What businesses can take advantage of staycations?
If you’re a business in one of these sectors or delivering these services, it’s likely you’ll stand to benefit from the rise of staycation holidays. Equally, starting a business in one of these sectors could be a good bet. Click on the dropdown to reveal more key trends and insights.
Tourism and hospitality businesses
Stating the obvious, the hospitality and tourism sectors are primed to benefit. Millions of holidaymakers are not only looking to explore the UK’s beauty spots and attractions, but escape their homes/scenes of lockdown in equal measure. Hotels, B&Bs, holiday cottages, hostels, camping/glamping sites, Airbnbs, etc, are in high demand.
According to Snaptrip, the 10 most popular locations overall in 2021 (% share of all bookings) are:
- Devon – 10%
- Cornwall – 8.75%
- Cumbria – 7.85%
- North Yorkshire – 7.15%
- Dyfed, South West Wales – 6.52%
- Powys, Mid Wales – 5.56%
- Norfolk – 5.2%
- Gwynedd, North West Wales – 4.9%
- Dorset – 4.1%
- Derbyshire 2.31%
COVID’s impact on the hospitality industry has been particularly brutal, and with fewer tourists entering the UK from abroad, it’s fantastic to see staycations surge.
Hotels are taking extra measures to ensure everything is safe and hygienic for visitors and staff. One positive COVID test could mean temporary closure, lost revenue and in some cases, bankruptcy. With the likes of Hilton announcing its collaboration with Lysol, Dettol and Mayo Clinic to ensure their guests enjoy a worry-free stay, and Marriott creating a Cleanliness Council, with experts in infection prevention and food and water safety, this approach is quickly becoming the new normal in light of rising health standards. These measures will undoubtedly remain in place beyond the global pandemic.
Whether you have an existing cleaning business or are considering starting one, ensure you have conversations with local hospitality professionals. Ask them what their biggest pain points are, research any new standards that have come into place since COVID – assess the new normal and devise packages and your marketing strategy around making people feel safer as a result of your quality and conscientious service.
Campsites and camping equipment suppliers
According to the campsite website, Cool Camping, Cornwall, the Lake District and New Forest are the most sought after locations, with some of the top campsites already fully booked over the August bank holiday weekend.
Demand for camping holidays has also impacted sales of outdoor equipment. Camping equipment retailer Outdoor World Direct reports experiencing a higher level of demand than usual throughout March and April, with some equipment repeatedly selling out. Seen many tents on Facebook Marketplace recently? Exactly.
A beach hut in Dorset has sold for nearly a third of a million pounds. Situated in Mudeford Spit in Christchurch Harbour, the small hut measuring just 12ft by 10ft, sold for around £325,000 and attracted four potential buyers, two of whom did not view the property. For the same price, buyers could purchase a five-bedroom house in Hull.
If you own a beach hut and have been considering selling it, now’s the time.
While staycationers can enjoy being served at their favourite restaurant, pub, bar and café now, business owners might consider continuing with takeaway services that launched during lockdown, should anyone (not just tourists) wish to enjoy professionally-cooked food from the comfort of their accommodation.
With large scale events postponed or limited in numbers, many catering companies that were looking for an additional revenue stream have branched into doorstep deliveries also – from afternoon tea packages to celebration cakes (see case study below).
This enterprising spirit goes as far back as the supplier – for example, some fishermen/women whose restaurant orders were impacted during lockdown have restructured their business models to make home deliveries; a particularly popular approach amongst those who preferred to keep away from supermarkets during times of high infection rates. A great way to stay safe while supporting local businesses and supplying vulnerable people
With COVID variants still in play, outdoor activities are still a more comfortable option for those exploring new areas of the UK or getting to know their hometown better. Hiking, surfing, rock climbing, orienteering, outdoor tours, open air theatres, outdoor markets – consider your target audience and how COVID might have changed their preferences, and what they’re most comfortable with. We’re all adapting to the new normal so it’s important to review how your business might need to adapt to fit a potentially altered target audience, even if it’s for the interim.
Can I launch a business to take advantage?
There are numerous new business ideas and options available to those looking to take advantage of increased staycations. Click on the dropdown to find out more.
Do you live in a popular staycation spot? Hosting your home on Airbnb opens up opportunities to meet your financial goals – whether it’s helping to pay your mortgage or generate additional income, superpower your savings or re-funnel back into another business. In addition, budget-minded travelers are increasingly turning to peer-to-peer platforms such as Airbnb for cheaper rates and the ‘home away from home’ experience.
In your marketing, don’t forget a large number of the population is still working remotely. Consider promoting your Airbnb as a ‘workacation’ also, to those who would simply like to work in a different setting and explore a new area during down time.
- Beach nearby
- Pet friendly
- Hot tub
- Enclosed garden
- Pub nearby
- Games room
- Swimming pool
Read more: How to start an Airbnb business
The public’s experience through COVID has pushed many to reconsider and reconnect with their local natural environment. Initiatives like Natural Britain are re-imagining travel in the British Isles, claiming that: “Suddenly, and without warning, we have seen what nature can be without crowds and pollution. And we now have a chance to begin again. To start at domestic level and show how tourism can work everywhere. We’ve sifted through the mass market offerings and selected a handful of authentic and responsibly operated experiences in the British Isles. From wild swimming off hidden beaches in north-west Scotland, to sky-running amongst Snowdonia’s mountain giants…”
If you already work in the UK tourism industry, could you be doing more to appeal to the public’s renewed interest in environmental matters that feel closer to home now? If you’re considering starting a small staycation business, could you consider an eco angle to meet growing public interest?
Passionate about cooking? Sociable? A good knowledge of your local area and its tourism hotpots? With the right qualifications and licenses in place, you could quickly find yourself feeding hungry holidaymakers with delicious street food. The benefits of launching this type of venture is that you can always guarantee hunger (!). There’s also a steadily increasing demand for ready-to-eat food, low startup costs, low overheads, immediate cash income, low level of experience required, and you are your own boss. Be aware though – any type of catering is very hard work and can be extremely physically demanding. There are also stringent legal requirements that must be conformed with, in order to avoid significant fines.
The amount of income you generate will depend on what you sell, where you sell it and how many hours you put in, so assess your market and location wisely and pick some crowd-pleaser dishes. (Are there any popular local dishes that tourists come to the area especially for?). Consider going that step further by offering a local cuisine cooking class.
- Read more: How to start a street food business
Catering for self-catered
Tourists who opt for self-catered accommodation tend to prefer the ‘home away from home’ holiday feeling, with greater flexibility around meal times, and increased privacy. But sometimes, they’d still like some of the benefits that come with larger resorts.
- Are you a private chef?
- Qualified beauty therapist?
- Run pamper parties?
Consider self-catered holiday homeowners in your marketing strategy. Could you partner with local holiday letting companies?
Crafty creators could consider designing a range of gifts that are tailored to their local hotspot – from personalised t-shirts, banners and mugs to coasters, keyrings and homeware.
- Are there local markets that tourists frequent, which you could have a stall at?
- Shops that would love to promote handmade products from a fellow local?
Elevate your souvenirs beyond the usual – there are incredible machines that can assist in craft making such as Cricut machines and heat presses for all sorts of items. Do your market research before investing in the equipment:
- What’s popular?
- What would shops like to stock more of?
Once you’ve refined your range, don’t forget the online market. Launch an Etsy shop alongside your local activity, create a Facebook business page and Instagram page. There’s so much you can do to sell your products – keep focused on where’s best to promote to staycationers then expand from there.
Also consider the type of people you’re marketing to – many might own a camper van or tent – could you create items that might appeal to those who are road tripping or camping for their holidays?
Local travel blogger/vlogger
Passionate about your local area? Confident? Love to write? Turn everything you love into your next career move by becoming a blogger/vlogger that specialises in your area.
Attract staycationers with stunning photos and compelling content. Partner with local businesses to drive growth and exposure of your social accounts.
Beware – this is a dream job for many and can be very competitive so do your research first and consider what makes yours unique e.g. could you focus on a key area such as culture and heritage, food, outdoor activities, family days out? Sometimes less is more. Staycationers are also increasingly looking to ‘travel like a local’, so make sure you use your insider knowledge to share hidden gems that only the locals really know about. Could you go that step further and offer tours that focus on your speciality e.g. A Foodie’s Tour of Padstow.