ABTA has written a letter to the Sunday Times over a YouGov poll it used in an article on domestic holidays published on August 16.


The story said Brits who had shunned foreign holidays this year had been “rewarded with overpriced hotels and washout weather”. Despite this, just 11% of UK adults intended to go abroad in 2010, the Sunday Times said.


But, ABTA head of communications Casia Zajac has pointed out that the 11% quoted was 11% of those who had booked a domestic holiday this year and not 11% of all those polled.


“This is extremely misleading,” said Zajac’s letter.


In fact, 37% of all those polled said they were unlikely to holiday in the UK in 2010 and 33% of the 2,007 adults surveyed had, or were planning to, holiday abroad this year compared to 26% who were opting for a UK holiday.


The letter went on to say that although the recession had impacted foreign holiday bookings this year, GfK Ascent MI figures showed that 90% of those who booked a holiday abroad last year have done so this summer.


These figures are more in line with what Office for National Statistics figures suggest, said Zajac.


The potential of the domestic market has become a hot topic with the likes of Hoseasons chief executive Richard Carrick calling on agents to take advantage of the “seismic shift” in UK holiday patterns, which has seen his company bookings shoot up by 51.6% this year against the same time in 2008.