One in five plan to holiday 'at home' this summer says report

Some 21 per cent more domestic tourists from Northern Ireland plan to spend time on holiday in the UK this year according to a staycation report from Barclays

THE number of domestic tourists from Northern Ireland planning to spend more time on holiday in the UK this year is expected to increase by a fifth, a new report from Barclays has revealed.

The increase in staycations will be fuelled by millennials looking to escape from their smartphones and social media, according to the study.

The Great British Staycation report surveyed more than 2,000 UK holiday makers and 500 business leaders from the leisure and hospitality industry, and found that people of all ages said they were planning to enjoy more holiday time at home in 2019.

The ‘selfie generation' of 25-34 year-olds are more likely than any other age group to take their main holiday in Britain this year, with over half (52 per cent) of staycationers planning to spend more time in the UK this year, compared to 2018.

Some 44 per cent of those surveyed in Northern Ireland said that they intend to spend more time holidaying at home, with outbound staycationers choosing to visit Scotland (26 per cent), London (23 per cent) and Yorkshire (15 per cent).

According to GB staycationers, the top locations to visit are the South West (31 per cent), Scotland (22 per cent), Yorkshire (20 per cent) and Wales (20 per cent).

Staycation demand from Northern Ireland holidaymakers to increase by 21 per cent

Barclays' report found that businesses in the region are also witnessing increased demand. In Northern Ireland, 52 per cent of those surveyed said they had seen an increase in domestic tourism since 2017, and 38 per cent of businesses had seen bookings being made further in advance.

According to domestic holidaymakers, the main reason for the popularity of staycations is convenience (34 per cent), followed by a desire to revisit places they have been to before (21 per cent).

Almost one in five (18 per cent) say holidays in the UK are more affordable, with the same number of respondents choosing a staycation because of concern over the impact that Brexit could have on foreign travel and family finances

Hospitality businesses are already seeing their local economy benefit from increasing demand for domestic holidays.

In Northern Ireland 54 per cent have seen employment opportunities improve, 46 per cent have seen an increase in the number of hospitality businesses in their area and 38 per cent have seen an increase in house prices. These findings suggest that, with a tailored business strategy, hospitality businesses can not only make the most of rising domestic demand, but also benefit the wider economy in uncertain political times.

Adrian Doran, head of Barclays Corporate Banking in Northern Ireland said: “It's very encouraging to see that domestic tourism is thriving both here and in many popular parts of GB, which are easy for us to access by plane or ferry, with more holidaymakers choosing to spend increasing amounts of their valuable leisure time closer to home.

"There are various reasons for this but ultimately, it's fairly simple. The top-quality services provided by our hotels, restaurants, resorts and leisure providers are helping the public enjoy great experiences without having to travel too far. This is true for all ages, but it's particularly pleasing that our study found younger people are being drawn to holidays in and around the UK.

“Operators will have to continue to adapt and invest in cutting edge technology to ensure that this trend persists, while at the same time finding innovative ways to appeal to all age groups wanting to enjoy the attraction of the UK.”

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