Leading article: Home comforts

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The Independent Online

The Briton abroad, while not quite an endangered species, seems to be in sharp decline. Last year witnessed the fastest drop in overseas visits from the UK since the 1970s. Several factors have been blamed for deterring holidaymakers, from the weakening pound, to striking British Airways cabin crews, to Icelandic volcanoes. The weak economy clearly has something to do with it as well, because business travel abroad is down considerably, too.

Most people can probably deal with fewer work junkets. But the prospect of a British holiday will be a harder sell for many, especially those brought up on Fawlty Towers. Yet there is no cause for despondency. Basil Fawlty is a distant memory. The UK summer weather is looking good for a change. And Briton has a great deal to offer, as the millions of foreign tourists who come here every year can attest.

For those casting around for ideas, we would point out that Blackpool (on the Lancashire coast) is on a high after the Tangerines won promotion to the Premier League. And the gardeners at Cornwall's Lost Gardens of Heligan have managed to grow a pineapple. Sun, sea, tropical fruit? We say: who needs Hawaii?