Since the recession hit the UK Staycations became a popular phenomenon as a weak pound made overseas holidays significantly more expensive. Families who take summer holidays in Britain to save money are in many cases actually spending more than if they went overseas, as research exposes the myth of the cheap ‘staycation’.
Two-thirds of people who have holidayed in the UK in 2012 said that they did so in order to spend less money. However fewer than a quarter of these people said that they ended up spending less on their domestic holiday than they did on their family holiday abroad the year previously.
A survey by website MyVoucherCodes.co.uk found that over half of all people on a ‘staycation’ found it was “more expensive” than their last foreign holiday. Meanwhile a fifth of families said they spent the same amount of money. The survey of 1,100 people found that the average cost of a ten-day domestic holiday was £710 per person. The same cost for a foreign holiday was £680. The costs include travel, accommodation, food and activities.
Respondents said that psychology plays a role as they are simply “more careful” with money when they are abroad. The high cost of living is also to blame. Britain has the eighth highest petrol price in Europe and the highest diesel price, according to the AA.
Bourne Leisure, the owners of Haven Holidays, Warner Breaks and Butlin’s has seen over 10% growth in total sales since 2008 whilst achieving a 20% increase in profit. They invested £90 million in 2011 and have focused on delivering service excellence and a better guest experience. Bourne have also understood the need to bring a wider variety of activities & entertainment packages to encourage their guests to spend more time in their resorts…..therefore paying dividends in the form of increased food, beverage & retail sales. The budget airlines Easyjet have boosted total revenue by almost a third since 2008 to £3,452 million realising a 50% increase in operating profit to £248 million. This percentage slightly outperformed Ryanair’s profit which grew a third to a greater total figure of £436 million. Thomas Cook has been able to squeeze some nominal growth of 2.4% this was however achieved by working to address the overhead base as their overall sales were down in 2012.
The UK holiday maker has been cost conscious in recent years with more options and has been able to actively explore these since the start of the recession. Both the short haul airlines and the UK based resorts have benefitted from people trying to cut costs. The internet has helped customers navigate away from the more traditional high street tour operators with price comparison sites enabling people to get the best deal at home.
One key feature of each business whether it be online, high street based or a UK resort is that service has become an even more important measure. Each operator who takes the time to listen, understand and deliver outstanding experiences will bloom. When choice is plentiful the UK holiday maker can still buy memorable experiences and it is the companies that go the extra mile for the customer who will find it’s reciprocated year after year.