The poll shows that nearly two thirds of consumers (65%) do not think the Government should spend money on trying to influence where people choose to holiday. A further 14% of consumers are undecided, with just over one in five (21%) supporting the Government spending money on this.
The research also found that female consumers, who previous research has shown tend to be the ones who decide on the destination for the family holiday, feel more strongly about the campaign with 71% opposing it compared to 59% of males.
Other findings suggest that the campaign may have limited influence over consumers. When it comes to looking for inspiration for their holiday destination, recommendations by family and friends and travel company websites and brochures are the most likely to inspire. Only 4% of people who go on holiday said that they would be inspired by government advertising.
The survey also revealed that British holidaymakers are more likely to look forward to a foreign break (42%) than a domestic one (16%) reinforcing Britain’s desire to ‘get away from it all’. Some 41% of respondents said that they look forward to both types of holiday equally.
The association's chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said: “2012 is a year for Britain to shine and there are some fantastic events and places to visit for people choosing to holiday in the UK. However, I don’t think the Government needs to spend £4m of our money telling us that we’re having the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics. It is clear that the majority of Brits are strongly opposed to the Government spending taxpayer money on telling them where to go on holiday.
"British holidaymakers should be free to make their own choices and enjoy the variety the world has to offer without Government interference. ABTA also believes it is wrong to assume that holidaying at home is better for the economy than holidaying abroad. Foreign travel creates a huge amount of jobs and taxes in the UK as well as giving an incredible boost to the High Street. This is a misguided use of public funds at a time when so many other areas of the economy are in urgent need of support.”