VisitEngland’s August Bank Holiday Trip Tracker survey shows that 9.7m Brits are definitely planning overnight holiday travel in the UK over the August Bank Holiday weekend 2023.
For the Bank Holiday Trip Tracker, a sample of 1,200 British adults aged 16 and above were asked whether they intend to take any overnight trips over the coming fortnight, and if so, whether these will be in the UK or abroad and for what purpose (holiday, business, or visiting friends and relatives).
The August 2023 figures show an increase of 4.4m on last year’s results when 5.3m Brits planned to take an overnight holiday trip during the August Bank Holiday weekend. In 2019 the figure was 8.6m, in 2018 7.3m and in 2017 6.9m.
VisitEngland expects that this boost will bring an estimated £2.7bn to the UK economy, based on the average domestic overnight holiday spend of £277 per trip (adjusted for inflation).
What factors are affecting people’s UK bank holiday travel decisions?
The survey also showed that a further 4.3m people were undecided about whether to travel within the UK during the Bank Holiday weekend.
The top reasons are “waiting to see what the weather is like”, “waiting to see if I can afford it” and “waiting for deals or special offers”.
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For those not planning an overnight holiday trip in the UK during the Bank Holiday weekend, the top reason is “I cannot afford it.”
The findings reflect the latest monthly data of VisitEngland’s wider domestic consumer sentiment towards travel. This showed that the top perceived barriers to taking overnight UK trips in the next six months were “the rising cost of living” followed by “UK weather” and “personal finances”.
Those living in Greater London (48%) are the most likely to say that they will take an overnight trip than those living in other English regions.
London remains a top destination for domestic travellers, with the city’s hotels seeing their highest revenue per available room (RevPAR) in May 2023 since October 2022.
VisitEngland Chief Executive Patricia Yates stated: “It is great to see record numbers are planning a domestic break this long weekend. However, there are ongoing challenges for tourism businesses and destinations, highlighting the importance of extending the tourism season into autumn and beyond.”
GlobalData predicts that the UK travel and tourism industry will reach pre-pandemic levels by 2025.