The rise of the British staycation: Is it here to stay?
The international travel industry has been severely disrupted by COVID-19, which has naturally led to a spike in interest in UK holidays. According to research by customer experience agency Brand Vista, there was a huge 500% increase in Google searches for the term ‘staycation’ in 2020. What’s more, ‘UK travel’ searches increased by a whopping 2500% year-on-year.
But will we continue to holiday at home even after overseas travel restrictions are lifted? The early signs are positive. Around 50% of UK holidaymakers are looking to stay closer to home in summer 2021, according to the Brand Vista survey.
Whether or not you’d class this as a ‘staycation’ is somewhat contentious - as some people consider the term to mean a holiday within your actual home – but it could certainly mean a boost for the UK hospitality and tourism industry nonetheless.
How domestic tourism can repower the UK economy
Following the devastating economic impact of the pandemic, there’s a collective sense of the need to pull together to support the UK’s economic health. In particular, its struggling hospitality and tourism sector.
So, when choosing a holiday destination, this could mean that more Brits choose to swerve the uncertainty and perceived ‘risk’ of overseas travel and put their money behind UK hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and bars instead.
Demand for more eco-friendly travel increases
One of the more positive impacts of an otherwise difficult lockdown period was the breathing space given to the natural world. Carbon production and air pollution dropped, as the streets and the world’s airspace became much quieter.
Some holidaymakers will still be conscious of this when planning future trips. They’ll recognise the environmental impact of international flights, and potentially choose more eco-friendly options instead. For example, train travel across the UK, which has a significantly smaller carbon footprint than flying overseas.
The only thing to keep an eye on with this is a potential rise in car journeys. Post-pandemic, some people may see public transport as too risky, which could mean more individual car trips to some of the UK’s far-flung holiday hotspots.
What about the cost?
For many people, UK holidays have one major drawback – the cost. As international package holidays became cheaper and cheaper, domestic breaks seemed to offer lower value for money in comparison.
As demand for staycations increases due to uncertainty over travelling abroad – and the UK tourism industry seeks to capitalise on this golden opportunity - this could potentially push prices up.
However, many holidaymakers have found a cost-saving solution. Interest in camping and glamping has rocketed recently, with bookings for UK campsites increasing by as much as 500% according to the latest research. Even some tent and outdoor equipment retailers are reporting stock shortages, as their goods sell out.
It’s easy to see why camping is so popular among UK holidaymakers. Camping offers the freedom to explore the UK’s best coastal and countryside scenery, and make the most of the summer sunshine.
But it’s also much cheaper than booking a hotel room.
It can even be as comfortable, if you embrace the popular glamping trend and invest in accessories to make the experience more comfortable.