The staycations surge: How holidaying in the UK is in

We all knew 2021 was going to be the year that breathed fresh life into the UK travel sector, but nobody could have suspected just how much.

Back in May, we were all speculating over how the UK holiday season would pan out. Some speculated that there would be more people at home, instead of going abroad. Others maintained that the UK outbound tourism sector was going strong.

Today, we are looking at what we know so far, given that we still have August and September left in the season.

The 2021 holiday predictions

At the start of the year, Go Compare, the insurance comparison website, conducted a survey that found 13% of Britons said they were planning on travelling abroad. Their report found that two thirds of the UK were planning a staycation instead, and that 25% planned to use a B&B, 21% planned self-catering accommodation, and that one in ten would go camping.

Now that we are a few months into the holiday season in the UK, let’s compare those statistics with what’s happening so far.

We turned to SnapTrip for the answers. They have been documenting the growth in the UK staycation market as the year progresses, and they have found a fair few surprises that have shocked us all.

For example, visits to Wiltshire are up 343% on last year, with Shropshire experiencing 211% of their normal bookings. The top locations people are booking are in Cornwall, the Scottish Highlands, and in Devon. The lake District and the Yorkshire Dales are also mentioned as big booking locations.

Why the interest?

But why this huge surge in popularity? Admittedly, the Staycation was spurred on by our inability to travel abroad, but it’s more than that. Staycation searches were already up in popularity on Google trends back before all of this. It could be that the combined beauty of the weather during that first lockdown, and our desire to go beyond our five mile limitations, has driven a want to explore.

There’s also the media contribution to consider. When it emerged in 2020 that many of us wouldn’t get to Spain for the summer, articles like this one, about UK Weekend Getaways, started popping up all over the internet. UK holiday companies started advertising like crazy, all with the aim of attracting that huge market that was going without.

The future of the staycation

But what lies in store for the British staycation beyond 2021? Is it a one year event or is this new trend here to stay? All we can do is predict a further rise in bookings to come in the next two or three months and cite the creation of nostalgic memories this year as a good reason to return next year.

At the moment, the future of the staycation looks bright. It simultaneously prevents our holidays being lost and encourages new growth in the UK tourism industry. Without the staycation, many of us would have missed out on a 2021 holiday entirely. It cuts down on air miles and encourages our kids to get out and explore. You can’t get much better than that – even if you do go abroad.

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