STAYCATION: A third of us will swap exotic destinations for home this summer due to cash shortage

Michael Lavery

THE recession is hitting Irish people's holiday plans.

More than 20pc have changed their holiday plans and blame worsening personal financial circumstances, according to a new survey.

The survey also found that 28pc of Irish people are taking their main holiday in Ireland this year, with 39pc going abroad -- down from 53pc two years ago.

Just 9pc said they would not be taking any vacation this year, down from 13pc in 2011, while 24pc will split their holiday between home and abroad.

But there was good news for the domestic tourism sector, especially for those renting holiday homes here, with 78pc saying better value is now available on Irish holidays with nearly two thirds saying there was better value for holiday home rental.

Angela Keegan, managing director of, said: "The survey shows that while a significant group are holidaying here rather than abroad due to financial pressures, 18pc are doing so to avail of the value on offer and 15pc to support the domestic economy, which is wonderful to see."

The weather was the main attraction for those going abroad (49pc), followed by a desire for a change of scene (23pc), and visits to family (13pc), and other (9pc).

Self-catering just pips hotels as the accommodation type of choice for Irish people, 36pc versus 35pc, while staying with family/friends and camping/mobile home are the other main categories.

The survey showed 24pc of people will be splitting their main holiday between Ireland and a foreign destination, up 4pc on last year.

"This may be due to people taking in the Euro Championships in Poland as well as a growing trend of people splitting their main holiday between a short break away and a break here in Ireland," the survey added.

Value for money continues to be the main consideration for Irish holiday-goers, with over 37pc saying its the key factor in deciding their holiday destination, whether here or abroad.

The other factors considered are location (21pc), the weather (16pc), the activities on offer (14pc) with 9pc seeking pure relaxation.

Price awareness is to the fore for those opting for a 'staycation', the survey says, with 22pc of this group saying they were holidaying here due to personal financial reasons; 18pc said it was to avail of the value for money offers available in Ireland and 15pc saying it was to support the local economy. Just 11pc said they wanted to visit family and friends.