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Domestic vacations in the United Kingdom - statistics & facts

In the United Kingdom, domestic vacations, nicknamed ‘staycations’, are a popular alternative to traveling abroad. For residents of Great Britain, holidaying abroad means traveling overseas, and although the channel tunnel offers an overland connection to mainland Europe, the easier and often cheaper options are to fly or to vacation at home. UK holidaymakers take around an average of three holidays a year, many of which are domestic. Among those who choose to holiday abroad, over half will also take at least one other holiday domestically.

The domestic tourism market in the UK is made up of day and overnight tourists, traveling for leisure (holidays), business, or for the purpose of visiting friends and relatives. Most holiday overnight stays are for those spent at seaside destinations. Prior to the surge in cheap package holidays and low cost airlines, the many coastal destinations around the British isles were prime spots for summer vacations. Seaside towns such as Scarborough and Skegness rely on tourism, often catering their attractions towards families. Countryside and city destinations are also popular, particularly for short breaks away.

Although there is a diverse market for different types of tourists, the typical demographic for domestic holidays in the UK are older couples and families with children. Households with children under 16 account for at least a third of domestic holiday travelers. Domestic trippers are also largely car owners. Most British households have a motor vehicle, and it is by far the most convenient way to travel to the country’s many rural destinations.

Are staycations making a comeback?

Surveys among Brits have suggested a sentiment in the last few years towards exploring and rediscovering what the UK has to offer visitors. The impact of Brexit on travel to Europe was expected to influence this sentiment, however, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had rather a more immediate effect. Travel restrictions in 2020 meant some people were more likely to vacation in the UK, particularly in the summer. It's uncertain how much of an impact the pandemic will have on tourism results for 2020, although forecasts in April suggested that spending by domestic tourists on overnight trips in Great Britain (for all travel purposes) would decline by around 32 percent on 2019.

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Domestic vacations in the United Kingdom

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Domestic holiday trends

Demographics of domestic holidaymakers

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