Holidays: James Cleverly quizzed on UK tourism
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UK holidays are in for another summer of success as ongoing international restrictions have seen many Britons turn their attention away from foreign escapes and towards breaks closer to home. Demand is already reported to be “10 times higher than 2019” according to industry specialists Travel Counsellors.
With Prime Minister Boris Johnson due to announce his “roadmap” out of lockdown tomorrow, experts are now warning the demand could “go through the roof”.
“Occupancy levels last year hit a record 95 per cent and I think this year will be better,” said Sykes Holiday Cottages’ chief executive Graham Donoghue.
“If we get clarity from the Government tomorrow, demand will go through the roof.”
Much of this demand is also being linked to the vaccination roll-out in the UK.
Hope has been sparked by the prediction that by May, the majority of over 50-year-olds will have received at least one of their vaccines.
A Travel Counsellors spokesperson told MailOnline they believe most bookings have come from customers aged 55 and over, who are keen to get away once they have received their jab.
James Warner Smith, an expert from booking platform CoolCamping, told Express.co.uk he believes the latest quarantine restrictions enforced for international travellers could also play a huge role in spurring the demand for domestic tourism.
“Even though there are no announcements yet about exactly what things are going to be like this summer there’s certainly a lot of confidence,” he said.
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“Based off last year, there is confidence people will be able to go on holiday in some form, and right now with the news as it is regarding staying in hotels and coming back from going abroad and the general restrictions on travelling abroad I think it’s really going to be a busy summer.”
However, in some locations holidays have already sold out for the peak months.
This is particularly true for many “glamping” style holidays – particularly treehouses and holiday accommodation with hot tubs.
“We analysed the most popular camping trends on our site and, by measuring page views against overall availability, we have highlighted which camping holidays people need to book earliest for 2021,” said CoolCamping in its latest camping trends report.
“Coming out as the top trend campers need to book now if they want to secure a spot for summer is treehouse accommodation.
“Staying in a treehouse property is a unique and luxury option which makes you feel in the heart of nature, and the demand for this incredible option far outweighs the availability.
“Based on our analysis we anticipate there are around 1,624 customers interested to every one treehouse available.”
Glamping “pods” and “hot tub” offerings are also selling fast according to the firm.
In some parts of the country, holiday accommodation providers have even reported some customers attempting to “gazump” others in order to secure in-demand destinations.
“We’ve had people offering to pay the full balance straight away and £500 more in order to secure a property that’s already let,” Rowena Owen, co-founder of boutique self-catering agency Bloomstays told MailOnline.
This is why Britons are being advised to plan ahead.
Mr Warner told Express.co.uk: “The main thing is to get the date in the calendar really.
“If there’s a cancellation policy that offers a decent amount of flexibility, then I’d recommend people to try and book as early as possible for them because you know there’s a risk of things selling out for sure.”
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