Brits choose other UK holidays
The weather is helping the boom, with temperatures expected to soar towards 80F (27C) next weekend. Subsistence spending is expected to give Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget a summer economic boost. Graham Donoghue, managing director of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: ‘We have seen more Britons than ever making last minute summer holiday bookings, with bookings over the past two weeks up 22 per cent on at the same time last year.
“This is at least in part due to the many reports of overseas travel disruptions – travelers just don’t want to have to tackle airports and risk having their family holidays cancelled.
“A break in the UK also offers the opportunity to save a significant amount of money compared to what you would end up spending when going abroad. With increased pressure on household budgets, it is not no wonder more and more families are planning to vacation at home.
Rental company Finest Retreats saw an 88% increase in mid-term bookings made within seven days of arrival this year in 2021, while volumes at Landal GreenParks holiday villages rose 38% from compared to the previous fortnight.
Camping team Feather Down Farms said June bookings were up 75% from 2019, likely due to “awful images of airport queues and stories of cancellations from flights”.
Independent Cottages has seen an 80% increase in inquiries over the past 30 days via its ‘last minute’ page.
Sean Thompson, head of marketing at the restoration specialist, said: ‘It may suggest that people were waiting to see how things unfolded halfway through and then, when they saw the chaos, were quick to researched and booked destinations in the UK. We may be seeing a continuation of this trend… with more people looking to take the safest bet when booking a holiday.
Self-contained cottage bookings increased by 80%
A spokeswoman for the Coniston Hotel Country Estate and Spa in Skipton, North Yorks, said: ‘Up to 20 per cent of bookings made are for the next day or even the same day which could be due to travel disruptions In progress.”
The cost of living crisis has contributed to the holiday boom, with people preferring cheaper local getaways to more expensive overseas trips.
Matt Fox, chief executive of vacation rental company Snaptrip, said prices for summer breaks won’t stay low for long: “The initial surge in international bookings has caused demand for domestic travel to drop… prices while supply during the summer is still relatively strong.
He added: “As forecasted demand continues to increase and supply will decrease accordingly, we can expect this to be reflected in prices over the coming weeks.”
The most searched UK destination online is Blackpool, while Google searches for ‘UK holiday destinations’ and ‘UK holidays’ are up 23% yoy and 14% more than in May. Overall online demand is just 6% below levels in the summer of 2020 – when Britons were not allowed to holiday abroad due to pandemic restrictions.
A spokeswoman for family holiday park group Haulfryn said: ‘We expect to see demand continue to increase in the coming weeks.
Holiday parks are in high demand this year
“This will likely be an effect not just of travel disruptions, but also of school holidays, which always cause bookings to spike.” Robert Owen, marketing manager at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, said Britons realized there was so much to do in the UK.
He said: ‘It’s such a shame to see so many vacation plans ruined amid the chaos of the airport’, adding ‘it really shows how amazing vacations can be – you don’t have to worry canceled flights or long delays.
“While it may have taken a global pandemic for Brits to recognize the benefits of UK holidays, it’s great to see.”
Campervan rental company Camplify saw a record increase in demand, with one in nine booking requests made by new tenants. The most popular destinations on the platform are Wales, Cornwall and Scotland.
Last night forecasters said Britons can also expect a scorching summer with highs of at least 79F (26C) expected in parts of the UK by next Friday.
The Met Office said temperatures will hover around the June average of 68F (20C) in northern England while often feeling warm further south – with hot conditions in the south east for some time .
Motorhome rental companies set a record
Stays putting more cash in the coffers of UK businesses will be a welcome boost to the Covid-battered national economy.
Britain is set to experience the weakest economic growth in the developed world next year, according to a warning from officials at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Aviation industry bosses have called on the government to introduce an emergency visa to allow workers from the European Union to enter the UK to help ease the travel chaos.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said airline job cuts during the pandemic had been “too deep”, despite the government’s furlough scheme.
Several airports have launched recruitment campaigns to fill hundreds of vacancies. Flights were axed daily, sometimes just before takeoff, due to understaffing in various aviation roles.
Mr Shapps has rejected calls to open the door to ‘cheaper’ foreign workers to fill vacancies.
He said: “The answer cannot always be to pull the lever marked ‘more immigration’.”
Grant Shapps said airline jobs were ‘too deep’
Comment by Kalindi Juneja
I’ve been in the hotel business for 20 years, but I’ve never seen so many staycation bookings as last summer.
This year the demand has been constant and we are expecting another strong season.
We foresee a wave of people deciding that a British summer holiday might just be better than possible airport problems, with flights and long queues.
It’s great to see UK city center hotels enjoying increased demand; cultural options such as world-class museums, art galleries and theater productions, as well as great shopping, are a big draw for families and couples.
It’s clear to me that the pandemic has also reminded people of Britain’s beautiful landscapes and all that this country offers visitors.
All in all, staycations have boosted tourism in the UK and we very much hope that this trend will continue.
Cultural places such as galleries have seen their number of visitors increase
We particularly appreciate longer hotel stays, which give our colleagues the opportunity to learn about guest preferences and offer that little extra something. This gives our teams of experts a real buzz of professional pleasure.
Hoteliers are of course faced with the lack of staff and the management of rising costs, particularly related to energy.
The increase in demand and additional business is therefore an indispensable compensator to balance these costs.
Our varied properties bring a plethora of experiences to life.
We’ve got inspiring destinations, gorgeous gardens, stylish retreats and so many heritage escapes – as well as superb restaurants and, often, tantalizing spa options.
These historic properties offer grandeur, comfort and space, both inside and out.
It’s an upscale home-from-home experience, but with the comforts of experienced staff who know exactly what their guests are looking for.
• Kalinda Juneja is CEO of Pride of Britain Hotels
No Room to Breathe in Crowded Terminals by Steph Spyro
Holidaymakers hoping to get away yesterday said they were crammed into airport terminals with ‘no room to breathe’.
Passengers at Bristol Airport have described queues stretching outside the gates.
William Stone, who flew from Bristol to Menorca with Jet2, said there were “far too many people in the airport terminal”.
He added: “The number of people at the airport this morning was completely ridiculous. No room to breathe! Baggage drop was at the gate of the terminal.
Passenger Danny Harris called it “the worst experience ever”. Traveler Gary Cooper compared the airport to “like a zoo”. The airport, which launched a recruitment drive to fill 150 vacancies, apologized and said its service ‘failed’ yesterday.
Airports across Britain have issued apologies in recent weeks as they grapple with winding queues at check-in, baggage collection and security.
The main delays occur before 6am.
Airports have experienced long delays
Flight cancellations also contributed to the chaos, with easyJet scrapping another 72 flights yesterday. Most cancellations are to and from the airline’s main base, London Gatwick.
Britain’s biggest low-cost airline is currently canceling around 30 flights a day on average with a few days’ notice due to a shortage of staff. British Airways is canceling more than 100 European departures every day, but passengers are warned weeks in advance. Other airlines canceled flights just hours before takeoff.
All passengers whose flights are canceled are entitled to new flights on the day of the original departure if a seat is available, even if it is a competing company.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel said: “If a flight is cancelled, airlines should offer compensation where appropriate and the possibility of re-routing with a competing carrier, if necessary.
“The government and the Civil Aviation Authority must step in where airlines ignore their legal obligations.”