Britain had been banking on a bumper year for tourism in 2012, thanks to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. However, with no sign of the rain letting up, hordes of British holidaymakers are set to head for foreign climes this summer instead, in search of sea, sand and sunshine.
This is despite the best efforts of the Government and sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics to persuade us to take a holiday at home this year – to boost domestic tourism.
VisitEngland has campaigned hard to capitalise on the games and keep Brits here on home soil, urging us to discover what else the UK has to offer holidaymakers, while British Airways, the official airline partner, has also been running its own campaign: “Don’t fly. Support Team GB.”
The problem is, the unfortunate combination of unrelenting wet weather and high hotel prices in the capital during the Olympics is pushing many people to spurn the staycation in favour of an overseas sojourn.
At the same time, the continuing strength of sterling against the euro is making Europe a very attractive proposition this summer, as your pound will go that much further.
Without doubt, the Olympics offers us Brits an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the UK as never before, and to enjoy all that is great about this green and pleasant land.
It is also a chance for us to thrust Great Britain back into the limelight, and back onto the destination wishlist of first time visitors (providing they can get through passport control, at Heathrow, that is.
For those who decide to stay loyal to Great Britain this year, there are some great deals available, not least because many desperate British resorts are doing all they can to beat the washout by slashing pounds off the cost of family holidays.
There have already been some incredible events up and down the country, including concerts and festivals, and all manner of celebrations along the Olympic torch route. There’s no doubting that those who do decide to stay put can be sure of finding plenty on offer right here on their doorstep. Yet many people will be rushing to escape the UK for the very same reasons: to escape the crowds, the queues and the inevitable traffic chaos – not to mention the rain.
If you are looking to head abroad, there are still some very competitive deals up for grabs, with Mediterranean favourites, Spain and Greece, proving as popular as ever.
As prices have been reduced in many popular foreign resorts in recent weeks, now is the time to cash in on those discounted deals and cut-price packages. But remember when booking your holiday, that you must make sure it’s with a name you know and trust, and that it has Atol-protection should anything go wrong.
Also make sure you get a good deal on your travel money, as you can make significant savings by taking a few simple steps both before you go, and while you’re away.
Finally, when booking your holiday, take the time at the outset to note exactly what is and isn’t included in terms of flights, accommodation, transfers, meals, drinks – so you can work out the total cost.