Belfast Telegraph

Rise 'in breaks with relatives'

More and more Irish people are staying with family and friends rather than checking into a hotel, a new report shows.

Latest figures suggest austerity is forcing us to take a trip down memory lane, with more frugal holidays at aunt's and uncle's or with old pals living down the country.

There was a big drop in the number of people staying overnight at hotels, holiday homes and even camp sites last year. However, there was a significant rise in breaks at the homes of friends and relatives.

The numbers of Irish people staying at hotels around the country plunged almost a quarter of a million between 2010 and last year, down to 2.8 million.

There was also a dip in the amount of people booking into caravan and camping sites, staying at their own holiday homes or taking a self-catering stay-cation. But during the same period, the number of people staying with friends or relatives surged more than 400,000 - up to more than 2.4 million last year.

Guest houses and B&Bs - which are often perceived as cheaper than hotels - also saw an increase in business.

The Household Travel Survey, by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), also shows more of us are using public transport rather than private cars when we head off on a break. However, numbers taking short-haul flights within Ireland has more than halved, down from 52,000 flights in 2011 to 23,000 last year.

Several routes were axed in recent years after Government grants were withdrawn.

The study shows overall spending on trips at home was down from 1.56 billion euro three years ago to 1.34 billion euro last year. There was also a dip in numbers travelling overseas last year.

Around 6.6 million trips were made out of Ireland during 2012 - down from 6.9 million in 2010. Almost nine out of ten were to European countries.

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