Holiday Bookings Enjoy Seasonal Boost
Sustained hot weather provided a boost for the country’s holiday businesses, as holidaymakers lapped up the good weather with a seemingly unquenchable thirst for last minute domestic breaks.
Hoseasons reported a sharp rise in bookings boosted by the beautiful weather, recording an 11 per cent increase in bookings for the school summer holidays compared to last year’s figures, with a reported rise also in last minute holidays as people decided to make the most of the sunshine.
“These figures clearly demonstrate the continued appeal of the domestic holiday among UK consumers,” said Simon Altham, managing director of Hoseasons. “The convenience and ease of just being able to pack up the car and go and grab a late deal seems to be an ever more attractive trend amongst Brits.”
Temperatures for July and August were above average across the UK, reaching a scorching 32.3 °C in Kent in mid-July.
Simon continues: “The warm sunshine obviously helps when it comes to the ‘book and go’ culture, but the weather was good last year so it’s not the only factor. We firmly believe that continued innovation in the quality and range of accommodation styles available is also playing its part alongside the growing investment in major UK tourist attractions which combined are making the UK a convenient and hassle-free choice for many Brits this year.”
Bookings across Butlins resorts have also been up this season, and the company has been operating at nearly 100 per cent occupancy through the summer period. Butlins spokesperson James Silverstone commented: “We always see an increase in demand during good weather and this year has been no different. However, all our resorts are geared up for all seasons, so even if it does rain we can still accommodate our guests without spoiling any fun!”
As record numbers of British holidaymakers chose to stay at home for their summer break this year, coastal locations such as Cornwall, Blackpool and Brighton were especially popular, as well as city breaks in London, Edinburgh and York.
Beverley Holidays and Whitehill Country Park, two sister holiday parks in Paignton saw a rush in bookings as visitors flocked to the English Riviera to revel in the heat wave. Numbers were up at both parks by more than 10 per cent compared to the previous year, and the parks were also benefitting from the news that the area is fast becoming the top seaside destination in the UK.
Claire Jeavons, head of marketing for Beverley Holidays and Whitehill Park, is thrilled with how the businesses are performing: “How customers choose and book their holidays has changed dramatically over the years. We have invested heavily in digital marketing with online channels such as social media campaigns and e-blasts, and this has really paid off.”
Claire added: “The recent hot weather looks set to stay and our outdoor and indoor pools are proving very popular among those looking to bask in the Great British sunshine, with plenty more visitors expected.”
Further good news for the industry is that tourism spend is up by 6 per cent on last year, according to the latest research by VisitEngland.