Jul 01 2009


~ 2009 TomTom Holiday Intentions Survey ~

1 July 2009 - Millions of people intend to have a UK staycation this year with the greatest drop in numbers going abroad for their main holiday coming from the North of England. And more people don't intend to take a holiday at all.

Last year, 43% of the entire population of Great Britain took their main holiday abroad with slightly less than a quarter having a staycation in the UK. More than 50% of people in the North West left the country for sunnier climes, with only slightly less people from the North East, Yorkshire, Humberside, Scotland and the South East/East Anglia (44%) joining their ranks. With 37% packing their bags for their foreign travels in Wales, the West and the East and West Midlands, it was left to Greater Londoners to top the poll with over half taking their main holiday overseas.

TThis year, by contrast, there is a drop of over three million people (-8%) intending to go abroad for their main holiday (only 35% nationally). 29% intend to take their main holiday in the UK, an increase of nearly two million (+5%). And 36% don't intend to take a holiday at all this year - an increase of over one million people.

Regionally, only 37% intend to go abroad for their main holiday in the North West, a drop of 13%, with Scotland down by 7%, South East/East Anglia down by 8%, Wales and West down by 3%, North East, Yorkshire and Humberside down by 13% and the East & West Midlands down by 7%. With the greatest number, 51% in Greater London (down by 3%) still intending to leave UK shores.

On the upside, 59% of people surveyed across the nation said they thought that they would save up to £1000 by staying in the UK for their main holiday rather than if they went abroad, with 9% saying they thought they would save more than £1000.

Perhaps as a result, of those who are planning to take a short UK break this year, a whopping 88% of people said they were planning between one and three short breaks in the UK this year - and a final 12% said they would be taking more than that.

Damian Woodward, VP for TomTom UK and Ireland, makers of sat nav devices for the car who commissioned the survey* of over 1000 GB adults, said, "Because people are having to tighten their holiday budgets due to the economic climate, we decided to launch a Ticket 2 Drive promotion in the UK, for the very first time. It gives people over 1,500 discounts and 2for1 deals on sports and leisure activities, hotels and spas. We aim to give people reasons to be cheerful on UK holidays this year, despite the credit crunch!"

The traditional pursuits of playing I-Spy (11%), reading a book or drawing (1%) largely got the thumbs down by parents when asked what was the favourite way of passing the time with their children on long car journeys, in favour of listening to the radio or car stereo (44%), having a conversation (23%) or singing together in the car (14%).

There were still worries about the British weather, however, with 71% always packing too much when taking a UK holiday to prepare for any type of weather they are likely to encounter. But an overwhelming 91% said that being together with their family was what they most looked forward to about a holiday in the UK.

However, the biggest cause of arguments when setting out on a UK holiday in the car was getting lost, the kids making a noise and trying to read a map. Kids arguing, being restless and bored as well as disputes about who is going to do the driving were remarkably low down on the list with 9% claiming that they never had arguments!

"Whether people are staying at home or going away, people tell us that their TomTom's help them to check on traffic jams, petrol prices and most importantly, the best driving routes saving them time and money, reducing stress, helping them and their families to remain safe on the roads," added Damian Woodward.

47% of dads planning to take a break in the UK said that the best way to keep the kids amused on UK holidays is visiting a theme park/zoo.

More information on the TomTom Ticket2Drive scheme is available from the TomTom website:http://www.tomtompromotions.co.uk or http://www.tomtompromotions.ie - if in the Republic of Ireland

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