Pictured: Chief executive Graham Donoghue
Sykes Holiday Cottages has claimed a 22% hike in 2017 bookings, driven by a ‘Brexit staycation boom’ and rising numbers of international visitors.
The independent holiday home provider handled more than one million travellers for the first time last year.
This increase was attributed to more people taking domestic breaks while the weak pound helped attract more overseas visitors, with bookings from outside the UK up 7% over 2016.
Chief executive Graham Donoghue said bookings were driven by a growing appetite for experience-based mini-breaks and increasing demand for unique properties like yurts.
The Chester-based firm expects the trends to continue this year after January 7 – dubbed ‘staycation Sunday’ – set records as the 26-year-old company’s most popular booking day ever.
Stays in Devon and Cornwall helped ensure that the south-west of England remained the most popular region for domestic holidaymakers last year 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.
Donoghue 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,” he said.
“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.”
The company offers more than 10,000 holiday homes across the UK and Ireland.
The number of new owner enquiries also rose by almost 10% during 2017 amid growing demand from UK second home owners to make the most effective use of their properties all year round.
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