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While the impact of the volcanic ash cloud on consumer travel plans has ostensibly slowed in recent weeks, it seems there may still be grey skies ahead for outbound tourism. Latest research from Mintel reveals that ash cloud disruptions could put off as many as one in five Brits from flying – and already 2.8 million of us have decided not to fly as a direct result of the ash cloud.

Following increased consumer confidence in holidaying at home, 2010 could prove another lucrative year for the domestic tourism industry as experiencing the world cup, the threat of air strikes, coupled with the volcano impact entice holidaymakers to forgo overseas travel. While 10 million consumers say they will not change their travel plans as a result of the volcano, it seems its impact has certainly clouded travellers’ intentions. Indeed, as a direct consequence of the volcanic ash cloud, some 2.8 million Brits have decided not to fly at all and as many as 4.7 million are undecided. Added to the 2.4 million Brits who had already decided that they are staying at home it seems whatever the weather, there’s a sunny outlook for domestic tourism.

Tom Rees, Senior Travel Analyst at Mintel, said:

“Last year saw more consumers decide to holiday at home than go overseas as the economic climate influenced consumer spending. In a ‘normal’ year, we could perhaps predict that the balance would shift back to foreign holidays as the country emerges from recession, consumer confidence picks up and pent-up demand for overseas – and far-flung – travel is released. However, 2010 is turning into anything but a ‘normal’ year for travel. The Eyjafjallaj