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Expect a bumper summer in the Lakes and across Britain for 2009!

Friday, 17 April 2009 16:02 by Brian

Living in Lancaster, in the North West of England is great. One of the finest aspects is the proximity to the English Lake District; it’s less than half an hour’s drive from the Southern Lakes. The  Lake District is a great place to escape to, and when the weather is clement, I will often head up there on a weekend, sometimes leaving straight after work on a Friday.

I did my first such trip two weeks ago, one that I did many times last year, camping wild near Easdale Tarn above Grasmere. It was the first time there was enough daylight to make the trip viable after a full days work, the clocks only having gone forward the previous week.

I hiked up from Grasmere with everything I needed on my back - at what in previous years had been a tranquil wild camping spot - ready for some solitude, peace and quiet only to find six other people had the same idea as me! Bearing in mind this is the beginning of April and the first time this trip has been possible. I’ve never seen that many tents wild camping in one spot in the Lakes before. And by the time morning came, there were a total of five tents, eight people and two dogs.

Walking near Grasmere in Englands Lake District

The next day, the streets were absolutely flooded with people in Grasmere, Windermere and Ambleside. By all accounts the following Bank Holiday Easter weekend was even busier. It was plain to me, that on Easter weekend, which is traditional one in which we witness all the major international airports bursting at the seams, people were deciding to spend their time and money in the UK. This got me thinking about shifting trends in tourism during a recession and how it’s a good sign for holiday home owners in the UK.

If we combine the recession with a diminishing pound (against both the euro and the dollar) then it comes as no surprise that British families are spending their leisure time closer to home. I did some research and found some official figures to back up my anecdotal assessment:

  • Cumbria Tourism confirmed there was a busy Easter period last week with Lake District tourism information centres reporting a 45% increase in footfall over the same period in 2008.

  • Recent history shows that a busy Easter period leads to a bumper summer for the hospitality industry especially hotels, B&B’s and self-catering accommodation.

  • In the previous year, the worst hit retailer s have been the top and bottom end of the Lake District tourism industry, including hotels and B&B’s but a good recovery is expected, along with self-catering and holiday-home accommodation providers benefitting from the forthcoming influx of visitors.

  • Financial injections have also been announced to boost the tourist industry, with Cumbria Tourism benefitting from over £5 million made available from the Northwest Regional Development Agency. Creating “high-quality, high-value visitor experiences” is a main concern, as is capitalising on the “increasing trend to holiday at home”. Some of the regions first areas to benefit from this grant are the refurbishments of the Tourist Information Centres and National Park Centres of Ullswater, Bowness, Hawkshead and Keswick.

All this is great news for the local holiday home industry, especially in Lancashire and Cumbria. Expect a bumper summer in the Lakes and across Britain for 2009!

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Book Early to Avoid the Credit Crunch

Friday, 20 February 2009 14:49 by sandy

With lots of property owners worried about their being a lack of bookings this year, many have panicked and discounted heavily - was this drastic action really necessary? Invosoft has been doing some research around the world regarding people’s views on holidays and how they will be affected during the credit crunch. It makes interesting reading…….

A national survey in Australia on consumer sentiment reported that a third of Australians have had their holiday plans affected by the global economic crisis but no more than 12% say they had to cancel their holiday because of the credit crunch. For the Aussies in terms of disposable luxury items leading up to last Christmas their summer holiday escape ranked as next highest on the priority list, after paying for the core essentials such as the rent, mortgage, credit cards or shopping.

While here in the UK the financial slowdown has left many people tightening their belts, the obvious solution to save a few pennies would be to not to go on holiday this year, but evidence has shown the opposite, perhaps it is because of the dreary 2008 summer and the long winter months to get through that the thing to lift the doom and gloom would be to book the annual ski or summer holiday. Alongside this the holiday home owners seem to be reducing their prices for the next season, evidence has shown that to book early will result in achieving the best deals.

According to Sean Tipton from ABTA “The ski market is by far the most resilient in the travel sector,” “Even after September 2001 when there was widespread panic in the travel industry, while everybody else went down, the ski market went up. It was the only market that did.” So, it appears that even in a credit crunch, to get the best prices and the chalet you want in the resort of your choice, it does pays to book early.

The shaky economy might seem a good reason to put off your holidays for this season or to wait for last minute deals, but again evidence has shown that many holiday villa owners have been surprised at the number of bookings already received and to bag the best villas, it's actually made it more important than ever to book early.

In these trouble economic times our research conducted in Europe showed that the Europeans were keeping holidays in mind and that they are more important than ever due to the stressful impact of the credit crunch. However, many thought that they would take advantage of the weak pound and holiday in UK. Good news for the Brits.

Our research paints an optimistic picture; there is still the passion for holidays and spending quality time with family and friends.

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