Research Shows British People Forgoing Vacations for Extended Working Hours

Taking holidays is seemingly becoming an afterthought with a growing number of British people, as they cram in as much as an extra week of unpaid work each year.

Travelodge, a UK based hotel company, has reported that one in ten British citizens are putting an extra week of unpaid labour into their work schedules, and with approximately one third of the British population working around 16 hours per week overtime, holidays are almost becoming a thing of past.

With the European economic downturn impacting on a volatile job market, the average worker in the UK is putting in 9.1 hours extra unpaid work every week to keep their bosses happy, resulting in around GBP5,276.18 in unpaid labour every year for those workers.

The study has also reported that 40 percent of workers have opted to regularly work at home in the evenings, while every third worker surveyed has put in extra hours at weekends to manage their existing workload.

Around 37 percent of these overworked Brits are regularly forsaking a long holiday for a series of one-night vacations, or ‘Nightcation’ breaks, according to the study.

Shakila Ahmed, a Travelodge spokesperson, said, ‘This year we have experienced a significant rise in just Saturday night bookings compared to previous years. To obtain a better understanding of the rationale behind this trend we commissioned research to investigate how the economic crisis is affecting the psychologies of British holidaymakers.

Our research findings have highlighted that Nightcation breaks are a growing trend amongst Britons as they are an easy to book, cost effective short break that help workaholic Britons recuperate and recharge for the week ahead.’


Brits Value Holidays Above Their Monetary Worth

British holidaymakers claim that their vacations are worth much more to them than their monetary value.

A study of 2,845 UK adults that was conducted by Nuffield Health, a healthcare charity, and Kuoni Travel, a travel company, has highlighted that holidays are perceived to decrease the stress everyday life, for better physical and mental health.

According to the study, around 84 percent of holidaymakers claim that they measure their holidays on how they benefit their state of mind, and not in terms of value for money.

The research has concluded that taking a break impacts on the lives of travellers in four ways:

  • A vacation provides an opportunity to break out of the daily stressful grind.
  • It makes for happy family bonding times.
  • Travelling on a holiday can broaden horizons and give life a new perspective.
  • Holidays are a means of rest and rejuvenation that allow the individual to return to work with vigour.

While around one in three British people surveyed stated that a holiday is worth two to four times its monetary value, one in four claimed that it is worth much more. Around 67 percent said that only a break of four or more days could set them on the path to total relaxation.

Chris Jones, the head of physiology at Nuffield Health, said, ‘On a day-to-day basis, our bodies give us subtle physical signals for stress or tiredness that may be caused by our busy modern lives and we all intuitively know that a holiday can help us re-charge our batteries.

The fact that two-thirds of people are taking up to four days to switch off maybe an important indicator of how we manage stress from our everyday lives.’

British Holidaymakers Still Undecided About Summer Holidays

While substantial numbers of British holidaymakers are planning to take a holiday in the UK this year, many others are still undecided according to Visit England, the official travel promotional agency for England.

Around 10.3 million British holidaymakers have planned to take their vacation within the UK this year, with around 8.9 million people specifically planning to travel to English destinations, according to the study.

These vacations are likely to boost local economies by around GBP2.3bn in the UK, with around GBP1.9bn to be spent in England alone.

It is likely that around 5.9million British travellers will be holidaying abroad during the same period this year.

Even at this late stage it is estimated that around 10.8 million British holidaymakers are yet to decide on a summer vacation, mainly due to increasing concerns about the financial situation and the inclement weather, while 22 percent of those surveyed are waiting for a last minute deal that will suit their budget, before deciding on a holiday.

James Berresford, the chief executive of VisitEngland, said, ‘I am delighted to see that over ten million people are planning to holiday at home this summer.

The industry has a vast opportunity to inspire those still undecided and convince them that England is the place to be this summer.

If we convert even half of those who are undecided about taking a summer break in England, we could potentially contribute an additional GBP600 million to the UK economy.

The trend for last minute bookings is strong; this coupled with the recent return of sunshine to our shores could provide the industry with a welcome boost.’


British Travellers Flocking to Spain This Summer

Large numbers of British travellers are planning summer holidays abroad this year, mostly to Spain’s sunnier destinations, according to a travel research report released by Asda Money, a UK-based financial company that provides travel currency.

Despite the UK government having recently increased its Air passenger duties, much to the dismay of travellers, Spain still remains a favourite travel destination for British holidaymakers.

Spain, which is within easy reach of all UK airports and is served by flights from almost all airlines operating out of Britain, is also known for its warm waters, sandy beaches and good cuisine.

Recently, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, announced an increase in general VAT (Value Added Tax) on all items, including clothing and cigarettes, from 18 percent to 21 percent, in response to the country’s increasing economic problems.

For tourists travelling to the country, this will represent an 8 to 10 percent increase in expenditure on accommodation, food and drink at restaurants, hotels and bars, as well as processed food bought in Spain.

Official records have shown that there has been a significant increase in the number of overseas visitors to Spain in the first five months of 2012, compared to the same period a year ago. Around 19 million foreign holidaymakers visited Spain between January and May 2012, a 2.4 percent increase on the preceding year.

The Spanish Institute of Tourism Studies (Instituto de Estudios Turisticos) has reported that British travellers make around 12 million visits to Spain each year, making it one of the most visited countries by British residents.


Holidays to Iraq – top destination of the future?

The tourism bureaucrats of Iraq are attempting to persuade Brits to holiday in Iraq, appealing for us to spend our British pounds in the heart of Western Asia.
The very idea most would dismiss as out of the question, due to the alarming quantity of textured headlines that scream out at us on a daily basis from our television sets and newspapers; underscoring the deep rooted dangers of the Muslim country.

However, Iraqi tourism officials are hopeful their travel industry has a booming future ahead, the majority of visitors anticipated to journey from the United Kingdom.
Fadhil Al-Saaegh, of Al-Rafidian Travel, says: “There have been few British tourists but I am always ambitious and I will keep trying to get them to come.”

Iraq plans to market a vacation in their country to ‘’adventurous British holiday-makers’’; potentially a delicate, albeit clever choice of wording or an accurate observation of who this type of holiday would essentially appeal to.
At London’s vastly popular annual ‘World Travel Market’, the promotion of Iraq was pitched to Brits in their masses by Fadhil Al-Saaegh, who was adamant Iraq had more than enough fascinating features to attract and persuade sceptical Brits. He was quoted: “They can visit Baghdad, plus we have mountains, waterfalls and great Islamic architecture. We have beautiful things to see everywhere.”
Despite the countries’ cavernous ugly connotations to war, violence and terrorism, it is actually a country which houses the standard elements one would expect a holiday to encompass. Cloudless sapphire skies hang over miles and miles of untouched beautiful golden dessert, riddled with architectural gems such as the National Museum of Iraq. The museum houses the world’s largest and finest collection of artifacts and relics of Ancient Iraqi civilizations.

In terms of scenery and culture, Iraq is actually a strong contender with its towering knots of mountains and frothy soaring waterfalls.

One of the most important factors when one goes on holiday, particularly for Brits, is what to eat? Tablets found in ancient ruins in Iraq show recipes prepared in the temples during religious festivals – the first cookbooks in the world. Today, the cuisine of Iraq reflects this rich inheritance as well as strong influences from the culinary traditions of neighboring Turkey, Iran and the Greater Syria area
Highlighting Iraq’s personalised holiday qualities, in an attempt to encourage Brits to realise they have more to offer as a nation, (other than material for journalists to write up), has proven to be slightly more problematic than originally thought.

It is not just the British public that needs persuading as the Foreign Office is currently completely against any holidays to Iraq unless absolutely necessary. A spokesperson for the Foreign Office currently warns against; “all but essential travel to the whole of Iraq, except to the Kurdistan Region”.
So, a holiday in Iraq perhaps isn’t the most tempting of propositions for most Brits at present. However, perhaps a few years down the line we may travel to this country, if only to admire the historic assets and natural backdrop whilst being baked in that diurnal glorious heat.

Article by Emma Boyle