The early months of 2014 were characterised by extremely wet weather which had a negative impact on figures. However a later, milder Easter had a positive effect on business, providing a welcome boost for tourism. Year to date domestic holiday trips for 2014 are now on a par with 2013 and tourism spend is up by 6%.
Results from a more recent VisitEngland survey reveals businesses are confident about the summer following strong bookings so far. Looking ahead, over 90% of businesses say they feel confident about the summer holidays, with over 70% of accommodation providers reporting strong forward bookings for the rest of the school holiday period.
Addressing the poor start to the year, VisitEngland launched a £2 million government funded campaign to support businesses affected by the floods. This two-part campaign included a series of business support workshops in affected areas, supporting some 755 tourism businesses around the country; and an advertising campaign to combat negative perceptions and drive holiday bookings in England ahead of the Easter break.
VisitEngland Chief Executive James Berresford said: “It is fantastic to see a boost in domestic holiday trips and spend for April and businesses feeling confident as the Summer holiday period gets well underway. This demonstrates the resilience of the tourism industry following the impact of the extreme weather earlier this year and the success of the flood support campaign. We have seen the trend to holiday at home soar in the past five years and it’s a trend we’re confident will continue.”