Domestic holidays have also become more common. Since the recession, which encouraged people to save money by heading to Torquay rather than Tuscany, holidaymakers have developed a taste for staying in Britain, says Louise Stewart of VisitEngland, the national tourist board. Hotels are making the most of the extra demand: the average price of a room is 3.4% higher than last year, according to STR Global, a research firm. But things could be better still, claim critics. Although the number of global tourists has grown by an average of 5% a year since 2010, the number of tourists coming to Britain has gone up by just 3% a year. In other words, it has a smaller slice of a larger market. Airports are overstretched, marketing is underfunded and visas are a rip-off (see article). The amount that Australia spends on courting Chinese tourists alone is greater than the entire budget of VisitBritain, the country’s international tourist agency. Data from ForwardKeys, a travel analytics firm, suggest this is hindering Britain’s attempt to appeal to emerging markets. Long-haul bookings to Britain have stayed flat over the past year, while those to Western Europe have grown by more than 5%. Since Britain is not a member of the Schengen area, which eliminates border controls between 26 European countries, most Chinese tourists visiting Europe decide Britain is not worth the extra hassle. Get the full story at The Economist