The trend towards staycations is posing an increased threat to foreign holidays, a new study claims.
Latest research from Microsoft highlights the greater popularity of lucrative domestic holidays – worth £14 billion a year – compared to leisure travel abroad.
The top overall destinations based on online searches in May were found to be Spain, Cornwall, Turkey, Wales, Scotland, Devon, Greece, Tenerife, Norfolk and Benidorm.
The most popular domestic holiday destinations were Scotland, Cornwall, Wales, Devon, Norfolk, Yorkshire, London, York, Lake District and Glasgow
It suggests that the growing domestic tourism market in the UK is posing increasing challenges to leisure travel abroad.
Growing issues including Brexit and ecotourism have also been linked to the future growth of UK domestic tourism.
The study found that 12% of consumers who booked a holiday abroad considered a domestic break in their online purchase journey.
Holidaymakers abroad are more price sensitive than domestic travellers despite UK holidays on average costing more than a package holiday abroad.
Domestic holidaymakers are driven by brand loyalty whereas holidaymakers abroad are driven by destination curiosity.
Staycationers have “distinguished” online purchase journeys depending on the type of domestic holiday they are pursuing, such as cottage retreat verses holiday parks verses standalone hotel chains.
Five out of the top ten holiday destinations amongst UK consumers are domestic, according to Mircosoft.
Domestic destinations by the sea and in the north of England showed the highest surge in popularity this year.
Analytical travel lead Sarah Essa said: “The staycation market shows healthy demand in 2019 and is already overshadowing the leisure travel abroad market as far as bookings are concerned.
“Popularity of domestic destinations combined with notable consideration of domestic holidays amongst holiday abroad consumers could unlock future growth for domestic tourism at the expense of leisure travel abroad.”
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