New research from Barclays bank showed hospitality businesses offering accommodation and/or food increased sales by 8.3% last year, credited to an increase in the number of staycations.
While Brits, however, spent 14% less on their UK holidays this year compared with 2016, the shortfall was plugged by an increase in the number of foreign tourists, the data showed.
The average spend on a staycation dropped 14% from £613 per holiday last year to £530 this year, with most respondents claiming to have less money than a year ago.
Couldn’t afford to send more
One in 10 said they couldn’t afford to spend more on their staycations because the cost of living had increased. A further 10% said they would cut back on all holidays to save money in the future.
Popular reasons to staycate:
- 42% - like exploring the UK
- 31% - so many fun things to do in the UK
- 24% - staying local is important
- 20% - keep costs down
- 6% - prefer British weather
- 14% - Brexit vote made them stay at home
- 9% - Low pound kept them here
Three quarters of UK adults had been on or were planning to holiday in the UK, up from 70% in 2016.
Barclays said: “The current value of the pound has helped to boost UK businesses in accommodation and food services.
“The UK has become an attractive holiday destination for many overseas tourists this year, which appears to be helping to plug the gap of spending by Brits. Some 3.5m overseas residents chose to holiday in the UK in June 2017 - up 7% from the same period in 2016 – and these inbound tourists are willing to spend more.”
Visitors to our shores spent on average £3,443 this year and in June alone splashed out £2.2bn – up 2% on June 2016.
Barclays Business Banking CEO Ian Rand said: “While it’s good news for the UK economy that more Brits are opting to spend their holidays in the UK, our poll shows purse strings are being tightened and domestic spend is down.
“However, the weak pound is attracting growing numbers of inbound tourists, which is having a healthy impact on SME businesses in the accommodation and food services sectors.
“It is essential that UK businesses plan ahead and carefully position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities both domestic and overseas tourists can offer.
“Our research shows the value of both and it's crucial businesses market their products and services to cater for a global market and diversify between seasons.”