Staycations up by a quarter this summer, Sojern claims

The number of UK travellers opting to take domestic holidays this summer is up by as much as quarter over last year, new research reveals.

The unfavourable exchange rate and unpredictable political landscape have attributed to the rise in staycations, according to travel marketing firm Sojern.

A 23.8% rise in British holidaymakers planning UK stays for summer 2017 was identified based on searches and bookings made between October 2016 and January 2017 to depart from June to August this year.

UK trips are getting shorter too, as the data indicated that more than half of domestic holidaymakers are planning a break of three days or less – up 8.8% from last year.

A notable decline of 5.2% was found in the number of UK travellers planning a staycation of 12 days or more, however this group still accounts for 16.6% of the total.

The top five UK destination cities this summer are London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Glasgow and Manchester.

Although staycation bookings are up, Spain remains the top summer destination for UK holidaymakers, followed by with Italy, Greece and Portugal.

France dropped out of the top five this year despite being the third most popular destination for Britons in 2016.

Sojern senior sales director, Spencer Davies, said: “From analysing over 350 million traveller profiles and billions of traveller intent signals we can see an early trend towards staycations this summer for UK travellers.

“We already see almost a 25% year-over-year increase in early planners opting for staycations in the UK this summer.

“Over half of these travellers are planning shorter trips less than three days – a trend which we have seen increase by almost 10% since last year.

“For some consumers I imagine the decision to plan a staycation in the UK this summer is closely tied to the unfavourable exchange rate.

“With sterling plummeting 13% against the US dollar and dropping 9% against the euro since the EU referendum vote last June, we are seeing a notable uplift in UK tourists opting to holiday at home.

“Cultural familiarity, geographical distance and ease of access also make the UK an attractive destination for people looking for a spontaneous short weekend trip – another increasing trend this summer.”

The weakness in the pound has also led to a surge in inbound tourism to the UK.

On the day of the Brexit results almost a year ago, the most notable spike in travel intent to the UK was from the US with a week-on-week increase of 145%.

This is likely due to the sharp decline in the value of the  pound against the US dollar.

Global inbound travel intent to the UK also saw an immediate increase of 33% on the day the results were announced, with London alone seeing a 46% increase.

These trends indicate an opportunistic reaction from travellers taking advantage of the sharp decline in the value of the pound, according to Sojern.

Meanwhile, travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance USA has received 70 claims from US travellers wanting to cancel their trips to London in the wake of the Westminster Bridge and London Bridge terror attacks.

Prior to the Manchester attack, Allianz released its’ annual review of summer travel intent which found an increase in Americans planning to travel to London between Memorial Day (May 29) to Labor Day (September 4), which is an almost 37% increase from last year.

A spokesman said: “Despite continued terrorist activity in Europe and corresponding US State Department travel warnings, Americans won’t be deterred in their desire to visit iconic European destinations like London and Paris.”

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