Highlands & Islands

Highlands come top in 'staycation' survey

The Highlands
Image caption More than a third of Scots are expected to take a holiday in the UK this year

Scottish tourism bosses are optimistic that the so-called staycation trend will lead to a boost for the industry this season.

It comes as the Highlands topped a survey of destinations for people planning to holiday in the UK.

London came second, followed by Edinburgh, Blackpool and Manchester.

VisitScotland said it was optimistic about the season, with the relative cheapness of the pound against the Euro also encouraging visitors from Europe.

The survey of 5,000 people also suggested more than a third of Scots will holiday at home this year, with the Highlands the most popular.

The average seven-day UK holiday will cost £422, with £250 spent on travel and accommodation and £172 on visiting attractions.

Scott Armstrong, regional director of VisitScotland, said: "Scotland's a very popular destination and even within Scotland the Highlands and Islands is probably the most popular part of Scotland.

"So all the indications we've got are the staycation effect should still be around for 2011, all the economic conditions which led to the staycation effect in the first place are still here this year.

"We're cautiously optimistic that we're going to get a good number of UK people coming to the Highlands - and in fact we're very encouraged by the number of Scots that are holidaying within Scotland."

It is estimated the British tourism industry is set to be boosted by £7.2bn with the help of staycations.

The holiday survey was carried out by hotel chain Travelodge.

People who have commented on the survey on the BBC Scotland News Facebook page have recommended Plockton and Gairloch as staycation destinations in the Highlands.

One reader suggested the Outer Hebrides because of its crowd-free beaches.

Apart from the Highlands, others have recommended Arran, Bute, Dumfries and Galloway, Oban, Saltcoats and the Trossachs.

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