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Staycations reviving the British tourist industry back to its former glory

COVID-19 has had many negative implications for the tourist industry and these have been fairly frequently discussed. However, this summer has also revealed that the British tourist industry has received a significant boost from the pandemic as more and more Brits have chosen a stay-cation over flying off to foreign shores. As a result, the British tourist industry has seen a significant resurgence and has been, in part at least, returned to its former glory.

Choosing to stay at home this summer

Recent research identified a significant trend among Brits when it came to choosing a location for a summer holiday this year. Thanks to concerns related to COVID-19 a huge 83% would prefer to spend their holiday in the UK than to set off elsewhere. If you’ve tried to book accommodation in UK holiday destinations in the last month or so then you will have struggled, further signs yet that the stay-cation trend has been intense and has had a significant impact on the tourist industry overall.

The concerns of COVID-19

Alongside worries about the transmission of COVID-19 there have been other reasons related to the pandemic that have meant that Brits have chosen not to go abroad this summer. One of the major factors has been the quarantine effect. Many people simply can’t practically accommodate the kind of quarantine that might be required after a foreign stay and so this has put a lot of people off. On top of this the rules as to which countries are currently covered by quarantine requirements could potentially change quickly, as recently happened with respect to France and Spain. Other holidaymakers expressed concern about the quality of measures put in place to safeguard in other countries where transmission rates may be higher, as well as with respect to how well rules are likely to be followed in a holiday environment.

A permanent benefit for the British tourist industry?

It’s clear that the interest in the stay-cation has been generated by the concerns of COVID-19 and that’s why this year has seen such a boost. However, is this likely to be a permanent upward shift for the British tourist industry or will next year see a return to normal? Figures indicate that Brits might be rediscovering a love for their country as a result of the need to stay on home soil this summer. 71% of respondents to a recent survey indicated that they were planning to holiday in the UK once again in 2021, which means that this could be the start of an upward trend towards the stay-cation in the long term. Hotels and cottages have proven to be the most popular options for stay-cations this summer but campsites and eco lodge options have received a boost too.

As the summer of 2020 slowly got under way it was clear that there was much more interest in the stay-cation than we have seen in recent years. Encouragingly, this might be a development that persists for the long term and not just a temporary COVID-19 boost.

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