Credit crunch ‘to boost UK short breaks’

The flattening of the housing market could boost domestic tourism in 2008.

Speaking at the Tourism Society Prospects evening last week, Superbreak joint managing director Nick Cust said although the slowdown of the housing market is seen as a worry economically, it could mean people take more mini breaks in the UK.

He added: “When people are moving house, one of the last things they want to do is take a short break.”

Instead, Cust said people are expected not to move house this year, meaning they are more likely to consider taking a short break. He added that this, coupled with England’s failure to qualify for the Euro 2008 football championships, should drive the market.

However, he warned any growth in tourism is likely to be limited to the capital as London saw a 20% rise in UK visitor numbers last year, while the provinces saw a drop of 5%. Cust expects this trend to continue this year.

He added while the first half of the year will be tough due to the ongoing global credit crunch, he expects to see an improvement in the economy in the second half of the year.

However, he warned: “If you can hold turnover year on year I think you’ll be doing well as it will be one of the toughest years we’ve had.”

UKinbound chief executive Stephen Dowd added the credit crunch is the final straw for inbound tourism to the UK as, with the increase in Air ­Passenger Duty and visa costs, tourists with less money will opt to go elsewhere.

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