Staycation, Staycation

In the wake of the financial crisis, there was a wave of high profile media reports about 'staycations', that is 'vacations where you stay in the UK'. The assumption was that people would take their holidays in the UK with the aim of saving money on everything from travel insurance to transport.

So far, figures are somewhat sketchy as to whether the 'staycation' phenomenon actually happened or whether it was just a myth. There has not been a significant drop in the number of people heading abroad, but at the same time sites in the UK have seen an upturn in number.

Of course, a certain element of that is due to one off events like the Royal Wedding which brought tens of thousands of people into the country. Then, there's the fact that fuel prices are so high, why drive from one end of the country to another, when if you book in advance cheap flights are probably not that much more expensive, and you have the guarantee of a great beach?

Another factor is the somewhat uncertain British weather, this year, summer started at least three times, in April, a little bit in June and then again at the end of September. This has stretched the traditional tourist season meaning that people decided to take last minute breaks in the UK to make the most of the last few days of sunshine, rather than saving up for more expensive holidays abroad.

Next year looks set to be just as confusing with the Olympics smack bang in the middle of the year, and with events spread throughout the country it's going to be a great time to run a B&B if you have the fortune to be near one of the main events.

Then, of course, there's the fact that the UK tourist board has kicked up a gear with the financial crisis and launched an extensive advertising campaign (if you haven't seen it, try heading abroad, there are adverts for the UK everywhere). So more people are probably coming to the UK on holidays than were before anyway.

Finally, perhaps, the message is getting through that there are thousands of great places to visit and explore in the UK without even having to dust your passport off. Admittedly a party weekend in Manchester isn't quite on the same level as Magaluf, but it is easier to organise and there's a lot more to do around the city during the day (except for the obvious lack of a beach, which is a bit of a handicap).

In short, it's hard to say whether the staycation has really happened, or whether it's part of a longer term trend towards people staying in the UK for their holidays because of the cost of heading abroad. At any rate, if people do stay in the UK for their holidays, it can only be good news for the UK economy and heaven knows we could do with a bit of that.

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"I travel regularly on business and the serviced apartment was so much better than the constraints of a normal hotel.. I will definately stay again."

- Indie Neal, Manchester

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