VisitEngland reveals a record breaking performance for domestic tourism

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

Durham Cathedral

VisitEngland reveals a record breaking performance for domestic tourism in the first quarter of the year. The latest results from the Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) tell a positive story for the first quarter. The tourism industry’s confidence demonstrates the resilience of businesses who bounced-back after the severe weather conditions that impacted destinations at the beginning of last year.

Key figures include:

  • 28.7 million trips recorded in England between January and April this year, an 18% increase YOY, the highest number of trips recorded during the first quarter since the survey began in 2006.
  • 18% increase in expenditure, in total to almost £5 billion compared to 2014.
  • The number of holidays taken in the first four months of 2015 increased by 7% - the best performance for holidays taken in England for this period since 2012.
  • For the month of April the number of domestic overnight trips increased for the fourth consecutive month with a 10% increase to 9 million trips taken and 5% increase in spend to £1.5bn. This is the best April performance since 2012.

Nearly half of accommodation providers and 56% of attractions have reported experiencing an increase in visitors for the year to May. Looking ahead, over nine in 10 of the businesses surveyed remain confident about the school summer holiday period. This is particularly true amongst accommodation providers who’ve reported high numbers of advanced bookings.

The early months of the year were characterised by above average weather and a number of high profile anniversaries including the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill and events including the first ever ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ in May, hundreds of family friendly Easter activities across the country in April and a host of music, food and walking festivals, all contributing to high levels of confidence amongst businesses. The industry also celebrated all that’s great about tourism in England with English Tourism Week which took place from 14 – 22 March.

VisitEngland kick-started the holiday season with a new £4 million Government-funded Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign featuring Aardman’s well-known BAFTA-winning character Shaun the Sheep going on holiday in destinations across the UK with his farmyard friends. Shaun the Sheep has appeared in a TV advertisement and a poster campaign encouraging consumers to book a holiday through their local travel agent. The Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign has provided a significant boost to domestic tourism, generating over half a billion (£520.6 million) in incremental spend for the domestic tourism industry and over two million domestic overnight holiday trips since it was launched in 2012.

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