Accommodation providers are confident that the British public will continue to holiday at home this year but expect them not to make plans until the last minute, a survey has found.
The Business Confidence Monitor, commissioned by VisitEngland, found that 80% of accommodation businesses said they were confident of a successful summer.
The survey, which questioned more than 500 accommodation providers, found that advance bookings for the summer are down on 2009, with a third of operators reporting worse levels compared with last year.
However, more than 40% reported more last-minute bookings than the same period in 2009, and 44% said they now have more last-minute bookings than before the recession.
The survey also found that one in three businesses reported an increase in visitors for April and May compared to the same period last year. The caravanning and hotel sectors saw the most improvement, with 38% of campsites and 37% of hotels reporting more guests, compared to just 27% of bed and breakfasts and self-catering businesses.
VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford said he was delighted to see that the industry was full of confidence for the summer.
"We've spoken a lot recently about the growing trend to holiday at home and this study provides further evidence to support this," he said.
"One in three businesses have increased repeat visitors levels compared to last year, and over a quarter of businesses are reporting more domestic visitors - proving England's growing popularity with British holidaymakers."
By Tom Vaughan
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