Holiday Home Staycation a Tale of a Booming Industry
Millions of British holiday makers are abandoning plans for foreign travel and embarking on "staycations", figures show, as economists predict the trend will provide a major boost to the UK economy. Tourism boards across the UK are reporting record-breaking numbers of bookings and inquiries over the past few weeks, suggesting workers will pump billions of pounds back into the UK instead of spending their cash abroad.
Visit East Anglia said inquiries and bookings were up by around 25pc in popular resorts such as Norfolk in recent weeks, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire also reporting a sharp increase in interest.
In recent months families' plans for trips abroad are being thwarted by an amalgamation of factors which travel experts say are causing record numbers to shun the traditional "week in the sun" for a holiday on home soil.
European holidays have escalated in price as the spending power of holiday money has been savaged by the falling value of the pound, which has dropped 10pc against the euro since Britain voted to leave the EU on June 23 2016.
Another major concern is the threat of terror attacks in once-popular destinations such as Egypt, Turkey and France, as families fear for their safety. And early in January2017 holidaymakers were further spooked when around 140,000 people's pre-booked trips were thrown into chaos when travel website Lowcostholidays filed for administration. Customers were informed they would lose virtually the entire cost of their holidays, as the firm was not ATOL protected and had accepted their payments but failed to secure their hotel, transfer and flight bookings.
Patricia Yates, Director at Visit England, said: “Britain looks particularly good value at the moment because of the value of the pound. Beach and countryside holidays are growing in popularity and are helped by the rise of glamping and AirBnB.
"Once popular destinations such as Egypt and Turkey now look much less safe than they did in the past so there is already a shift away from those areas. As the market in general is expected to strengthen as parks open again in time for the better weather to hopefully make an appearance this year.
A staggering one in six people in the UK have never holidayed at home, according to research by Laterooms.com.
But a turbulent 2016 has turned many Britons around to the idea of a staycation.
Two thirds of us are planning a holiday in the UK next year compared to 50 per cent who will take a break abroad.
5.1million Brits have planned an overnight holiday trip in the UK, and a significant proportion of them will head to a holiday or touring park according to VisitEngland’s Bank Holiday Trip Tracker. The holiday period was particularly busy for the UK parks industry, which has been reporting healthy occupancy levels throughout the summer. Parkdean Resorts, for example, said holiday sales were 9% ahead of 2015, with The Caravan Club also reporting increased bookings at its touring sites.
Tour a certain area and take in the top sights from across a wide range of cities and countryside hotspots. Whether you'd like to explore the bustling city of London and its surrounding areas or the rolling Yorkshire Dales, there are plenty of staycation breaks on offer for you to consider. Be sure to create a scrapbook of your memories when you get back - and then plan your next staycation!
Why Brits are choosing staycation?
7.3 million - The number of people holidaying in England in the first quarter of 2016 - a 10% rise compared to the same period in 2015, according to Visit England.
£245 - Rise in the cost of a holiday for the average family of four, one month on form the Brexit vote, according to TravelSupermarket, due to the fall in the value of the pound
28% - Fall in the number of tourists visiting Turkey from in the year to April 2016
35% - The year-on-year rise in travel firms breaching their terms and conditions, according to Citizens Advice. Examples include providing substandard accommodation, booking customers onto flights that don't exist or swapping people’s holidays without offering them a chance to cancel.
Industry Overview of 2016
2016 has come to a close and it’s certainly been a year to remember! It started with a mild winter, but a disappointing spring coincided with an early Easter, which slowed demand at the same time. Summer featured a rather indifferent start, but fortunately it quickly gave way to warm and dry conditions which continued throughout September and into October. So the good old British weather did come up trumps for the industry in the end, encouraging sales of new and used units nationwide. However, what really dominated the headlines of 2016 was the Brexit result on the 23rd June.
The Brexit result took many by surprise and inevitably created much uncertainty for our country. However there didn’t appear to be much initial negative impact on the market and according to feedback from dealers and manufacturers during the last quarter, this continues to be the case with positivity continuing unabated. Many dealers felt that the NEC show was going to be a good indicator for the 2017 season and feedback was indeed positive overall with some feeling that Brexit could be a benefit to the UK market as it could encourage more people to holiday in the UK and consider entering the leisure industry. Recent world activity continues to be thought to have played a part this year, too, by encouraging a growing number to holiday in the UK. Indeed, a number of dealers have seen an increase in newcomers to the market this year. Also, an increased number of people are choosing caravanning over camping due to the unsettled nature of our weather.
overall, sales have appeared to be steady for the year. New sales appear to have been very strong, with some dealers reporting they have invested in new stock more than ever. It seems the used market has not quite hit the same heights though. Some dealers have reported extreme fluctuations month on month with used sales, but generally speaking are pleased overall. Similar to other caravan areas of the Leisure industry, there is a major stock shortage of good and clean condition used units. This has caused hardship over the last few years and particularly in 2016 but times appear to be changing. Though used stock will continue to be hard to source next year, there seems to be a steady stream of 2012 units becoming available, which will hopefully boost the used sector for 2017. Not only are these homes not particularly old but most will carry the much sought after double glazing and central heating specifications. The vast majority of consumers see that spec as an absolute necessity and due to this the older, around 10 year plus aged units, are fading in popularity the majority of these are non-spec too, so it is no surprise. 2016 has seen the BS3632 standard unit’s sales become much stronger. What with the used stock shortage and the huge desire for consumers to have double glazing and central heating in their holiday homes, purchasing a BS3632 models goes hand in hand. Perhaps 2017 could be the year it really takes off for them? Separate lounges and two bed units have also been popular this year, with feedback from park operators saying the £30-45k price bracket has been vibrant which suggests consumers do have the money to hand.
A key element to this year’s good fortunes has been the weather. The year has been dry and the summer hot, which enticed a lot more people to holiday in the UK and subsequently purchase a holiday home. This could be essential for 2017 to also enjoy a positive year with the consumer mind-set becoming much more confident in the British summertime and annual weather overall. Another huge factor that could result in more investment into the industry is the sad risk of terrorism in formerly popular holiday destinations. “British parks have invested heavily in improving their offering,” Director General of the NCC John Lally explains: ”Better on site facilities, more exciting entertainment, higher quality accommodation all mean that the UK caravan industry has an opportunity to deliver exactly what the British holiday maker wants enormous choice, excellent value - particularly with a weaker Pound - and at home. While caravanning is ideal for frequent short breaks, it also allows costs to be controlled, which is a frequent concern.” According to Visit England research, camping and caravanning holidays offer a lower than average overall cost (£162 vs £247) and also low spend per day (£39 vs £73).