SEPTEMBER TRAVEL TRENDS

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ACCORDING to a Sojern's Global Travel Insights Report that just landed in my inbox, Europeans, are not done with our summer holidays just yet.

Despite Brexit worries, heatwaves, fires and flooding, or perhaps because of them, 70 per cent of searches by Europeans are for short haul trips of a week or less in September. And amongst the ones searching for long-haul holidays, 47 per cent searched for trips of 12 or more days. The majority of trips are for two people with one out of three searches being for couple travel, regardless of the destination.

This could simply be a result of schools starting again soon, and couples without children taking the opportunity to enjoy kids-free resorts and holidays, for less money than during the summer holiday season.

Closer to home, in the UK, a survey from VisitEngland reveals that more than seven million people are planning a staycation over the August bank holiday weekend. That figure has increased steadily since 2016, when only 5.1 million were planning a staycation over the August bank holiday, increasing to 6.9 million in 2017, and 7.3 million this year.

VisitEngland figures also show that more Britons have been taking holidays at home. They took 59 million domestic holidays in the UK last year, up 6 per cent on 2016, with spending also up 6 per cent to £14.1 billion.

While we can already hear politicians and tourist ministers congratulate themselves with morale-lilfting quotes about the spread of tourism benefits across the country and the general boost to the UK economy, it is hard not to see the primary causes being a fast-approaching Brexit and a worryingly weak pounds against the euro. And although the UK does indeed have world-class attractions, culture and stunning scenery, it is difficult not to be cynical and not question the longevity of this new trend set against the very high cost of holidaying in our own country.

Julie Giraud