Agent bookings are claimed to be up by more than three-quarters as part of a surge in sales for summer staycations reported by Hoseasons and cottages.com following the latest national lockdowns.

The self-catering firms, which handle more than  three million UK holidaymakers away a year and are owned by parent company Awaze, have seen a year-on-year increase in overall bookings of 10% for peak summer breaks compared to the same period last year.

A 39% increase in advance bookings has been recorded for the May half-term school holidays.

Enquiries through the travel trade are also performing “exceptionally well” with agent bookings already up by 77% compared to the same period in 2020. 

Awaze chief commercial officer Simon Altham said: “2021 looks set to be a very big year for domestic tourism, which is great news for the industry and the many businesses around the UK who depend on the sector’s success.

“Following recent government announcements, online summer searches have surged as people look to guarantee their peak season break this year, with many clearly motivated by being locked down at home and needing something to look forward to.  

“This situation is different from the first lockdown in 2020, when we saw an immediate drop in searches, as people were unsure when they would next be able to take a break.

“It is clear from our data that holidaymakers are feeling much more confident about things returning to normal by the spring, following the prime minister’s recent comments about the ‘end being in sight’ – and this is inspiring them to look and book now.” 

He added: “While during the current lockdown holidays are understandably on hold, as we all play a part in getting a grip on infections and transmission, we do expect to continue to see increasing demand as we edge closer to the spring.

“We also want to thank our trade partners for their support and enthusiasm over the last few weeks as they continue to promote and sell UK holidays.”

Hoseasons and cottages.com regularly update their Covid-19 pages to keep customers informed of relevant updates to changing travel restrictions in England, Scotland and Wales.