With travellers hesitant towards international travel, demand for domestic holidays in the UK looks set to be unleashed. The roadmap for lockdown easing is progressing at speed and UK-based domestic operators are set to benefit, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Gus Gardner, Associate Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “After months of a long, miserable winter lockdown, many brits will be desperate to escape, and domestic staycations will once again rule this year.
“Domestic operators will be set for a bumper summer as domestic demand will return at a quicker rate than international demand. The latest forecasts by GlobalData show that domestic demand will continue to rise in 2021, with visitation only down 17% on 2019 levels – compared to outbound travel, which is forecast to be down 47.7% on 2019. The strong desire of Brits to travel closer to home, and the wealth of experiences on offer across the UK, will contribute to the strong rebound in domestic travel this year, benefitting the financial position of many tourism companies that have a presence in Britain.”
A GlobalData poll revealed that 43%* of respondents will consider taking a domestic trip in the next 12 months, higher than the 30% who would not consider traveling at all.
As a result of consumer reluctance to travel internationally, some international operators and agents have trimmed or stopped selling capacity in the immediate term. On the Beach has extended its off-sale period from 30 June to the 31 August, citing that uncertainty is too high. Earlier this year, TUI also pulled some of its expected capacity, reducing its 2021 operations from 80% to 75% of 2019 levels, again due to high levels of uncertainty.
Gardner concludes: “With operators placing their bets on a summer of high domestic demand and international travel seeming uncertain for most this year, domestic vacations look set to drive tourism in Britain.”
* GlobalData Live Tracker Verdict Poll of 1,160 respondents, Live since 17th November 2020.