New research by The PC Agency reveals that a majority of British travellers believe UK staycations are more appealing than ever, as many consumers feel the pinch of the harsh economic climate.
While the majority of Brits are keen to take a holiday this summer at home or abroad (76%), only 25% have committed to an overseas trip, while 80% of those who’ve booked a staycation are confident they’ve made the best decision for avoiding the hassle and disruption they’d expect to experience if they flew overseas.
However, the fact that nearly three quarters of respondents (68%) say that UK staycations are just as appealing, if not even more so, than the most popular destinations such as Spain, Greece, France and Türkiye is the key finding.
Nearly a quarter (23%) have made a booking to holiday in the UK this summer, with a further 17% intending to do so.
The survey revealed that whilst confidence in travel has resumed to pre-pandemic levels, economic uncertainty has led to more hesitation than expected in bookings, as consumers continue to seek increasingly elusive bargains. Nearly 24% are not intending to go anywhere this summer, with two-thirds (65%) citing the cost-of-living crisis as the key reason their travel dreams are in meltdown.
The high number of people who got a pet during lockdown has also led to a shift in travel choices with concern over making arrangements for furry friends cited as the second biggest reason for not going away this year (13%).
Fears around COVID-19 have significantly dissipated, with just 7% of respondents saying they would not take a holiday because of concerns over hygiene, and only 2% expressed concerns over airport and airline safety and security.
The standout finding is that among those intending to holiday in the UK this summer, more than two-thirds (82%) say that it is important to support the domestic economy, with 82% also stating the UK’s top destinations are now more attractive than ever.
Paul Charles, consumer travel expert and CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency said: “It’s clear that even before the heatwave hit Europe this week, UK consumers were already struggling to navigate the impact of high inflation. Prices have risen sharply — both at home and abroad — across every part of the travel experience from flights and accommodation to car hire and the cost of your ice cream and sunscreen.
“The heatwave will end but the cost-of-living crisis and travel disruption will sadly hold sway on travel decisions for many months to come. But in the face of such immense financial stress, it’s both fascinating and cheering to see how the UK is now perceived as a truly great holiday destination in its own right. It’s a trend the UK hospitality industry should be proud of.”
“Staycations aren’t necessarily the cheaper option. Rather it’s about value; the change in perception since COVID-19 when we were forced to holiday on our own doorstep only to then realise just how wonderful the UK can be – as well as avoiding all the stress and delays when travelling abroad.”
The research was carried out for The PC Agency by market intelligence firms AudienceNet and Thrive, and was conducted among 1,017 UK adults between 3 and 5 July 2023, prior to the outbreak of wildfires in Europe.
For more information, please contact The PC Agency
Paul Charles / Callum McGoldrick
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Notes to editors:
Survey conducted by AudienceNet, 3-5 July 2023. Sample:1,017 respondents, statistically and demographically representative of the UK adult population (18 years +).