19 Nov 2017 | Digital editions, magazines, websites, e-zines, handbooks and contract publishing for the leisure industry

Sports Management issue 133, 2017 is now out!


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Liz Terry
Leisure Media

Kate Cracknell
Health Club Management

Eva McDiarmid
Chief Executive,

Kurt Janson
Policy Director,
Tourism Alliance

Philippe Rossiter
Chief Executive,
Institute of Hospitality

Aleatha Ezra
Director of park member development,
World Waterpark Association

Ian Taylor

Gareth Edwards
Director of Education,

John Goodbody
Sports Journalist

Suki Kalirai
Interim CEO,

Sam Coulstock
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Stephen Studd

Edwina Hart
Minister for Business,
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Leah De Silva
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David Grevemberg
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Simon Johnson
Business in Sport and Leisure

David Kerr
David Kerr Associates

Nick King
Sports Think Tank

Fredrik Lindahl
Treasurer & Administrator,
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Chris Marriott
Capita Symonds

Rhona Mennie
Business relations manager,
Springboard UK

Matt Partridge
Executive board member,

Tom Pinnington
Associate director,
Capita Symonds

Hugh Robertson
Minister for Sport

David Stalker

Chris Trickey
Chief Executive,

Phillip Villars
Managing Director,
Indigo Planning

Tom Walker
Leisure Media

Duncan Wood-Allum
Sport, Leisure and Culture Consultancy

Value of domestic breaks

17 Aug 2015
by Eva McDiarmid, Chief Executive, ASVA
Research indicates that the perfect UK holiday is in a cottage with a sea view, that the break is no shorter than 10 days in total and that this idyllic cottage is not much more than a mile from the local pub

In terms of the weather, to say this summer has been a disappointment is probably a major understatement.

Research undertaken recently by ATS Euromaster, and published at the end of last month, found that 75 per cent of Brits plan to take a holiday in the UK this year. The sample size was 2000 and also found that of those who had already been away, 72 per cent had stayed in the UK. The main reasons given for opting out of an overseas holiday were to leave home and arrive at the destination the same day with time to spare - an average journey time of no more than 167 minutes was noted. And queues at the airport check in and security screening were cited by 55 per cent of respondents as negative factors that influenced their decision to stay in the UK.

The same research indicates that the perfect UK holiday apparently is in a cottage with a sea view, that the break is no shorter than 10 days in total and that this idyllic cottage is not much more than a mile from the local pub (obviously mindful of keeping the local roads safe!) and not too far from a filling station. (More remote parts of the country were probably doing quite well on the tick list until the issue of the proximity of a filling station was noted.) Whilst we are on holiday in the UK we like to eat fish and chips by the sea (mind the seagulls!), be close to local shops, seek out local farm shops, visit British landmarks and last but not least - the National Trust!

Now some of this contrasts with other research just published by the latter which shows that visits to National Trust (England and Wales) coastal properties are down by 20 per cent this year. The YouGov findings from 5047 adults indicate that just 42 per cent have visited the coast for a day visit this year. This compares with 62 per cent in 2005 – a 20 per cent drop in just 10 years. There may also be a generational element with 18- to 24-year-olds feeling less connected to the coast than the 55+ year olds. The main barriers are apparently that coastal resorts are too busy when the sun shines (and Benidorm isn’t?) and that seaside visits are expensive.

This apparent trend must hold some concerns but at the same time, it does seem that Brits do like to take domestic breaks. Surely that must be an opportunity? We have such a large coastline that seaside breaks are in our DNA but are we evolving? The research does tell us what folks like to do when they are away and we have those in abundance – pubs, fish & chips, farm shops/ local produce and landmarks. And that’s what holiday makers, short break takers and day visitors seem to be looking for in rural and urban locations as well as at that idyllic cottage overlooking the sea.

It has been a disappointing year weather wise and this experience may influence future choices when the decision about where to holiday is taken. However, attractions also have a huge day visitor market which is a distinct advantage over accommodation providers. In addition, the day visit market is not confined to just the main summer months and school holidays. And although there is still some seasonality (more pronounced in the more peripheral locations) the presence of a visitor attraction or landmark does make a destination more attractive especially if there is a pub nearby!

Tags: parks & countryside  hotels & hospitality  tourism  visitor attractions 

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