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Brits cut back on overseas travel

Official figures based on the three months up to August 2011 show a slight decrease in expenditure and visits abroad by UK tourists.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published their latest report 'Overseas Travel and Tourism', revealing that British holidaymakers are not as keen on travelling overseas as they once were.

Data shows that in the three months up to August 2011, the number of trips abroad by UK residents fell by 4% compared with the previous three months.

Taking these figures in a year-on-year comparison (from August 2010 to August 2011); the total number of visits abroad by UK residents also decreased, but only by 1%.

In this sense, the data shows that holiday visits decreased by 2%; business visits decreased by 1% and visits to friends or relatives increased by 2%.

Regarding destinations, visits to Europe decreased 1% while visits to North America increased by 2%. Trips to other parts of the world also decreased by 3%.

Leaders in spending

On top of this, while earnings from visits to the UK rose 3%, British expenditure on visits abroad fell by 2% - despite the fact that Brits are leaders in holiday spending stakes.

The British foreign consumer spending leadership in these six countries is followed by France (€2.01bn) and the USA (€1.21bn). Additionally, figures reveal that visitors from Russia registered the largest year-on-year increase in spending, rising from €534m in 2010 (May to August) to €743m in 2011 - a 39.2% year on year rise.

These latest trends suggest Brits are restraining themselves from travelling and spending abroad though. This is certainly in contrast to the last few decades. The current UK economic crisis and the increasing cost of living are probably the main reasons for the slump.

However, there are numerous resources to help you save money when in a foreign country. Travel money cards are a good example. These are like prepaid cards that offer special conditions and deals when used overseas.