26/07/2014

Staycationing or Holistaying

Ah, the "Staycation". Already I hate it. My main problem is that it is an adaptation of an American word, the vacation. We don't call them that over here and we should stick to our perfectly good set of words. We say holiday, so at the very least we should be thinking about going on a "holistay" but that's not catching on no matter how many conversations I cram it into.

Whatever you call it the holiday in the UK (holiUK?) seems to be popular with reports of a dramatic surge in demand this year. Whether that's because people like the idea of visiting our historic seaside towns or their passports didn't arrive due to the inability of our Government we may never know. Maybe it's a safety fear as there's a much smaller chance of being shot down by some separatists when you're on the National Express coach to Bognor.

But is it all rosey in the UK tourism sector? Let's take an example. One report out from Sheffield Hallam University suggested that although Thanet in Kent had the 12th biggest seaside economy in the whole country, the area had shed around a 1000 jobs in the tourism industry since 2006.

I'm not sure how that happens, a bigger tourism economy but with fewer people working in it. Are the tourists just spending more each per head or have some jobs been replaced by the self-scan tills? When you go on the fun fairs do you hear an automated voice saying, "Press #1 if you want to go faster"?

So why is Thanet doing so well? While it is true to say that Chas and Dave have been playing music festivals this year and in their set they do their song about going "Daaaarn to Margit" surely that can't have inspired that many more holidayers.

When a recession hits people tend to give up on their holidays. When the boom times are in people go abroad to some expensive destination so they have a really good answer the next time the hairdresser says, "So, been on holiday this year?" But we're in between. We're in recovery but we're not there yet, so people want to have a holiday but can't quite afford the big exotic destination. Some will go on cheap holidays to Spain (the reason they're so cheap is because of the Spanish economy and the fact you can get a free drink if you blow 20 blokes in a bar). However, some will be getting away in the UK. The rock with the placename in it (so you can workout where you are), the froth of the sea, to arcades making all kinds of nose and the fish and chips. What's not to love?

So don't go away, have a holistay (I'm still trying with that one) and enjoy what the UK has to offer. Plus, you can get a free drink from just blowing one guy if you pick the right guy.

>Read the source story



And if you are taking a trip to Edinburgh this summer (still part of the UK at time of publishing) come and see my Edinburgh Show.
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