Breath-taking scenery, extraordinary history, thousands of miles of stunning coastline and gorgeous countryside – why wouldn’t Brits choose to take their holidays in the UK and avoid the cost and hassle of travel overseas? In fact, they are doing so in increasing numbers.
Less hassle at a lower cost
Darren Seward, hospitality and food and drink sector specialist at NFU Mutual, says:
“Uncertainties around the economy post- Brexit, and the effect on the pound have made it more expensive to travel abroad, boosting holidaying in the UK. But the popularity of staycations was already rising prior to this, thanks to the reduced hassle of travel and the familiarity of remaining in the UK.”
Taking advantage of the trend
This equates to a huge opportunity for hotels and other businesses in the British hospitality industry. So what exactly can hospitality businesses do to take advantage of this trend?
1. Think about who you’re targeting and tailor your offering. Factors such as life-stage and responsibility affect the decision:
- Older, more affluent holidaymakers: Keen to avoid stressful travel and busy airports – as well as steep travel insurance costs – affluent, older travellers often have more flexibility to travel off-season. So think about offering special discounts to fill your hotel during less busy periods. Coach trips are also popular, so consider arranging day trips to local attractions.
- Families with young children: Simply loading up the car may be more desirable than tackling busy airports for parents with young kids. Businesses can capitalise on this with playrooms, children’s garden areas and cinemas. Of course, hotels must balance the benefit of providing such services with the risk of deterring visitors without children, who may prefer an adult-only stay.
- Dog owners: Staycations are popular with people who want to bring their dogs on their family holiday. Recognising this trend, clued-up hotels are welcoming pets with open arms, providing canine friendly rooms and even luxury dog baskets, food, treats and toys for guests’ canine companions.
- Younger guests: younger consumers are probably the most likely age group to opt to holiday in the UK on the basis of cost. Try buy one, get one free deals, listing on discount websites, offering cheaper types of accommodation, such as glamping, or discounts targeted specifically at locals.
2. Promote local suppliers, experiences and events such as food and motoring festivals. After all, staycationers are often keen to absorb themselves in the local area and its customs and may like to see their hotel support local suppliers.
3. Take advantage of the popularity of last minute holiday deals. Staycations are often a spontaneous choice, appealing as they require less planning – no flights, passports, currency exchange or hire cars. In fact, our research showed that the ease of planning them at short notice was the biggest driver for choosing a staycation. So try offering last minute promotions, for example on weekend breaks when warm, sunny weather is forecast.
4. Make it easy to get there. Some holidaymakers stay in the UK to avoid the hassle of travelling abroad, so do what you can to keep their trip hassle-free. If you don’t have sufficient parking on-site, ensure you clearly signpost an alternative nearby. And consider offering a shuttle service to local railway or coach stations to help guests arriving by public transport.