It was branded a recession-fuelled flash in the pan, but the British seaside staycation is very much here to stay, according to travel experts.
The smell of fish and chips on the promenade, the sight of striped deckchairs on the beach and the sound of seagulls soaring in the sky above all conjure up nostalgic images of the quintessential British holiday. And it’s a holiday that hundreds of Brits will be enjoying this May bank holiday, according to research.
Statistics show that over the past five years, the number of holiday trips being taken at UK seaside resorts continues to be on the increase, revealing Brits are enjoying a lasting romance with the ‘staycation’ as opposed to the summer fling initially feared by tourism chiefs.
Hotel booking site LateRooms.com revealed that the number of Brits visiting the fine golden sands and clear blue waters of St Ives has rocketed, with bookings for the early May Bank Holiday up by 550% on the same bank holiday five years ago. It’s closely followed by traditional resorts Bridlington and Skegness, both of which are seeing a 250% increase in bookings.
Blackpool remains the old school favourite, along with Llandudno, Weymouth, Whitby, Margate, Southend-on-Sea and Weston Super Mare, which are all experiencing a surge in sales for the bank holiday, reporting an overall average increase of 42% on 2011 for the same period.
Andrea Tarpey from LateRooms.com says: “There’s nowhere quite like the British seaside and judging by the increase in bookings to some of our favourite beach spots this bank holiday, it seems we’re embracing a bit of a bucket and spade renaissance.
“Many of these destinations are seeing significant investment – from restoring former treasures to improving facilities and establishing new attractions – which is making them even more attractive for modern day breaks.
“Using these results as a barometer for the summer, we expect to see a continued rise in bookings across British seaside resorts this year and for the foreseeable future.”
So when your boss asks you to suggest a holiday for his or her family, perhaps you should think closer to home.