Holidays…a basic necessity for most Brits?

YouGov’s latest survey shows quite clearly that Britons are not ready to give up on what some may term a “luxury”. A winter sunshine boost after Christmas, or a well deserved summer escape are psychologically more of a necessity than a luxury, the survey reveals.

The positive emotional and health benefits of holidays – as well as the value for money it offers – are just some of the reasons timeshare owners take up trial memberships or full membership, buying holidays ahead of time. Trial membership is a good way to test drive the company’s products and services before committing to more long term vacation ownership.

In the YouGov survey, of the 2057 adults questioned, 65% of consumers said they are planning to take a holiday of five days or more in 2012, but 35% not planning to go away.

49% of those who will take a holiday said they think they’ll be going abroad once or more, while 29% are planning to holiday in the UK once or more. Staycations rose in popularity at the start of the recession, and one positive outcome is that Britons are discovering many UK beauty spots they might otherwise never have seen. Timeshare companies with sought after resorts in Britain include Hilton Grand Vacations, which has a selection of properties in Scotland and Club La Costa’s flagship hotel and spa in Cornwall, Hustyns in Wadebridge (it also has a country house hotel near Fowey, a charming Cornish fisherman’s village whose most famous resident was Daphne Du Maurier).

In London, the Pestana Group opened the Pestana Chelsea Bridge, a luxury hotel across the river from Chelsea with a spectacular spa near the fashionable Nine Elms and Battersea districts. Pestana is well known for its Portuguese resort portfolio and the Portuguese group’s London hotel booked up quickly when it opened its doors last year.

The survey revealed that although consumers are painfully aware of the economic climate, they felt it was important not to ditch their holiday plans, so that they had something to look forward to.

– 26% agreed that they were concerned but still planning to take a holiday

– 18% indicated they were concerned and will wait until closer to the time to book their holiday

– 6% said they were not concerned and have already booked their holiday.

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said recently, "Household budgets are feeling the pinch but for years we have seen that holidays are the last to be cut back in tough times. ABTA’s own research has shown that people would rather cut back on eating out or home improvements than give their holiday the chop.

“When there is lots of doom and gloom in the economy, a holiday gives people something to look forward to. Destinations including Spain, Turkey and the USA look set to be popular with holiday makers in 2012 and we’re also likely to see tourists returning to places like the Red Sea area in Egypt, and other parts of North Africa, where there are lots of high quality and good value holidays on offer."

Popular timeshare and fractional resort “staycation locations” in the UK include Devon (Barrasford & Bird), Scotland (HGVG), Cornwall (Club La Costa), Kent, The Lake District, the Welsh coast, while Marriott run an exclusive fractional property, 47 Park Street, in London’s Mayfair, which is ideally located for both business and leisure, with super shopping just steps away in Oxford Street and Bond Street.

Cornwall in particular is a popular fractional ownership location – when the weather is good, its unspoiled beaches, surf culture, gourmet food and arts scene and breathtaking scenery make it hard to beat. It has soared in popularity even more since the launch of our TV series Doc Martin, which is filmed there, and it’s Britain’s “surf central”.

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