COVID-19 impact on UK staycationsPrior to the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic travel was already popular in the United Kingdom. Domestic travel spending in the UK showed an increase in the years leading up to the pandemic, reaching nearly 25 billion British pounds in 2019. Although domestic travel was often the primary option for vacationers in the UK in 2020, domestic travel spending that year was still forecast to fall as a result of the pandemic.
While domestic travel in general declined, staycations grew in popularity and interest. The holiday-related search term with the highest growth in the UK following the COVID-19 lockdown was “staycation”. This term soared in popularity and saw year-over-year growth of over 500 percent in 2020. Many of the other fastest-growing search terms were for holidays in various regions within the UK, such as Northumberland and the Peak District. When asked “Would you say the current pandemic has made you more or less likely to take a holiday elsewhere in the UK?” the public response was resoundingly neutral. Nearly half of UK respondents, 43 percent, indicated there was no real change in their desire to travel domestically, while 28 percent were more likely to take a holiday within the UK due to the pandemic.