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Record heatwave and Brexit uncertainty drove demand for the staycation in 2018

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New data released today by HomeAway®, a global expert in holiday rentals, reveals the most in demand destinations by volume, and the destinations where British holidaymakers found the best value for money in the average rate paid for a holiday rental.

Demand for domestic destinations has shifted back to the capital city, as London takes the top spot again after 2017 saw a demand for rural destinations. There were two high profile royal weddings hosted just outside of London last year in Windsor, which could well have contributed to an influx of Brits seeking holiday rental accommodation in the capital. This coupled with the exceptionally warm summer, where St James’ Park was recorded to have the highest temperature, made the capital a compelling destination.

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The impact of Brexit uncertainty on travel can really be seen in the average price paid by domestic HomeAway UK travellers in London. It’s surprising to see a sharp drop in the price paid per person per night in London by -8% year-on-year. It is potentially this which has contributed in an increase in demand of 10% in London too, as staycationers look for the best value in the capital city.

The outbound destinations most in demand changed significantly since 2017, where the likes of The Canary Islands, The Alps and Portugal took the top spots. A new entrant to the top three in demand outbound destinations in 2018 is Florida, this could be due to the uncertainty of Brexit and the perceived difficulties of travelling in Europe which has made them flock stateside for their holidays in 2018.

There is no correlation among the highest demand destinations and the best value average price paid per person. Which shows that British holidaymakers could be drawn to the type of holiday rental property or the activities, sights to see and experiences on offer at the destination over the price. Alternatively, holidaymakers may not be well informed about what destinations command the best value for money in a holiday experience. Cyprus has often historically been considered an expensive European holiday destination, but holiday rentals in this resort provided good value for money holidays in 2018.

Among the best value destinations found in the UK last year were two resorts by the sea, Saltburn-by-the-Sea and Tywyn, which is encouraging for anyone planning a staycation this summer and still looking for good value. Last summer’s record-breaking weather meant that holidaymakers could bask in temperatures of 35.3 degrees centigrade for just £38 per person per night, in destinations like Faversham in Kent.  With warm weather to be found in both the UK and overseas, holidaymakers have even more choice when it comes to chasing the sun, be it abroad or a staycation.

Karen Mullins, regional director UK & Ireland at HomeAway said, “Despite being unable to predict the weather this summer, the HomeAway Value for Money data can help holidaymakers find inspiration on new places to visit at home and abroad with family and friends.

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“This year’s findings paint a positive picture for London and our seaside resorts, which provide great value for money, hopefully this is a trend that will continue this year in addition to the increase in popularity of those going stateside for their holidays.

“The uncertainty around Brexit, since the referendum more than two years ago has driven holidaymakers to adapt their destination decisions around the political situation, rather than abandon them altogether. Here’s to another heatwave this summer, following more political stability, enabling holidaymakers to continue to see the world.”




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