The politicians may not be sure whether we should book holidays or not but new research from Mintel suggests that the value of the UK summer domestic holiday market will reach a 10 year high this summer as holidaymakers are expected to spend an estimated £7.1billion holidaying at home which is an increase of 22% this year compared to 2019 when Brits spent £5.8 billion**.
Although the total value of domestic holidays taken by Brits during the whole of 2021 (£12.9 billion) is forecast to be 11% short of pre-COVID-19 levels (£14.5 billion in 2019**), Mintel expects the domestic market to fully recover by 2022, when it will reach an estimated £15 billion.
The vast majority (83%) of UK travellers would like to return to their typical holiday behaviour once the threat of COVID-19 has fully subsided; agreement peaks among the over-65s (91%). Meanwhile, the vaccine programme looks likely to have helped increase booking confidence, as 22% of UK adults were planning to book a holiday in the three months following December 2020, up from 18% one month earlier (November 2020).
Marloes De Vries, Associate Director, Travel at Mintel said, “Demand for staycations during the summer period is expected to exceed pre-COVID-19 levels and could well reach a new 10-year record due to pent-up demand following disrupted travel plans. The UK holiday market will continue to benefit from cautious and price-sensitive consumers who will opt to stay closer to home. The introduction of quarantine hotels and compulsory testing for all arrivals adds another layer of uncertainty in what would normally be an important booking period. As a result, more travellers will choose to book a staycation.
“Despite the uncertainties around travelling, underlying demand for holidays remains strong and brands can expect a surge in bookings once travel restrictions are lifted. We have already seen the impact of the vaccination programme on booking intentions, as our research highlights an increase in confidence in booking holidays between November and December 2020. Furthermore, there has been a marked increase in booking intentions among the over 65s – a population that is growing in number, financially confident and will be among the first to have been vaccinated. The fourth quarter of 2021 has potential to exceed pre-COVID-19 levels too, provided the virus can be kept under control.”
He continued, “Our research reveals a growing interest in visiting rural areas in the UK and while city breaks remain the most popular domestic holiday, the desire to escape the crowds has dampened interest in these types of holidays. Interest in cultural/historical sightseeing holidays within the UK is growing too, up from 14% in 2019 to 21% in 2020. Limited options to travel overseas is likely to have helped boost Brits’ desire to explore sights closer to home or to discover what’s on their own doorstep. These areas of growth provide opportunities for travel companies to combine nature-based holidays with culture, for example, by developing and/or promoting walking and cycling trails or self-drive routes.”