Food and Travel (UK) - - 200 th Issue -

The word ‘staycation’ be­came more prom­i­nent dur­ing the 2008 re­ces­sion. With less dis­pos­able in­come, an un­cer­tain eco­nomic fu­ture and a weak­en­ing pound, more Brits hol­i­dayed at home. Visit Eng­land’s records show that in the first quar­ter of 2017, 11.4 mil­lion stayed in Eng­land, com­pared to 6 mil­lion in 1998. It also notes an 11 per cent in­crease in do­mes­tic hol­i­days since 2006. Long week­ends have sim­i­larly be­come more popular. Four mil­lion more peo­ple a year opt for three- to four-day breaks rather than a full week as they did ten years ago. Visit Bri­tain’s strat­egy and com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Pa­tri­cia Yates says: ‘The qual­ity of home des­ti­na­tions, the ease, con­ve­nience and in­vest­ment into re­sorts are all con­tribut­ing to peo­ple opt­ing to choose do­mes­tic trips.’ And with in­creas­ing coun­try­wide ac­tiv­i­ties like food fes­ti­vals, cul­tural celebrations, mu­sic and sport­ing events, we have more op­tions. The most popular do­mes­tic travel is now to cities: 41 per cent of trips are to the likes of Manch­ester, Lon­don and Ed­in­burgh. Towns are also reap­ing the re­wards of in­vest­ment and gen­tri­fi­ca­tion: Mar­gate ben­e­fited from £4 mil­lion to­wards re­de­vel­op­ment in 2011 and opened Turner Con­tem­po­rary in the same year. Sub­se­quently, it’s tot­ted up nearly four mil­lion vis­i­tors and its vis­i­tor econ­omy grew by 19 per cent in 2015.

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