The British Tourism & Travel Show (BTTS) Domestic Tourism Industry Snapshot Survey was completed before and during last month’s event at the NEC by more than 80 leading travel and tour operators, DMOs, visitor attractions, destinations and hotels. Its findings show continued positive growth for the sector – and many had an upbeat optimism for the opportunities ahead, despite the uncertainties of Brexit.

The survey found 54% of respondents saw an increase in domestic visitor numbers and bookings in 2018; 38% who completed the survey think customer spending habits will improve over the next year, while 80% are feeling either very or fairly optimistic about the future of the domestic travel trade.

‘Value for money’ and ‘experience’ came joint first in the list of the three main factors their customers consider when booking an outing or trip. ‘Location’ came second and ‘culture’ third; accessibility, relaxation and catering are next down the list. An increase in stay-cations remains the highest key trend of 2019, and a greater focus on experiential/adventure holidays with unique experiences also were high on the list. Sustainable tourism, late bookings, and cultural visits have also been identified as some key trends to watch, among others.

Favourite destinations to visit in the UK according to respondents were Cornwall (first), Devon, the Lake District, Liverpool and Wales (all joint second) and the Cotswolds (third). Dorset, Yorkshire, Stonehenge, Scotland and Edinburgh were also next down the list.

The general consensus is that Brexit will continue to have an influence on future consumer spending (with mixed opinions on the actual impact Brexit will have on domestic business’ prospects). When asked specifically about expectations of the impact of Brexit, 49% said they were fairly concerned, while 43% reported that they are not concerned at all. Notably, many respondents commented that it may be ‘too early to tell as things are still unknown’ whilst others stated that ‘The level of domestic tourism will grow if consumer confidence returns’ and that ‘travellers may be more inclined to stay at home with the uncertainty of Brexit and border/passport changes’.

The British Tourism & Travel Show returns to the NEC Birmingham on 25-26 March 2020. For further information, visit www.tourismshow.co.uk