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16th Jun, 2021

Billion-pound boom: UK staycationers set to boost local economies

Worcester Editorial 13th May, 2021

A sunny summer is forecast for the UK’s tourist hot spots as new Barclays research reveals that millions of Brits are planning ‘staycations’ in 2021. 

The news comes as people are being encouraged to get to ‘Know Your Nation’ and explore the British Isles, with the bank finding that the average UK resident has visited more places abroad than domestically.

As England’s accommodation and indoor hospitality sector prepares to reopen on 17th May, the total spend on domestic holidays this year is anticipated to reach £31 billion with 23 million Brits planning at least one staycation.

Billion-pound windfalls will be enjoyed by the ten most popular holiday destinations, with top-ranked Cornwall set to welcome £1.7 billion worth of staycation business. But it’s likely hotels, B&Bs and tourism economies right across the country including here in Worcestershire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands will also feel the benefit.

Table: Top ten UK holiday destinations 2021

Destination 2021 staycation windfall

Cornwall £1.693 billion

Lake District £1.635 billion

Devon £1.534 billion

Yorkshire £1.462 billion

London £1.366 billion

North Wales £1.346 billion

Scottish Highlands £1.135 billion

Dorset £1.116 billion

South Wales £1.039 billion

Cotswolds £981 million

The pandemic has encouraged people to support the local economy, and half of British holidaymakers (48 per cent) are planning trips that will allow them to explore areas in the UK with lots of small independent businesses. Restaurants are also central to people’s holiday hopes, with access to a top dining spot considered to be ‘really important’ by over half of Brits (54 per cent) when on holiday.

Better together

The impact of the pandemic is also shown in people’s holiday preferences. After so much of the past year being spent in lockdown and apart from loved ones, being together is set to be a common theme of this year’s holiday season, with three in five Brits (58%) expecting a resurgence in family holidays.

And with pets considered very much a part of the family, 5.8 million dog owners and 1.4 million cat owners are planning to take their furry friends on holiday with them.

Over half of 18–34-year-olds (55 per cent) are looking for a luxury break as an antidote to the stress of lockdown life, compared to just one quarter of those over 55 (26 per cent). That said, 45 per cent of 18–34-year-olds are looking to try sea kayaking or surfing this summer, suggesting appetite for activities remains high after weeks and months spent indoors.

Hannah Bernard, Head of Business Banking at Barclays, said:

“We’ve been supporting thousands of hospitality and tourism businesses throughout the pandemic, signposting them to grants, helping them with marketing their services even when the shutters have been down, and providing millions of pounds worth of funds through the Government lending schemes.

“We’ve seen many small businesses adapting their premises to get ready to meet the needs of holidaymakers this summer. The investments that they have made will hopefully be rewarded as millions of Brits support the nation’s hotels, restaurants and shops, providing local economies with a welcome boost.”

Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism, said:

“When it comes to location for a Great British staycation, Cornwall has always been top of the list for UK holidaymakers and this summer will be another busy one for hotels, B&Bs, pubs and restaurants in Cornwall and many other parts of the UK.

“I know local businesses are eagerly preparing to reopen again and looking forward to making the most of the peak season to bounce back from the pandemic. Many hospitality and tourism businesses are grateful to Barclays for stepping in to provide much-needed support during this unprecedented time for the sector.

“‘Know Your Nation’ will help staycationers discover the many delights that the British Isles have the offer and further enable the recovery of hospitality and tourism.”

The pretty Cotswolds


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