Published on Friday, August 26, 2011

Holiday survey highlights north-south divide

A higher percentage of northerners than southerners spent their holiday in the UK this year, according to an online survey by SMS, Survey and Marketing Services in Newcastle.

It found that 47% of Northerners are taking their holidays in the UK this year, compared to 41% of people living in Wales and just 28% in Greater London.

Londoners were found to be the most likely to travel abroad for their holidays this year (72%) compared to just 53% of Northerners.

Northerners are also most likely to choose shorter breaks and holidays lasting less than one week, with 60% not planning to have a holiday at all in 2012.

Lesley Wright, head of Quantitative Research at SMS, said: “The research shows that Northerners value a work/life balance and will ensure that they save money and make time for a holiday, whether it’s abroad or at home in the UK.

“With travel costs continuing to rise, and more limited flight destinations and choice of airports compared to those found in the South, certain holidaymakers in the North are being priced out of a foreign holiday abroad this year.

“However, with the threat of redundancy, many people are choosing to sit tight and either save for next year or make use of the growing number of travel comparison sites and special deals that seem to be in abundance this summer for people who are prepared to book at the last minute. This has also been reflected in the method for which people are choosing to book their holidays instead of going through a traditional travel agent or tour operator.

“Travel patterns are also changing with the traditional two week holiday no longer the case. Many people are choosing to spread their annual leave and the results show a variety of holiday durations indicating that people are preferring more shorter breaks across the year, as opposed to just the one annual fortnightly getaway.”

The online survey was conducted in June 2011 and asked a sample of 600 residents of UK about their travel plans for this year and next.

The sample was equally split amongst the following parts of UK: Scotland, Wales, North, Midlands, South (excluding Greater London) and Greater London (including City of London).

Meanwhile, Thomson and First Choice have issued a statement refuting claims that the staycation is winning favour over other holidays.

Spokesman Christian Cull said: "As yet another August is blighted by heavy rain across the UK, a lot of Brits are still looking to go overseas for their main summer holiday.”

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  • Online survey

    Good comments I think, but also this was an Online survey, which rather skewers the result as most respondents (how were they chosen?) are more likely to use online comparison sites. Sounds like yet another headline grabbing and not very useful "survey". This is not confined to travel of course. Press is full of ridiculous surveys telling us nothing useful. At least they avoided the "1 to 100 million chance" kind of summing up used so often in these surveys.

    By Colin Luke, Tuesday, August 30, 2011

  • fair comparison?

    How can this be a comparison? Londonders to Northerners! Would have been better if it had been an equal spread of Southerners to Northerners Disappointing.

    By Sarah Davis, Friday, August 26, 2011


    The reason why so many LONDONERS travel overseas for their annual holidays is rather simple: the majority are not British and are thus returning to their homelands to visit friends and relatives. Anyone involved in running or operating a travel business in London would be aware of that and use this knowledge to entrepreneurial effect. Casual external observers not involved direcly in the travel business may not be quite so clued up!

    By Mark Thomas, Friday, August 26, 2011

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