A new poll has found that 45 percent of French people are not travelling during their summer vacations this year. Most of those staying at home say they need to save money.
The survey, conducted by Obea-InfraForces for 20Minutes and France Info and released on Monday, illustrates that many middle class French people are still feeling the effects of the global economic crisis and are having to tighten their belts, according to Yves Bontoux, a tourism marketing expert at the Chambéry-Savoie School of Business.
"While many could afford to take off a few years ago, that's not the case anymore," he told 20Minutes, pointing to the 17 percent of French who said they travelled on vacation last year, but would stay at home this July and August.
Besides personal reasons, most people surveyed said the lack of financial means and the need to be stricter with the household budget were the main reasons for keeping close to home.
Even those who can afford to pack their suitcases are deciding on lower-cost holidays: 33 percent will stay with family members, 14 percent at camp grounds and 9 percent will visit friends.
According to Bontoux, the higher number of staycations this year is not a positive development.
"Staying at home doesn't allow people to get out of their daily routine and recharge their batteries," he said. "It can also have a belittling effect on people and give them a sense of being marginalized."
In addition, in order to get the most for their money, more French people this year are waiting to book their holidays, hoping to take advantage of last-minute deals.