Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg will be taking an overseas holiday this year, ignoring their own advice to the British public to holiday in the UK.
More than half (53%) of all MPs and Peers that responded to ABTA's third annual MP Holiday survey revealed they were also going abroad, compared with 42% last year.
Earlier this year, the Government spent £3m on an advertising campaign explicitly encouraging Britons to holiday in the UK rather than overseas, and last week Cameron urged foreign business leaders to holiday in Britain. Speaking at a British Business Embassy conference he said: "If you want a holiday, then why not have your holiday here?"
Although Downing Street has refused to reveal Cameron's holiday destination this summer, it confirmed he would be spending two weeks on the Continent with his family and three children. Last year the Camerons spent their summer holiday in Tuscany.
Clegg will also be going to the Continent, spending time at his family villa in France then travelling to Olmedo in Spain.
Politicians are not the only ones ignoring the message of the Holiday at Home campaign: two-thirds of those quizzed by YouGov in a poll earlier this year said the adverts featuring Stephen Fry at Buckingham Palace with a corgi, Julie Walters in a Lake District pub and Rupert Grint surfing in Bridlington did nothing to encourage them to stay in the UK.
Four per cent said the adverts would make them less likely to holiday at home.
However six out of 10 MPs who responded to ABTA's survey said they would be taking a British break this year, with Scotland and the north and southwest of England being their favoured destinations.
Six out of 10 MPs take only one or two holidays a year, according to the survey, at least one less than the national average. Almost all Peers take at least two holidays a year and one in three take at least four.
ABTA did stress, however, that as only 13 MPs (out of 650) and 19 Peers (out of 792) responded to its survey, it was only intended as a 'brief snapshot' of parliamentarians' holiday plans.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012