New figures from national tourist board VisitEngland, claim 104m domestic overnight trips were taken in England last year, an increase of nine per cent compared to 2010.
The figures from the GBTS research (which has replaced the UKTS survey) also represent the highest number of trips since the survey began in 2006.
Total spend rose by 13 per cent year on year, representing almost £18bn.
With the ‘staycation’ trend holding strong, the VisitEngland statistics for business trips showed recovery this year after a number of years of decline, with a 15 per cent increase in business trips January-December 2011 in England. However, the figure is still below the peak volumes recorded in 2006, before the onset of the recession.
Projecting forward, the agency predicts the number of trips undertaken in 2012 to be broadly similar to 2011.
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive said: “2011 was the third consecutive year since 2009 that the number of domestic overnight trips taken in England has been above pre-recession levels. This, coupled with our recent Day Visits research which revealed that 1.3 billion domestic day trips were taken in England last year, clearly demonstrates that Brits are increasingly inspired to discover the fantastic destination on their doorstep.”
Berresford did admit the industry faced challenges, including inflation and increased operating costs, as well as talk of a potential fuel shortage. He urged the industry “to continue to work closely together, maximise opportunities that 2012, this special year, brings, and support the development of one of the country’s few growth industries.”
Overseas travel by UK residents, from January to December 2011, rose just a one per cent. Levels of trips abroad remain 19 per cent lower than in the peak year of 2008. Spend decreased slightly, by two per cent.
Do you have news for CN? Email: email@example.com