Holidaymakers spend £532 each -  before leaving BritainPA


Even if we don't decide to take a stay cation, the UK economy still benefits around £22 billion from Brits taking holidays abroad, according to a new report.

British tourists spend an average of £532 each in the UK on products and services before they've even started their holiday, says travel association Abta.

This expenditure can be anything from clothes and accessories, to toiletries, sun tan lotion, cameras and costs at the travel agent.

According to the Press Association, a report from the Centre for Economics Research says nearly £1.8 billion is spent in UK duty free - before we've even stepped foot on the plane.

What's more, "outbound holidays" also contribute greatly to UK jobs, with 620,000 people - the equivalent of 2.6% of Brits in full time employment - accounted for in this sector.

Tax benefits are also huge with £6 billion being made from our holiday bookings from things like air passenger duty.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer told the Press Association: "For too long it has been assumed that by going abroad on holiday, money is being taken out of the UK economy. This report proves conclusively that the foreign holiday market makes a huge contribution to the UK economy and is an essential component of a healthy and dynamic UK economy.

"The Government must recognise and support outbound travel in its current and future policies and planning strategies to deliver growth to the wider economy."

Following the report, Thomas Cook's UK business chief executive, Ian Ailles, blasted the government for spending £5 million on a star-spangled TV campaign promoting holidays at home, suggesting the ads jeopardised foreign travel's contribution to the British economy.

According to the Guardian, speaking at the Abta travel conference, he said the economic contribution of outbound tourism matched that of the inbound sector, adding: "What we ask is that the government doesn't distort a functioning market with microeconomic meddling."

He also attacked what he called"stealth holiday tax" of the aforementioned air passenger duty - which rose by 8% last month - for "dampening demand", adding that "the tax only increases" despite assurances from the Government that it will support travel and tourism.

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