The UK was among the top three destinations for holidays taken in 2014, and was the choice for about a third of the 1,011 UK holidaymakers quizzed in the World Travel Market 2014 Industry Report unveiled at WTM – the leading global event for the travel industry. Furthermore, when asked for predictions about 2015 holidays, the UK appeared again in the top three, suggesting it has firmly cemented its staycation credentials. Spain and France were the other two answers for both questions, indicating most Brits remain happy to travel to traditional short-haul favourites. The report shows that affordability was by far the most important factor in influencing the decision to holiday in the UK, cited by a whopping nine out of ten holidaymakers (91%). A closer look at the figures shows that 59% said affordability was very important and 32% said it was quite important. The second major factor was – as is traditional in the UK – the weather, which was important for 81% (40% said very, 41% said quite). However, travel-related crises over the spring and summer of 2014 appear to be influencing many UK Holidaymakers’ decisions in favour of domestic holidays. Safety fears following recent plane accidents in the news were important for 48% (22% said very, 26% said quite), suggesting that aviation disasters, such as those which hit Malaysia Airlines, dissuaded some from overseas travel. Almost half (47%) cited the airport security experience – which is featured in the media on a regular basis – while passport renewal delays also had an influence. The backlog in issuing passports disrupted travel for more than half a million people and two fifths (42%) of those polled pointed to the chaos as a factor in choosing to stay on British soil. Her Majesty’s Passport Office is being abolished in the wake of the disruption and its work taken under direct control of the Home Office. Exchange rates were important for 58% (20% very, 38% quite), again indicating that economic concerns are major factors in holiday decisions. The survey’s findings also show that the legacy of London 2012 and the Grand Depart in Yorkshire for the Tour de France in summer 2014 won over many holidaymakers. Almost a fifth (18%) said they were more likely to holiday in London, while the same proportion also said they would be more likely to book a break in Yorkshire. Glasgow, host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, has also attracted more fans, with 15% of people saying they would be more likely to head to the Scottish city. World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “2013 saw a heatwave, and this summer has been largely warm, sunny and long, so it appears that our weather is supporting the staycation – and all that sunshine is brightening prospects for 2015 too. “Although we’re slowly coming out of recession, holidaymakers are still savvy about their budgets and they see that a domestic break won’t break the bank. “However, the value of domestic tourism to the UK economy is enormous, with millions of Brits spending their hard-earned cash in British hotels, holiday parks and attractions, pumping billions into UK plc. “VisitEngland’s Bank Holiday Trip Tracker Survey showed that 5.1 million Brits (10% of the adult population) planned an overnight holiday trip in the UK over the August Bank Holiday weekend, generating some £1.2 billion in tourism spend for the UK economy – and that’s just one bank holiday.” Related Link: World Travel Market 2014