Holidaymakers spend £532 each - before leaving Britain

Holidaymakers spend £532 each -  before leaving BritainPA


Even if we don't decide to take a stay cation, the UK economy still benefits around £22 billion from Brits taking holidays abroad, according to a new report.

British tourists spend an average of £532 each in the UK on products and services before they've even started their holiday, says travel association Abta.

This expenditure can be anything from clothes and accessories, to toiletries, sun tan lotion, cameras and costs at the travel agent.

According to the Press Association, a report from the Centre for Economics Research says nearly £1.8 billion is spent in UK duty free - before we've even stepped foot on the plane.

What's more, "outbound holidays" also contribute greatly to UK jobs, with 620,000 people - the equivalent of 2.6% of Brits in full time employment - accounted for in this sector.

Tax benefits are also huge with £6 billion being made from our holiday bookings from things like air passenger duty.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer told the Press Association: "For too long it has been assumed that by going abroad on holiday, money is being taken out of the UK economy. This report proves conclusively that the foreign holiday market makes a huge contribution to the UK economy and is an essential component of a healthy and dynamic UK economy.

"The Government must recognise and support outbound travel in its current and future policies and planning strategies to deliver growth to the wider economy."

Following the report, Thomas Cook's UK business chief executive, Ian Ailles, blasted the government for spending £5 million on a star-spangled TV campaign promoting holidays at home, suggesting the ads jeopardised foreign travel's contribution to the British economy.

According to the Guardian, speaking at the Abta travel conference, he said the economic contribution of outbound tourism matched that of the inbound sector, adding: "What we ask is that the government doesn't distort a functioning market with microeconomic meddling."

He also attacked what he called"stealth holiday tax" of the aforementioned air passenger duty - which rose by 8% last month - for "dampening demand", adding that "the tax only increases" despite assurances from the Government that it will support travel and tourism.

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Discover the best 2012 beach destinations in Europe:

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Holidaymakers spend £532 each - before leaving Britain

Corralejo,the largest of Fuerteventura's resorts, is a beach lover's dream. Town Beach is singled out by Tripadvisor reviewers as a perfect spot for families because of its calm waters, while breezier Flag Beach and Glass Beach are a 'paradise' for windsurfers and kitesurfers.

The largest resort on Gran Canaria was developed in the Sixties specifically as a tourist area and it's remained popular ever since. There's something for everyone, from families to honeymooners, nude sunbathers, to hippies... and it gets the thumbs up from all.

This is the fastest growing city in Turkey, not least because of its booming tourism industry. Tourists from around the world are drawn here for the fab beaches as well as the traditional Turkish culture. Konyaalti Beach is described as 'heaven on earth' by one reviewer. The only complaint seems to be that the sea is a "little bit salty". Hmm...

With 20 different beaches to choose from, Albufeira is praised as a "charming" holiday destination. The cliffs are magnificent, the outlook wonderful and Falesia Beach is singled out in particular: "straight out of a film" says one reviewer.

Yes, it's still up there as one of the favourites for Brits. The beaches surrounding this holiday mecca are bustling with activities including waterskiing and scuba diving. Levante Beach is praised for its cleanliness, while reviewers recommend Poniente Beach for a calmer alternative to the buzzing Benidorm atmosphere.

Seven miles of beach and its own warm microclimate make Bournemouth the UK's favourite beach destination, according to Tripadvisor reviewers, who praise it for its stunning cleanliness and "amazing views", although one complained that it was "too far away from the shops". 

With velvety white stretches of sand along five miles of gentle waters, Puerto Alcudia is the longest beach on the island. Reviewers say the gem of the beach at Aucanada is great for families, and one of the most beautiful parts of the resort, although it can get crowded: "Bring your own sunbed" says one. 

The lack of a booming nightclub scene is a huge plus for the travellers who've discovered this beach resort. Boat trips, great seafood cafes and "quiet and relaxing" atmosphere are among the reasons they return here, but one reviewer advises getting to the beach early in peak season in order to get a bed by the sea - and they recommend bartering for the price.

The waters surrounding the small village of Olu Deniz, including the famous Blue Lagoon, are a beautiful gradient of sapphire blue, and the beach is described by Tripadvisor reviewers as "simply stunning", with a spectacular setting. Reviewers say it gets overcrowded in peak season and can also be pricey: many recommend the local beaches nearer the town for more space.

Lanzarote's largest resort area offers some of the island's best beaches, with calm waters all year round. The coast is a succession of lovely sandy stretches interspersed with small rocky outcroppings, including the little cove of Pena Grande, with fine white sand.

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