UK hotel bookings for August are up 46% – despite ministers' warning

Britons ARE banking on a staycation THIS summer: UK hotel and self-catering bookings for August are up 46% on last year – despite ministers warning families NOT to book

  • Families have doubled their share of hotel bookings across the UK this year 
  • Average length of stay is up by 56% and average cost is up by whopping 81% 
  • Comes despite Boris Johnson’s warning to Brits to hold off booking holidays 
  • ***Have YOU booked a staycation this year? Email [email protected] or [email protected]*** 

Britons have caused the UK’s summer staycation market to soar by almost 50 per cent despite Boris Johnson’s warning to hold off from booking holidays. 

Hotel and self-catering bookings for August this year are 46 per cent higher than last year. 

Avvio, a company which provides technology to over 500 hotels around the world and operates a hotel-booking service, has revealed that families have doubled their share of UK hotel bookings so far this year. 

The average length of family stays has increased by 56 per cent and the average cost of bookings has gone up by a whopping 81 per cent. 

Avvio, a company which provides technology to over 500 hotels around the world and operates a hotel-booking service, has revealed that families have doubled their share of UK hotel bookings so far this year. Pictured: Crieff Hydro Resort 

The average length of family stays has increased by 56 per cent and the average cost of bookings has gone up by a whopping 81 per cent. Pictured: The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne

It comes after Center Parcs, Haven and Butlins all hiked their prices for Easter as they plan to reopen in March despite concerns that the national lockdown will still be in place.

But Britons desperate for some respite from the coronavirus crisis are looking closer to home as fears mount over the future of foreign holidays this summer. 

And hotels across the country have started to reap the rewards of the increasing number of Brits looking to take a break while staying close to home.  

For a five-night stay in August The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne is charging £1,570 for two adults in a double room with dinner and breakfast included. 

Britons desperate for some respite from the coronavirus crisis are looking closer to home as fears mount over the future of foreign holidays this summer. Pictured: Roe Park Resort in Limavady

To book a similar five-night stay at the Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland will cost £1,150 as the only rooms left are suites with a lake view. 

Taking a trip to the Crieff Hydro hotel in Crieff is cheaper at £697 for a similar five-night stay in a ‘cosy’ double room. 

For a stay in a deluxe room with breakfast included at Tylney Hall in Hook, holiday-goers will have to fork out £825.

And to have a similar break at Roe Park Resort in Limavady will cost £895.50.  

Holiday operators regularly hike prices for Easter to make the most of high demand, but this year it seems extremely high compared to a few weeks before.

And hotels across the country have started to reap the rewards of the increasing number of Brits looking to take a break while staying close to home. Pictured: Tylney Hall in Hook 

At Butlins Bognor Regis in Somerset for example, a Gold Apartment for four people is on offer for a week from March 19 for £318, but £1,353 from April 2 – an increase of £1,035 or 325 per cent.

The same room is available for a week from July 12 for £1,048 – rising to £1,701 from July 26, after the summer holidays start, an increase of £653 or 62 per cent.

Butlins is currently offering summer holidays for ‘£270 per break’. At the same point last year, an archived version of its website shows it was offering summer summer holidays ‘from £235 per break’. This means its minimum price is up £35 or 15 per cent at the same point this year.

Meanwhile at Center Parcs in Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire, a two-bed Woodland Lodge for seven nights from March 19 for £978, while from April 2 it is £2,498 – a rise of £1,520 or 155 per cent.

To book a five-night stay at the Lough Erne Resort (pictured) in Northern Ireland will cost £1,150 as the only rooms left are suites with a lake view

The same accommodation at the site for seven nights this summer is £1,608 from July 12 or £2,178 from July 26 – an increase of £570 or 35 per cent.

As for Haven, a standard caravan for seven nights at its Riviere Sands resort in Cornwall is on sale from March 19 for £186 or from April 2 for £502 – a rise of £316 or 170 per cent.

Looking ahead to summer, the same property for the same time length is £623 from July 12 or £1,218 from July 26 – a difference of £595 or 96 per cent.

There are also fears prices could rise further if the VAT cut for hospitality and staycation accommodation from 20 to 5 per cent ends as planned on March 31.

Even Boris Johnson’s holiday cottage is fully booked until October! 

The property where Boris Johnson stayed last August during his summer staycation has only one week left to book until October – and that is next month, when lockdown is still likely.

Old School House near Kinlochbervie in the Scottish Highlands is set in splendid isolation with beautiful views over the islands of Rona and Raasay.

Old School House near Kinlochbervie in the Highlands, where Boris Johnson stayed

It is available for £425 for a week from February 26, but then not again until October 15 when it will cost £635, and October 22 when it will be £939.

It can cost around £1,500 a week to rent in the summer and the nearest neighbours are half a mile away. The cottage is off a single track coast road and is around six miles from the village of Applecross which has a pub. 

As for Airbnb, a cottage in Portesham, Devon, is going for £737 for seven nights from March 20, but £889 from April 3 – a difference of £152 or 21 per cent.

A barn via the same website in Helston, Cornwall, is up for £973 for a week from March 20, or £1,068 from March 3 – a difference of £95 or 10 per cent.

Meanwhile a survey found most Britons have come to terms with not going abroad in the foreseeable future, with only 12 per cent planning to do so.

The figures haven’t moved much from summer and autumn last year. They peaked in July when 17 per cent of people planned to go abroad.

The polling by YouGov found younger people are still more likely to say they’re going on holiday abroad.  

Avvio’s Chief Commercial Officer, Michael De Jongh, told said: ‘Everyone is desperate for something to look forward to at the moment, so it makes complete sense that many people are splashing out on a UK holiday. 

‘So long as they ensure they can amend or cancel their booking easily, they won’t be left financially worse off if lockdown continues longer than anticipated.’  

He added: ‘There has been a surge in demand for the key booking dates available in June, July and August but also for the higher-level room types being snapped up by families as they look for more space and larger self-catering options. 

‘While families are certainly pushing demand right now we don’t expect there to be the kind of spike we saw last June and July for booking. Instead we expect a longer, gradual build-up to the peak booking period of August, when shorter lead times from couples and millennials will result in a further pick-up in bookings much closer to their stay dates.’ 

It comes as passengers arriving in England from high-risk coronavirus hotspots look set to be made to quarantine in hotels to limit the spread of new variants. 

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi warned that the country needs to be ‘very careful’ as new strains emerge, and said an announcement on the quarantine plans would be made later. 

Despite reports suggesting it could take up to three weeks to implement the policy – partly due to the logistical challenge of arranging accommodation for thousands of arrivals – the head of a major hotel chain said they could mobilise ‘within 24 to 48 hours’.  

Various options for quarantining arrivals are said to be on the table, but Whitehall sources suggested that ministers may opt for a more limited system after aviation leaders warned that introducing tougher border rules would be ‘catastrophic’ for the industry.

In a joint statement, the Airport Operators Association and Airlines UK insisted the country already has ‘some of the highest levels of restrictions in the world’ and that introducing tougher rules would be ‘catastrophic’.

Reports have suggested that arrivals in England would have to cover the price of quarantining in hotels for 10 days, potentially setting them back more than £1,000.

It is understood that the requirement to isolate in a hotel would apply to arrivals from most of southern Africa and South America, as well as Portugal.

However, Conservative former health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the proposals might need to go further than applying only to those arriving from countries where new variants of Covid-19 have been discovered.

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