Hospitality and leisure industry set for bumper year

Ray O’Donoghue

British hotels and the leisure industry are set for a record year with a significant increase in both home and international visitors planning holidays in the UK.

A new report from Barclays Corporate Banking, “Destination UK: driving growth in the UK hospitality and leisure sector” reveals the 2017 holiday and leisure preferences of almost 10,000 guests from the UK, continental Europe, the U.S, Middle East, Asia and Australia.

Holidaymakers from the East Midlands plan to spend more time on holidays within the UK this year with almost a third (29%) also expecting to be spending more money on UK breaks. Across the UK nearly two fifths (36%) of British holidaymakers are planning exclusively UK holidays this year, and a further 16% expect to spend over three quarters of their total holiday time in the UK this year.

Nearly a third (30%) of East Midlands holidaymakers say that they would now choose a staycation over an international holiday, even if time and finances allowed – a figure that is matched at a national level.

Nearly four in ten respondents (38%) of those citing cost as a factor behind a UK break said the weaker pound made holidays in the UK preferable to those abroad, and 39% said a domestic holiday represents better value for money in 2017. The research reveals that the average British budget for UK breaks is £800 with over a fifth (22%) of holidaymakers planning to spend more than £1000 on their UK getaways. During their staycations, Brits also plan to spend an average of £309 on accommodation, £152 on dining out and £121 on shopping.

The research also demonstrates the enduring appeal of the UK to international holidaymakers, with 63% saying that they are more likely to holiday in the UK than this time last year. High profile advertising campaigns (29%), the weaker pound (31%), greater spending power (30%), and TV programmes like The Crown which feature the UK (22%) were all among the reasons cited for Britain’s appeal.

Ray O’Donoghue, managing director for Barclays in the Midlands, said: “The region is well placed to benefit from a booming year for British staycations and with many holidaymakers now choosing to stay close to home, the importance of marketing local attractions and investing in new technologies and experiences to drive footfall is clear”.