Tourism industry has potential to be the UK's strongest performer in 2009
5th Jan 2009
Leading budget hotel chain Travelodge predicted today that the tourism can be one of the strongest performing industries in 2009. It has the opportunity to do so by capitalising on the opportunities provided by the depreciation in the value of sterling as more British people stay at home and international visitor numbers rise. To make this happen however the Government must show more support for Tourism and actively promote the UK abroad as a must visit, top value destination.
Domestically, it is clear that a majority of holidaymakers will not be heading abroad this summer. A 3,500 strong survey undertaken by Travelodge which looked at peoples holiday plans for 2009 found that 54% are planning to stay in the UK. The leading destination of choice is the seaside, with 47% planning to visit the coast. The most popular costal destination is Blackpool with 13 %saying they intend to visit, followed in second place by Bournemouth (8%) and third by Brighton (7%). The number one region that people intend to travel to is the South West, with 15% indicating they will be visiting over the summer.
Guy Parsons, UK Managing Director of Travelodge, said:
"Given the collapse in the value of sterling it is little surprise that a majority of British holidaymakers are not intending to go abroad next summer. The British seaside has undertaken a renaissance in recent years, with many traditional locations modernising themselves to offer something for everyone. I am sure that people staying at home in 2009 will still be able to have a fantastic summer break".
The decline in sterling to record lows against a basket of currencies offers another boost to the tourism industry in 2009. With the Pound near parity to the Euro and hovering around $1.50 against the Dollar, a trip to the UK has not been as cheap for many foreign visitors in over a decade.
Travelodge believes that the imminent challenge is to market Britain abroad in such a way as to attract more visitors to our shores. The most recent ONS tourism statistics showed that foreign visitor numbers were down four per cent for the months August to October. The Government must now take the lead and, along with Visit Britain, promote Britain internationally as the leading value destination in 2009
Guy Parsons continued:
"If marketed correctly the UK has the chance to position itself as the top value destination in 2009. With the strong Dollar and Euro, a trip to London can become to continental visitors like a visit to New York was for British visitors over the last two years an affordable luxury.
"A pick up in visitor numbers is by no means guaranteed and the Government must start to take tourism promotion seriously. There needs to be a strong message sent around the World that if you are looking for a top quality value break in 2009 then the UK is the only place to come. If we succeed in attracting more visitors to our shores then the tourism could prove to be one of the strongest performing industries in 2009".