There are a number of reasons why more and more Brits are choosing to take a ‘staycation’ and holiday at home rather than taking a trip abroad, and many of them are economic factors. The UK’s struggling economy has produced stagnant wage growth and a higher cost of living, leaving many with less spare income to spend on expensive foreign travel. Rising fuel duty for airlines is also being passed on to consumers through added costs, while civil unrest has put some people off certain popular tourist destinations.
For those with money to invest in a second home, however, this presents a great opportunity to take advantage of a strong UK holiday lettings market.
According to data from the national tourism bureau VisitEngland, British residents took 104 million overnight trips in England during 2011, totalling 307 million nights spent away from home.
Expenditure stemming from these trips totalled £17.9 billion, with an average of £172 spent per trip by each individual. With the typical length of stay measured at 2.9 nights, that’s £58 spent per night.
While £3.5 billion of that spending came from 15.5 million overnight business trips, the bulk of the spending came from holidaymakers. Around 46 million holiday trips accounted for £10 billion worth of expenditure in 2011.
Furthermore, these figures represent a notable increase on those collated for 2010. The number of trips taken increased by nine per cent in 2011 compared to the previous year, and spending rose by 13 per cent. VisitEngland also says that the 2011 data is the strongest it has observed since starting this survey back in 2006.
With no sign of a dramatic change in the economy and the Queen’s Jubilee and London 2012 Olympics providing a feel-good factor in Britain, it is entirely possible that 2012’s figures will be stronger still. Investing in a holiday home is also an increasingly popular way to safeguard assets in the current climate, with savings accounts still offering little interest, pension pots being reduced in value by quantitative easing and cautious uncertainty in the investment market. Property, therefore, is increasingly being seen as a safe haven for those looking to secure their financial future.