You would be forgiven for thinking that travellers would be set to resume their international holiday schedule now that travel restrictions have been relaxed and we are essentially to live with COVID-19.
Whilst some holidaymakers have taken no persuasion at all to dust off their passports and get their long or short-haul flights booked, there are still many who are taking a more cautious approach to where they’ll be spending their precious leisure time.
With Coronavirus still in our thoughts and a significant general concern about the situation in Ukraine, 2022 looks like it might just be the biggest year for staycations yet.
The continued – if not increased – popularity of staying closer to home is perhaps not too surprising when you consider a few facts, such as:
● Many Brits found their recent staycations to be so enjoyable that they vowed to give up, or at least reduce, their holidays abroad (in fact, a research study carried out last year by Opinion Matters on behalf of Hoseasons found that over 80% of those who took a staycation in 2021 planned to do the same again in 2022 and over 50% of those polled said future holidays would be a mix of UK and foreign destinations)
● The cost of living squeeze, currently being experiencing by most, is having a huge impact on disposable income, shrinking holiday budgets and making increasingly expensive flights more difficult to justify
● Spending your vacation on UK shores is still arguably the safest option for those who remain nervous about COVID or who fear further repercussions from Russia’s aggressive move on its Eastern European neighbour
● The collective consciousness which developed through the pandemic (when we had to place our trust in those closer to home to meet our needs throughout difficult times) has lead to a growing belief in supporting local, UK-based businesses
● The very real sense of nostalgia which holidaying in the UK evokes, not only allowing the population to relive childhood holiday experiences, but also allowing this latest generation of parents to treat their children to the beaches, campsites, day trips and fish and chip teas they remember so fondly
Whatever the reason, holidaying in the UK is not only a trend which is here to stay, it’s a phenomenon which is set to increase year-on-year and UK hospitality businesses must therefore be fully prepared to capitalise on the opportunity.
Most hotel operators know to brace and ready themselves for the significant uplift in demand during the school holiday periods, but the bough of that particular bookings wave is expected to be higher than ever. That means that there’s little room for error and ducks don’t simply need to be ‘in a row’, they’ve got to be lined up smarter than ever before. Lots of holidaymakers may be booking UK breaks, but they have plenty of choice and will expect a top-class experience for their hard-earned budget.
What’s more, the Staycation boom means that low peak won’t be quite as calm and quiet as it once was so there’s little time for rest and recovery after peak period check-outs. In fact, ‘sleighcations’ – a term penned for UK-based breaks in Winter months - are also on the rise, so low season could, quite possibly, be a thing of the past.
If the thought of permanently operating at somewhere close to capacity fills you with a mix of excitement and fear then you may be interested to know that help is at hand. Condor Hotels and Leisure Consultants are one of the UK’s leading Hotel and Hospitality Consultancy companies and they are perfectly poised to offer their support to existing hospitality businesses and those looking to invest in the sector and benefit from the Staycation boom.
Why not get in touch with our friendly and helpful team today to see how we can get you ship shape, ready to satisfy your guests, support your staff and optimise your revenue.