When even the person responsible for pushing the staycation plan calls a staycation a "horrible phrase," you have to know that the campaign isn't coming at the problem from a position of strength.
VisitEngland has confirmed plans for another television campaign aimed at encouraging more Britons to take a domestic holiday.
The £2m push, announced at the ABTA Travel Convention today, will launch next spring and follows this year’s much-maligned commercials featuring endorsements from the likes of Stephen Fry, Julie Walters and Rupert Grint.
The campaign will be a joint venture with tour operators and travel agents, who are being urged to support the drive using in-store and online marketing.
Lady Cobham, the chairman of VisitEngland, claimed there had been an 18 per cent increase in UK holiday sales since 2009, and said she was confident the upward trend could continue: “The staycation, as horrible a phrase as it is, is here to stay.”
She added that overnight trips in the UK by British travellers contributed around £10 billion to the British economy each year, and produced results of a survey, commissioned following the August Bank Holiday, which suggested that 86 per cent of Britons who had taken a domestic holiday rated their experience as “very good” or “excellent”.
The plans for a second “staycation” campaign are likely to be welcomed by Britain’s hotels and attractions, which have endured a difficult year. Poor weather, concerns over high hotel prices in London, and the strength of the euro, encouraged many holidaymakers to stick with traditional Mediterranean favourites such as Spain and Greece this summer.
In July Telegraph Travel reported that campsites in Wales and Cornwall were suffering from a huge fall in visitors, while a recent report by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions revealed that some sites around London received up to 60 per cent fewer visitors this summer .
However, whether the campaign will really have any impact on our travel habits is open to debate. Research by the prepaid currency card provider Caxton FX, carried out soon after this year’s £4m celebrity-led staycation campaign was broadcast, suggested that just 13 per cent of people would be more likely to spend the summer at home as a result.
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