After an almost apocalyptic forecast for the hospitality sector earlier this year, the demand for staycations has skyrocketed to record levels which is fantastic news for hoteliers, but what do Britons really think? Have they returned to their 1950’s and 60’s roots of the British seaside holiday for good or will this ship sail when travel restrictions are lifted?
A recent study of 2,000 holidaymakers by Hop Software looked into the motives behind the staycation boom and found a multitude of reasons why, for many, it may be here to stay. Almost a third (31%) of respondents said that the ability to use their own transport made staycations attractive, with one in four enjoying shorter travelling times, and a further quarter citing that putting money back into their own country was a big positive to the staycation trend.
After over a year of being in lockdowns and separated from loved ones, being together is also a common theme of this year’s staycation season, with one in five respondents quoting that UK holidays make it easier to meet family and friends whilst away.
Commenting on the findings, Richard Drummond, hotelier and COO of Hop, said: “It’s hardly surprising that UK holidaymakers find the convenience of a staycation attractive, the ability to bring friends along and jump into your car instead of onto a long-haul flight is undoubtedly attractive. Plus, with the added bonuses of putting money back into our own economy and avoiding quarantine upon return, the Great British staycation is a win-win for many.”
He continued, “Hoteliers should take advantage of these findings, perhaps by citing easy travel routes and public transport on their marketing material and emphasising the importance of supporting local economies. There is a huge appetite for supporting independent businesses post-pandemic, so independent hoteliers could really capitalise on this.”
Despite these findings, the British public expressed some negative aspects of the staycation boom. These included concerns about congestion, availability and cost, with 39% worrying that prices would increase and one in four worrying about availability or having to book a trip far in advance to secure a booking.
Furthermore, over one third (37%) of UK residents are also concerned about rubbish being left in beauty spots and one in four are worried about damage to the countryside. This comes as rural campaigners warn that the continued closure of nightclubs and concert halls has led to some young people treating country parks and scenic spots as festival and clubbing venues, leaving behind mountains of rubbish and damage to the countryside.
“Hoteliers, like any other business owners, react to supply and demand. So, with unprecedented demand for a stay in the UK, availability and costs will inevitably shift,” Richard Drummond continued.
“Crafting and executing your hotel pricing strategy requires you to do more than establish rates for your rooms during particular seasons. The first priority of pricing should be forecasting. This way you can predict demand and encourage travellers to book early, then raise rates later if availability drops and demand increases. Of course, here in the UK, it pays to obsess over long-range weather forecasts too.”
“It’s also crucial that hoteliers encourage visitors to clean up after themselves, avoid disturbing wildlife, and respect the local surroundings when making a trip to one of your local beauty spots. It is not about stopping people enjoying themselves, it’s a plea for them to be responsible so that other guests can enjoy the beautiful countryside that Britain has to offer. Simple notices both at the hotel and on your social media channels will be received well by the public and showing allegiance with your environment never goes amiss, but steer clear of appearing forceful. Any notices should encourage visitors to be thoughtful, but not reprimand them.”
For more statistics like the above, download Hop Software’s latest report in full here.
Hop Software Scotland
Address: Summit House 4-5 Mitchell Street, Edinburgh EH6 7BD
Phone: +44 345 301 0034
Hop Software England
Address: 9 Venture Point Chester CH2 4NE
Phone: +44 345 301 0034