Mixed outlook for British holidays

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The Independent Online
Britons are spending more on tourism trips in the UK, but they are taking fewer short-break holidays. A total of pounds 13.89bn was spent in the UK by British tourists in 1996 - a rise of 9 per cent on the previous year's total, the English Tourist Board said yesterday.

But the number of four- to seven-night holidays and one- to three-night breaks in England both fell by 6 per cent, the ETB added.

Despite the number of actual trips taken by Britons in the UK rising by 5 per cent last year, the number of nights spent away remained about the same.

"For us to remain competitive in the world tourism market, more needs to be done to raise the profile of England as a good value destination," said ETB chairman David Quarmby, as he presented the board's annual report.

More than 50 million holidays were taken by UK residents in England in 1996, with nearly 19 million at seaside resorts. The most popular destination was the West Country, while the South-East enjoyed a 21 per cent rise in domestic tourism.