Holidaymakers Stay in the UK at Easter
A recent report by Price Waterhouse Coopers found that almost 30% of UK holidaymakers decided to spend their annual holiday in campsites or holiday parks during the Easter period. There has also been a drop of 30% in the number of people staying in hotels over the Easter period. This huge change has been put down to the impact of the credit crunch on people's personal disposable income.
Popular UK hotspots where the southwest of England in places like Cornwall and Devon, which saw massive traffic jams over the Easter weekend, as holidaymakers and caravan owners made the slow journey back home.
Other surveys have shown that overseas travel is becoming prohibitively expensive and reporting drops in the traditional holiday home or villa rental holiday. The increases in fuel prices charged to budget airlines have recently increased the cost of air travel. The cut-price discounted air fare is rapidly disappearing, as budget airlines are being forced to increase the prices, in response to the increase in fuel prices. People simply choosing to holiday in the UK instead rather than go overseas. People so acutely aware of the impact the credit crunch is having on people's job security and disposable income, they are changing their holidaying habits accordingly.
However, the double whammy for people choosing to rent out a holiday home or visit a second home abroad is the collapse of pound relative to other currencies. Most notably the Euro has strengthened relative to the pound. This is causing oversees holiday home rental prices to increase dramatically. People are getting less than money and having to pay out more when they get there on things like car hire, food, drink and excursions.
Basic camping, renting out self catering cottage, or static mobile home in a chalet park, is a much cheaper alternative for many families feeling the credit squeeze. The commuting travel time to reach their holiday destination is less than an overseas visit. The daily cost per person is less. The UK also has many great attractions and places to see and experience.
Previously sunny destinations such as renting out a holiday home in Spain have seen dramatic falls in demand. In particular, older age groups are tending to stay at home more with their families and not take advantage of popular destinations like Spain, France and Italy. The collapse of their disposable savings realted income through falls in interest rates has meant that overseas destinations have become prohibitively expensive as that. There has been a 20% drop in a number of people holidaying in main-land Spain during 2009.
Owners of holiday homes and second homes abroad have had to reduce their rents accordingly. A recent survey by Thomas Cook found that overseas resorts were responding to the impact of weakening consumer demand by reducing their prices and producing more package deals.
Owners of second homes in the United Kingdom are also taking more advantage of their investments by spending holidays in second homes (as opposed to going abroad). There are now over 245,000 2nd homes in the UK, up 7.5% over the last three years. Despite local falls in hotspots such as Central London, many people are choosing to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city to a quiet country location and enjoy the countryside.
The renovation, construction and building of second homes has also ground to a halt as building firms struggle to remain in business (due to the effects of falling property demand and inability to restructure existing banking loans).
Overall less people went away this Easter than in previous years with many people choosing to stay at home and simply unwind and enjoy the relatively good weather. People are rediscovering what a great place the UK is to spend a holiday. There are so many under utilised tourist attractions, historic cities, places to see, natural landscapes and sporting activities. Many overseas visitors to the UK see more of the UK than we do. Buying a second home in the picturesque countryside location is becoming an increasingly attractive option families wishing to invest their money. Many families are also choosing to invest in timeshares and holiday exchanges in order to spend a couple of weeks at their property and use it as a base to explore local attractions on their vacation.