Good news for owners of holiday lets: a staycation boom is on the cards.
In fact, 71% of people intend to holiday in the UK this summer. Domestic holiday sales are expected to reach a 10-year high, and people are set to spend around £7.1 billion on holidaying closer to home.
This is in part because continued uncertainty around foreign travel is deterring many from holidaying abroad this year.
So with the appetite for British staycations now at a high, Flogas, a provider of commercial LPG, is taking a look at how the holiday let industry can make the most of this unique opportunity.
Publicise COVID safety measures
People are still naturally cautious about holidaying due to the pandemic. This means one of the key things they’re looking for when planning a staycation is reassurance that accommodation is COVID-secure.
That’s why owners of holiday lets should make sure they’re clearly communicating how COVID-safe their accommodation is.
Taking additional steps, such as enhanced cleaning regimes, one-way systems, and staff training, will reassure visitors. Owners can even go one step further in boosting customer confidence and gain proper accreditation.
For example, AA COVID Confident, which launched last year and is supported by 19 industry bodies, is a free accreditation scheme that’s open to all hospitality establishments.
Make the most of last-minute bookings
Since the pandemic hit, holidaymakers’ booking habits have changed.
Concerned about shifting restrictions and enforced cancellations, they are now taking a much shorter-term approach to bookings. There has also been a notable increase in spontaneous travel.
In fact, recent data shows that 69 per cent of UK bookings were being made within just seven days.
Holiday let owners should ensure they have instant booking facilities in place. They should also respond quickly to incoming requests.
Publicising any last-minute availability will pay dividends.
Offer enhanced booking flexibility
COVID continues to present a level of travel uncertainty, and therefore heightens the risk of cancellations. As result, holiday let owners should make sure they’re offering flexibility to customers, as this will help boost bookings.
Flexible refund policies will allow people to book their holidays safe in the knowledge that they won’t lose out financially if they need to cancel due to COVID.
It’s also worthwhile staying in touch with customers in the run-up to their stay. This will help avoid any last-minute cancellations.
Welcome a new type of visitor
Thanks to COVID, holiday let owners are now catering to a new type of customer. The flexibility of working remotely, alongside the desire for a change of scenery, means people are starting to combine work and play by booking “flexcations“.
To make the most of this new trend, hotels and B&Bs should make sure they offer a convenient working space and most importantly, strong Wi-Fi.
Dogs are another new customer to consider.
There’s been a staggering rise in people buying pets and 3.2 million were bought during lockdown. Those with dog-friendly accommodation will benefit from this!