With travellers hesitant towards international travel, demand for domestic holidays in the UK looks set to be unleashed. The roadmap for lockdown easing is progressing at speed and UK-based domestic operators are set to benefit, says data analytics company GlobalData.
Gus Gardner, Associate Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “After months of a long, miserable winter lockdown, many brits will be desperate to escape, and domestic staycations will once again rule this year.
“Domestic operators will be set for a bumper summer as domestic demand will return at a quicker rate than international demand. The latest forecasts by GlobalData show that domestic demand will continue to rise in 2021, with visitation only down 17 per cent on 2019 levels – compared to outbound travel, which is forecast to be down 47.7 per cent on 2019. The strong desire of Brits to travel closer to home, and the wealth of experiences on offer across the UK, will contribute to the strong rebound in domestic travel this year, benefitting the financial position of many tourism companies that have a presence in Britain.”
About 43 per cent of respondents consider a staycation
A GlobalData poll revealed that 43 per cent of respondents will consider taking a domestic trip in the next 12 months, higher than the 30 per cent who would not consider traveling at all.
As a result of consumer reluctance to travel internationally, some international operators and agents have trimmed or stopped selling capacity in the immediate term. On the Beach has extended its off-sale period from 30 June to the 31 August, citing that uncertainty is too high. Earlier this year, TUI also pulled some of its expected capacity, reducing its 2021 operations from 80 per cent to 75 per cent of 2019 levels, again due to high levels of uncertainty.
Gardner concluded: “With operators placing their bets on a summer of high domestic demand and international travel seeming uncertain for most this year, domestic vacations look set to drive tourism in Britain.”
Many Brits put off by cost of staycation holidays
However, new research from Direct Line Travel Insurance shows despite the predicted staycation summer, more than 17.6 million UK adults have not had a UK holiday in the past three years, with many put off by the cost. With sources reporting a 41 per cent increase in UK staycation accommodation prices compared to 2020 and a 23 per cent increase compared to 2019, Direct Line’s research shows more than two-fifths of Brits (41 per cent) did travel for a UK staycations last year - the equivalent of 36.9 million trips - compared with only 15.8 million visits to Europe and 10.5 million to the rest of the world.
The study also found one-third (33 per cent) of adults have not had a staycation, and it is in fact the older holidaymakers who are most likely to avoid holidaying in the UK. Around two-fifths (41 per cent) of over-55s have not had a home getaway in the past three years, compared with one-third (31 per cent) of 35 to 54-year-olds and one-quarter (25 per cent) of 18 to 34-year-olds. It’s not just a matter of the weather - one in four (25 per cent) say they always want to get out of the UK, while nearly four million (23 per cent) believe holidays in the UK are just too expensive. Just 3.1 million are put off by the temperamental British summer.
For those who still want to go on a domestic holiday in the UK this summer, new data from LV=General Insurance (LV=GI) highlights the importance of taking out travel insurance, even for holidays at home.