Brexit staycation boom boosts holiday company

The Brexit staycation boom and a rise in international visitors has helped drive bookings at a Chester-based holiday company by 22% during 2017.

Last year saw holiday home provider Sykes Holiday Cottages serve more than a million travellers for the first time as it said more Brits chose to stay in the UK rather than head overseas.

Meanwhile, it said the weak sterling also helped attract more overseas visitors, with bookings from outside the UK up 7% during the year.

Sykes Holiday Cottages expects the trends to continue into 2018 after January 7 – dubbed Staycation Sunday – set records as the 26-year-old company’s most popular booking day ever.

The most up-to-date accounts for Sykes Cottages, to September 30, 2016, show the company had a turnover of £27.2m, up from £16.9m in the prior year with pre-tax profit on ordinary activities up from £3.3m to £5.4m.

Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said bookings were driven by a growing appetite for experience-based mini-breaks and increasing demand for unique properties like yurts.

He said: “Staycations and glamping trips aren’t new, but the weakness of the pound after the EU referendum and the shift towards taking more, shorter breaks really helped British holidaymakers focus more on making the most out of any downtime they have.

“Unspoilt beauty spots like Cornwall, the Cotswolds and the Lake District have huge amounts to offer and will always be popular, but what we are seeing now is more people choosing their breaks by the type of holiday they want to have, rather than simply the destination.

“Unique accommodation like yurts, log cabins and shepherds’ huts are increasingly popular, and we expect this trend to continue into 2018 as even more holidaymakers begin to realise that they can enjoy unique experiences without compromising on comfort.”