New research from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) as highlighted in The Guardian this week, reported a drop of one fifth of British visitors travelling to France on holiday over the past four years. In 2008, 10.9 million Britons went on holiday to France compared with 8.8 million in 2012.
Other statistics from the ONS also reported that, holidays to Spain and France account for one third of trips abroad taken by British citizens, which is pretty significant.
There are likely to be a number of reasons for the above figures, the Olympics, Golden Jubilee and the wettest April on record made 2012 a rather different year from a travelling perspective. But, it’s probably more to do with the financial crisis and the unfavourable exchange rates – it might be just across the water, but France is certainly not considered to be a cheap place to holiday.
It’s still quite surprising in 2013 that the closer destinations (Spain and France) account for such a high proportion of Brits travelling abroad. This gives the impression that many of us aren’t as adventurous as we could be when it comes to planning our holiday destinations. The comfort blanket of plenty of English-speaking locals, the option of a good scattering of English-style pubs/bars and restaurants (should we be aiming to avoid any cultural/traditional cuisine) all adds to the ‘safe’ feelings of going on holiday.
But it’s a big wide world out there. It would be nice to see the great British public indulging in a few more adventurous trips – whether it’s to experience new cultures and climates or simply to break away from going back to the same old holiday resort year in, year out. Take the plunge and release the explorer in you – we believe it’s in there somewhere!