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Warm weather kept Britons at home


By Daniel Machin

This summer's heatwave persuaded more of us to holiday on home soil, with many changing plans at the last minute.

New figures from VisitEngland reveal a significant nine per cent, year-on-year rise during July in the number of people embarking on staycations across the UK.

These trips included at least one overnight break, with holidaymakers spending a total of £1.8 billion throughout the month.

Some 12 per cent of people who took a break in the UK did so after changing their original holiday plans as a result of the warm weather, the majority of which were individuals aged 18-34 and families.

Boost for domestic tourism

VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford described the 588 hours of sunshine this year as a "boost for domestic tourism".

"Operators have reported increased visitor numbers this year and are seeing positive forward bookings for autumn," he added.

"With the 450th anniversary of the birth of Shakespeare, the Tour de France setting off from Yorkshire, as well as a whole host of exciting events, new attractions and hotel openings, I'm confident that the trend to holiday at home will go from strength to strength."

Data from the survey of more than 1,000 Brits concerning their attitudes towards taking a break at home also shows that 56 per cent of all holidaymakers in England enjoyed good weather this summer.

Good news for the economy

Looking forward, 17 per cent admit they are more likely to take a holiday somewhere in the country again next year because of the weather in 2013.

This is good news for the economy, which has shown positive signs of recovery in recent months.

"The domestic tourism sector has a big role to play in helping with the economic recovery so I am delighted that overnight holiday visits is up," said Helen Grant, Minister for Toruism.

"England has such a diverse offer for holidays at home - from tranquil countryside and coastal towns to vibrant cities - and I will do all I can to help the industry continue to grow."

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