3 December 2011

Domestic tourism remains buoyant

No matter how gloomy the economic outlook may be for 2012, certain sectors of the British tourism industry show every sign of being in robust good health.

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, visitor spending in the UK reached an all time high in August (up 3% on last year). Following record levels in June and July, there was a 4% increase (£0.4 billion) in earnings - a total of £11.65 billion to that point.

What’s more, research by the World Travel Market showed that domestic tourism is likely to enjoy another bumper year in 2012. The government's austerity measures, a weak pound, the increased cost of flying and cuts in earnings are deterring travellers from taking overseas holidays. Brits are ‘staycationing’ like never before. Indeed, VisitEngland has revealed that 70% of the population are planning a domestic break next year.

Some fascinating research commissioned by laterooms.com showed that two-thirds of Brits found regular short getaways far less stressful than infrequent long holidays. It would seem that 86% prefer taking weekends away throughout the year; sixty-six percent say battery-recharging breaks every three months or so are necessary to bring down their stress levels and 80% say that a short break with family or friends relaxes them more than regular massages or luxury spa treatments (not great news for larger hotels but promising for visitor attractions).

Another couple of interesting statistics to emerge recently were: British consumers are going out to eat and drink 12% more than six months ago (Taste of the Nation survey) and the number of international visitors to the UK is on the rise (VisitBritain).

Closer to home

In October, Chester Zoo celebrated record membership figures, with over 38,500 people enjoying discount in its shops and cafes, unlimited entry and invitations to special events. The world-famous zoo hopes its membership will be increased still further by people looking for alterative gifts this Christmas.

Our clients have been busily collecting awards in recent months. At the Marketing Cheshire Annual Awards’ ceremony, which took place in West Cheshire College, Chester Zoo won both Large Visitor Attraction of the Year and Best Tourism Event of the Year for its Dinosaurs at Large exhibition. Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre picked up the award for best Small Visitor Attraction as well as being Highly Commended for its Live Music Event in the Best Tourism Event of the Year category. At the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards, WWT MartinMere Wetland Centre won Best Visitor Experience for its new canoe safari development and, Marketing Manager, Victoria Fellowes walked away with the Making a Difference award for her contribution to tourism in the region.

As you know, we love to publicise local success stories – especially when LDS Tourism Services has played a part in the proceedings. We are therefore delighted to report that a record turnout of 6,000 residents and locals attended this year’s Frodsham Christmas Festival. The town Mayor, Andrew Dawson, told Chester Chronicle that he had never before seen “so many people in Frodsham at one time, let alone all gathering to have fun!”

Finally, if anyone else would like to take advantage of our Special Christmas Deal at Sandbach Motorway Services, you’ll need to get your skates on. Contact us A.S.A.P. to discuss your requirements.

Image: © Chester Zoo,  2011

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