The ‘staycation boom’ and a rise in international visitors helped to boost bookings at Chester-based Sykes Holiday Cottages by 22% during 2017.
Last year saw the independent holiday home provider serve more than a million travellers for the first time as Brits increasingly chose to have a break in the UK rather than overseas.
Meanwhile, the weak sterling also helped attract more overseas visitors, with bookings from outside the UK up 7% during the year.
And the Chester-based firm expects the trends to continue into 2018 after January 7 set records as the 26-year-old company’s most popular booking day ever.
Once again, Britons most liked to be beside the seaside during 2017, with the beaches and picturesque fishing ports of Devon and Cornwall helping to ensure that the South West of England remained the most popular region for staycationers, ahead of North Wales and Cumbria.
The southern coast also saw the biggest increase in holidaymakers, with bookings up by more than 50% on 2016.
Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said bookings were driven by a growing appetite for experience-based mini-breaks and increasing demand for unique properties like yurts.
He said: “Staycations and glamping trips aren’t new, but the weakness of the pound after the EU referendum and the shift towards taking more, shorter breaks really helped British holidaymakers focus more on making the most out of any downtime they have.
“Unspoilt beauty spots like Cornwall, the Cotswolds and the Lake District have huge amounts to offer and will always be popular, but what we are seeing now is more people choosing their breaks by the type of holiday they want to have, rather than simply the destination.
“Unique accommodation like yurts, log cabins and shepherds’ huts are increasingly popular, and we expect this trend to continue into 2018 as even more holidaymakers begin to realise that they can enjoy unique experiences without compromising on comfort.”
Sykes Holiday Cottages now offers more than 10,000 holiday homes across the UK and Ireland.
With currency rates having made holiday properties overseas more expensive, and growing demand from second home-owners in the UK to make the most effective use of their properties all year round, the number of new owner enquiries also rose by almost 10% during 2017.
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