The deepening recession is prompting more Britons to take holidays in their own country.
Bookings for UK breaks next year are up, and the economic downturn is the “biggest opportunity to sell Britain ever”, according to UK tour operator Hoseasons.
While the price of overseas holidays is set to soar by around 10% next year, UK breaks are likely to go up only by about 3%, said Hoseasons chief executive Richard Carrick.
Speaking at the annual convention of travel organisation Abta in Gran Canaria, Mr Carrick said Hoseasons bookings for next year were up 5% compared with bookings taken for 2008 at this time last year.
He went on: “Consumer behaviour is changing. We’re seeing more people taking short breaks close to home and it could be that the recession will be good news for UK tourism.
“Among the new deals being snatched up are city breaks in apartments, couples’ breaks in log cabins and holidays with a sporting theme.”
Mr Carrick said UK bookings were likely to be about 3.5% up in 2008 compared with 2007, with numbers being hit by the poor weather in August. He said: “Next year could be the best yet for holidays in the UK. This is the biggest oportunity to sell Britain ever.”