Study suggests more people will holiday in UK than go abroad post lockdown

The NCC (National Caravan Council) has released the results of a new study into consumer attitudes towards holidays and short breaks pre and post lockdown.

The report shows, unsurprisingly, that a significant number of people had their pre-August 2020 holiday plans disrupted by COVID-19, as holiday accommodation owners in and around Bude will certainly have been impacted by. The research brings hope that there will be some recovery of the tourism industry in the UK as people seem keener to travel here when safe to do so than go abroad.

However, 66% of consumers whose UK holidays plans had been impacted say they are likely to take UK holidays or short breaks in the second half of 2020, (provided the restrictions are lifted before then). If realised, this intent would mean the UK represents the lion’s share of consumer holidaying and breaks in the second half of the year and is significantly greater than an interest in non-UK destinations in that time period. It would also mean a substantial shift towards UK domestic tourism as an option for holidaymakers.

This study shows that, of those who were planning to travel to Europe, only 42% are now likely to take European trips before the end of December 2020; and of those planning non-European trips, just 21% are likely to book.

Given the focus on social distancing during the pandemic, in the first months after the lockdown, 70% of UK adults said they perceive a holiday caravan-based UK break as a socially acceptable activity. Motorhoming did even better, with 77%, indicating its acceptability. These holiday types were regarded as much more acceptable than, say, a city break to a major European centre like Paris or Madrid

This news will hearten the UK’s huge network of holiday parks and tourist attractions, as well as our motorhome and caravan businesses, as we look likely to see a shift towards domestic
tourism. The UK’s holiday parks industry is already gearing up to make reopening as safe as it possibly can while ensuring it can cope with the increased interest from additional staycationers.


NCC Director-General, John Lally commented:

“This insight is great news for our industry. Our holiday parks benefit from rural and coastal locations, away from densely populated urban areas. Units are usually located a minimum of
5m away from each other and enjoy their own services and facilities, which allows caravanners in their tourers, motorhomes or holiday caravans to be independent. Each one is separate with no shared doors or communal access areas. So, they are more suited to social distancing than many other types of holiday accommodation.”

Looking ahead to 2021 holidays (assuming restrictions are lifted), significant numbers of people still want to take trips next year. With this comes a continuing shift in attitude towards the UK as a destination, compared to pre-COVID-19 travel.

John Lally continues: “Sixty-four per cent of consumers say they are likely to take trips in the UK in 2021, whereas pre-COVID just 38% claim to have been planning a UK holiday – a potentially significant shift.”

Finally, what are most UK adults looking forward to – as well as the great British holiday – after restrictions are lifted? The three top-ranked activities (82% of UK adults selected at
least one of these activities) are:

– Spending time in person with friends and family
– The freedom to go out without thinking about it
– Going on holidays or short breaks

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