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Monday, 22 October, 2001, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
One million scrap holiday plans
Miami Beach
Miami Beach is maintaining its popularity
Almost one million people in the UK have scrapped their travel plans following the terror attacks in America, a survey has said.

According to a survey by the English Tourism Council, one in 10 Britons said the events had affected their holiday plans.

Fifteen percent of those, or 700,000 people, had cancelled their holidays and another 25% - more than one million people - had postponed their trip abroad.

A further 2 million people said that they would not be making firm plans until the international situation became clearer.

Huge impact

Mary Lynch, chief executive of the English Tourism Council, warned of the significant the effects of the 11 September attacks.

Country choice by region
London: US (13%)
South East: Australia (12%)
South West: Australia (10%)
Wales: US (18%)
East Anglia: Australia (19%)
West Midlands: Australia (15%)
East Midlands: US (13%)
North West: US (12%)
Yorkshire: Australia (14%)
Scotland: US (17%)

"But we could take the edge off some of the worst effects on tourism by making it easier for people to holiday at home," she added.

Despite the terror attacks, another survey said that the US is the top choice for UK holidaymakers, favoured by more than one in 10 people.

Confidence was highest among experienced business travellers, with more than one in five executives saying they would holiday in the US, the poll, for Marks & Spencer's Financial Services, found.

Married people were more concerned about travelling to the US than single people, with men more likely than women to cite America as their top holiday destination.

But the prospect of long-haul flights is not affecting where people would most like to travel, the survey found.

Australia, which takes a whole day's journey from the UK, was the second most popular choice.

UK picture

There was also more upbeat news for the UK tourism industry, which has already been devastated from foot-and-mouth disease and is now facing even more challenges, the survey said.

The British Tourist Authority has estimated that the UK, whose tourism industry is dependent largely on US trade, could lose 2.5bn in revenue from overseas visitors next year.

Chose US as top destination by age
16-24: 12%
25-34: 14%
35-44: 13%
45-54: 13%
55+: 9%

According to the survey, however, the UK is the fourth most popular place for UK tourists, behind the US, Australia and Spain.

UK citizens made a record 53.9 million trips overseas last year - up 3 million on the year before, although this figure could fall because of international events.

The most popular destination for short breaks and business trips was France, with 11.9 million visits, while Spain was the most popular holiday spot, accounting for one quarter of total visits.

The survey questioned 2,000 people between 3 and 7 October.

See also:

08 Oct 01 | Business
Travelling: Need advice?
22 Aug 01 | Health
Bank Holiday health risk
16 Aug 01 | UK Politics
Blair weathers UK holiday
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