the price increases caused by exchange rate fluctuations. The number of low cost airlines flying to the Canary Islands, for example, has increased recently so the choice of flights is larger than ever before. Another benefit is that these new flights often depart from regional airports, which frequently means a shorter journey from home to the airport, reducing transport costs even further. A further consideration is airport parking, which is often much cheaper at these regional airports when compared to the major airport hubs.
All things considered, the perceived increase in holiday costs may not actually make much difference to typical holiday trends, certainly in the longer term. If weather was not very important then many people would already be choosing to holiday at home. But it obviously is and if money becomes an issue, many people will prefer to solve the financial problem rather than change their travel preferences.
About the author
Providing the latest views and news on tourism, Dan Williams has been a well regarded travel writer for many years. His advice on cheap flights to Tenerife and other means of cutting costs on holidays are published widely. Additional flight information is provided on http://book.flythomascook.com