When the dreaded credit crunch hit Europe, and the most of the world in all honesty, it left people wondering just how they could enjoy themselves still without it costing a fortune. Belts were being forcibly tightened and luxuries were resigned to dreams or celebrities for whom money was no object anyway.
Since those days, a lucky few have found themselves playing football at the highest level or appearing on the countless reality shows, making a living out of doing nothing at all. Yet for the rest of us it’s still a chore to cobble enough money together to help us to have a good time when we really need to.
Holidays are just one prime example of where we’ve been hit, and hit hard. The days of jetting off to warmer climes and feeling the warm sand between your toes, sipping cocktails and lounging by the pool have gone for most of us and the days of family holidays are just a distant memory.
Yet, in true British fashion, we’ve made the best of a bad situation – it’s just what we do!
Rather than sitting at home sulking when our friends, family and colleagues are posting pictures of their latest beach break on Facebook and Instagram while we sit there watching it rain, checking out the best bingo sites and offers in the UK and indulging ourselves in our favourite soaps; we’ve taken to ‘staycations.’
So instead of spending hundreds, even thousands, of our hard-earned and hard-saved money on an exotic overseas holiday, many of us are now choosing to stay in the UK and to see the very best of what Britain has to offer both inland and on the coast. An article by Lauren Davidson in the Telegraph earlier this year quoted statistics from Visit England which revealed that “Brits are taking 16% less foreign holidays today than before the recession.”
These staycations have exploded in popularity in the past few years, mostly because the tourist boards in the local area have realised what is happening in terms of holiday trends and reacted by investing much-needed money into redeveloping the main attractions.
For example, the British seaside resort (as a whole), was tired and run down. The piers were great for walking along but having reached the cafe at the end it was often disappointing to find that it had closed down years before.
Now, the attractions are being spruced up and the theme parks like Blackpool Pleasure Beach are being revamped to keep the visitors coming and even to keep them increasing. Expedia released their annual beach report which showed the most popular seaside destinations to be Jersey, Bournemouth, Blackpool, Torquay and the Isle of Wight.
City breaks are also ‘in’ again, with British residents looking to find out more about the cities they’ve never visited despite them never being more than a few hours away by road or rail (or air if they so wish).
The likes of London and Edinburgh have always been popular with overseas tourists because of their history and traditions, but now the two capitals are growing in popularity with UK-based holiday makers too.
Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, York, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow and Norwich are also growing in popularity with people venturing to take in the sights, marvel in the history and to finally tick the venue off their “must go” list.