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The only way is Torbay...

By Herald Express  |  Posted: January 16, 2013

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TOURISM prospects for 2013 are looking bright as new research shows the English Riviera could be in a for bumper year, particularly in the self-catering sector.

This is despite the poor weather of 2012 and thanks, in part, to a further increase in air passenger duty from April this year, according to the findings of a travel trends survey by Blue Chip Holidays.

The survey results also showed that:

People choosing not to holiday overseas intended to spend the money they have saved in the UK

Over 27 per cent said they'd choose to use money saved to treat themselves to a UK holiday

Almost 30 per cent said they'd use any money saved to take an additional UK domestic break.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement that Air Passenger Duty will be increased by 2.5 per cent in April. This comes on top of an eight per cent increase in April 2012.

More than 42 per cent of the 900 people polled in the survey following the Autumn Statement, stated that they had chosen UK self-catering holidays over foreign trips to save money.

Over a quarter (27.4 per cent) added that the government's increase in APD was the key reason for them not taking trips abroad.

Following the new increase, Blue Chip Holidays anticipates even more travellers will favour breaks in Torbay and South Devon as their preferred destination for 2013.

The research also revealed while just over a quarter paid close attention to weather forecasts before making bookings for UK holidays in 2013, almost three quarters (73.7 per cent) will book regardless.

Importantly, 41 per cent actually plan to take more UK-based holidays in 2013 than in 2012, which bodes well for breaks in the English Riviera, one of the UK's most popular destinations for domestic holidays.

Commenting on the findings Alan Taylor, managing director of Blue Chip Holidays, which has over 290 four and five-star holiday homes in the South Devon area alone, said: "The hike in APD is clearly going to weigh heavily on the minds of many people, especially in these financially challenging times.

"Confronted with the possibility of hundreds of pounds being added to the cost of an overseas holiday, you can bet travellers will think twice about the pound in their pocket and what value they can get for that here in the UK.

"Many high-spec four and five-star properties can be booked in South Devon for far less than their overseas equivalents, and luxurious breaks in the stunning setting of the English Riviera and the South Hams are likely to prove increasingly enticing."

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