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'Staycation' boost for UK economy with British residents spending less abroad


Day trippers and “staycationers”are boosting the UK's economy, with British residents spending less abroad, according to Government figures.

Tourism day-visit expenditure by UK residents rose from £47 billion in 2009 to £57 billion in 2012, a 17% increase, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported.

This day-trip spending accounted for 44% of all tourism expenditure in the UK last year.

Overall, in 2012, UK-based tourists and overseas tourists spent £129 billion on goods and services within the UK economy - up from £116 billion in 2008.

The ONS said expenditure by UK residents on visits within the UK that include at least one overnight stay rose from £21 billion in 2008 to £25 billion in 2012 - an increase of 18%.

At the same time, UK resident expenditure on visits abroad fell significantly from £36.8 billion in 2008 to £31.7 billion in 2009, a 14% decrease. The ONS said this was likely driven by the impact of the financial crisis but added that expenditure on overseas visits has still not recovered to previous levels.

In 2012, £32.5 billion was spent on visits abroad - a 12% decrease on 2008 levels.

"All this is evidence of the 'staycation' phenomenon as UK residents spent less on overseas trips and more on domestic holidays following the financial crisis," the ONS said.

It added that the staycation effect had not been mirrored by a reduction in expenditure within the UK by overseas residents. This expenditure has been on an upward trend in recent years, increasing from £19.6 billion in 2010 to £21 billion in 2011 and £21.9 billion in 2012 - a rise of 12% over the period.

The ONS also published details of Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (GVA) - a measure of how much of the output of industries that serve tourists is accounted for by tourism consumption or expenditure. This remained flat at £49 billion between 2008 and 2010 but increased by 8% to £53 billion in 2011. Estimates for 2012 are not currently available.

Looking in more detail at Tourism Direct GVA, the ONS said that transport and travel services generated the most output, rising to £15 billion in 2011 from a low of £13 billion in 2009.

Food and beverage services and culture, sport and recreation services had seen a rise in Tourism Direct GVA between 2009 and 2011.

Also, the accommodation sector experienced a rise in output during the financial crisis period between 2008 and 2009 from £8 billion to £9 billion - a 16% rise, providing more evidence of the staycation phenomenon and the increase in domestic overnight stays that resulted from that.