in the world, the charm of holidays close to home

Shorter vacations, closer vacations, more frugal vacations: these are the big trends for summer 2022 for just about everyone. Nevertheless, after two years of pandemic, world tourism is prospering as it is regaining color. France thus sees the Americans, its European neighbours, in particular from the countries of the North, and the British returning with a reduction. But not yet the Chinese, normally big consumers of trips abroad, who are still grounded by the pandemic.

The first days of July confirmed a trend that had been emerging for several months already, with for the hotel sector, attendance up 34% compared to last year, according to the consulting firm MKG Consulting. For the whole of July, bookings have seen a 45% link, and a 30% increase is forecast for August. An identical trend in holiday villages and campsites.

If foreigners are partly back, tourism professionals are also counting on the French, who have taken a liking to spending their holidays at home. Stations stormed, full trains, traffic jams on the highways, France is on leave. Even if it is true that for forty years, the rate of departure on vacation in our country has changed little. It was 61% in 1985, according to the Research Center for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions (Crédoc) and 64% in 2019… before dropping around 50% in 2020, because of the crisis. health and to rise slightly (54%) last year.

On foot, by bike, by train, staying within its borders or close to home, holidays are holidays. Takes advantage ! Reports in the UK, Italy and Japan.

► The British are rediscovering their country

Blocked on their territory in 2020 and to a lesser extent in 2021, the British have rediscovered the attractions of their country.

After spending a week last year at a tourist farm two hours from London with his family, Stuart, a 55-year-old civil servant, has chosen to return there this year. “The cottage is cheap, there is no risk that our transport will be canceled at the last moment since we are going there by car, and our two daughters loved it last summer»he explains. Given that inflation is expected to increase further in the fall with a further announced increase of more than 50% for gas and electricity, we must therefore be careful.»

Like Stuart, the vast majority of Britons have chosen to spend their holidays at home. Deserted since the 1990s and the development of mass tourism in Greece or Spain, the coasts and large sandy beaches of the country had already served as a forced replica solution in 2020, due to entry restrictions on the European continent. related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The tourists’ honeymoon with their country has extended into 2021. So much so that a new word has appeared in the media vocabulary: ” stay “the contraction of stay (stay) and holidays (holidays).

This year, the thousands of cancellations of flights abroad and the monster traffic jams to access Folkestone and Dover, sites for boarding ferries and trains to France, have accentuated the phenomenon. “We thought 2021 would be tough to beat, but it looks like more than ever Brits will be staying close to home on holiday again this year”says Graham Donoghue, the boss of Sykes Holidays Cottages, whose holiday accommodation bookings have been canceled by 30% compared to last year. “Uncertainty over Covid restrictions has been offset by concerns over overseas travel disruptions and accumulated pressure on the budget. »

Faced with this enthusiasm, the press has multiplied the reports and advice on places to discover in the United Kingdom. With a medal Telegraph for his article “Who needs Europe? The British alternatives to the continent’s most incredible holiday destinations. And his semi-serious, semi-second-degree proposals to go to the Hayle estuary (in Cornwall) rather than to Nice, to walk on Hadrian’s wall rather than in the Colosseum in Rome, to discover the vineyards of East Sussex rather than those of Provence!

► In Italy, cooler and watermelon at the beach

After two years hard hit by the pandemic, the majority of Italians are taking summer vacations, but with particular attention to spending.

In this month of August, we will be content to go back and forth by taking the Rome-Lido d’Ostie train to go to one of the free beaches of the Cancelli because private beaches are unaffordable for small budgets ”, testifies Teresa, 36 years old. Mother of a 6-year-old boy, this Roman is a part-time secretary and Livio, her husband, is a bakery clerk. “We will not go to the restaurant, I will prepare breaded chops, a pasta or rice salad, a thermos of coffee and sweets every evening. Livio will carry the cooler and I will carry the beach towels and the umbrella! »

A return to the 1950s, marked by the seaside invasions of the fagottari, the picnickers? A good number of Italian families are actually bringing up to date he pranzo al saccoa basket full of meals cooked by the motherand abandon the lidos where the price of a parasol and two deckchairs fluctuates between 30 and 100 € per day, depending on the standard and the region.

“This summer, more than 80% of our fellow citizens vote for the Bel Paese (Italy, editor’s note) for stays of four to ten days, especially by the sea, in particular in Sicily, Puglia, Emilia-Romagna, Sardinia, Calabria and Campania”, notes Roberta Garibaldi, managing director of Enit, the Italian national tourist office. But, according to the research institute Demoskopika, the duration of holidays is shorter than in 2019, before the Covid pandemic, and of the approximately 30 million summer visitors, a third have decided not to stray too far from his place of residence.

According to the consumer protection association Federconsumatori, our transalpine cousins ​​​​are much less concerned about the variants of Covid-19 than about the exorbitant rise in energy costs, inflation at 7.9% and the rise in food prices. Hence their propensity to tighten their belts, even on vacation.

What saves us is our art of knowing how to rediscover the happiness of simplicity. A beautiful watermelon cooled in sea water and enjoyed in a group is more euphoric than a glass of Prosecco at the beach bar”, says Marta, a teacher in Rome, all smiles, who is about to join with friends the splendid dunes of Sabaudia (a seaside resort located in Lazio, editor’s note) where they have rented a bungalow.

► Deprived of foreign tourists, Japan for the Japanese

For fear of the pandemic, the Japanese are staying within their borders for a short vacation.

“It’s wonderful because there have been no foreign tourists in Japan for more than two years,” rejoices Kaori, 35, sitting in front of an iced coffee in central Tokyo. A little sorry, however, to be enthusiastic about this sad reality for foreigners who have been trampling in front of Japan’s still closed borders since the beginning of 2020, this financial analyst in a large Japanese bank explains that with her husband Yasuo, a university professor, she n / A “never traveled so much in his country”.

Until the appearance of Covid-19, Kaori and Yasuo, from the upper middle class, went abroad at least twice a year. “For the ‘golden holiday’ week at the beginning of May, we would go one year to a country in Europe, then to the United States the following year”, she says. In Japan, holidays are rare, or at least they are not as long as in France. No question of starting from three or four weeks of affiliation: generally, the Japanese take a full week and several long weekends in the year. What condition a certain type of tourism: thus, Kaori and Yasuo left for Asia for the long extended weekends.

“With the epidemic and the contaminations in Europe and the United States, we of course stopped going there”, explains Yasuo, her husband has come to join her at the cafe. Even when the infection numbers started showing up last year, the couple did not pick up their old stride. “We could have gone there, but the procedures for returning to Japan were too restrictive,” explains Yasuo. You had to do tests and quarantine for two weeks. “If your company does not accept teleworking, and there are many of them, you could not travel. »

Also, for more than a year, they have multiplied trips to the four parts of the country. “Which we probably wouldn’t have done in normal times. » For example, they spent the “golden week” of May on the tropical beaches of Okinawa, in southern Japan. Another long weekend in Kyoto, void of tourists. And recently, a small weekend in the freshness of Hokkaido and its melon fields, in the north… At the beginning of August, the Japanese National Tourist Office has just launched an advertising campaign to promote the … “wonders that foreigners love in Japan”.

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Tourism takes over

international tourism experienced a strong rebound during the first five months of 2022, with nearly 250 million international arrivals, according to the latest world tourism barometer. By the end of May, the sector had recovered almost half (46%) of its 2019 level, before the pandemic.

Europe and the Americas record the best tourism results in 2022, but overall arrivals remain 36% and 40% below 2019 levels in Europe and the United States.

The war in Ukrainerising inflation and interest rates remain a threat to the recovery.

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