With the omicron variant having set back international travel’s recovery, many will turn to domestic holidays again next summer. Indeed, according to PwC, demand for staycations will be similar to 2021, with 37% planning a domestic trip.
This will offer another opportunity to showcase the UK’s splendour and make 2021’s staycation boom permanent — but hoteliers must ensure UK travel offers as much or more than an international getaway, with sustainability, convenience, culture and experience top of the travel wishlist.
Show your sustainability credentials
Many saw the pandemic as an opportunity for a sustainable reboot — According to Pru, a third of Brits chose to holiday in the UK last summer to reduce their carbon footprint, while 38% will continue to seek sustainable staycations next summer.
To attract these eco-conscious guests, hotels must ensure the environmental cost of a stay doesn’t offset the decision to forego air travel.
At Burgh, we have committed to offering our guests a sustainable stay by sourcing produce from within a 30-mile radius, generating power through a solar array, and training our staff in energy awareness to minimise our environmental burden.
Make convenience king
As our pent up desire to get out wanes, many are suffering from a case of HOGO (the hassle of going out), with hospitality having seen a sharp increase in no-shows and cancellations. If making a restaurant reservation is too arduous, the stresses of air travel certainly will be.
UK hoteliers must use this to their advantage by highlighting the less onerous demands offered by staycations. Likewise, hoteliers must commit to providing convenience throughout the guest journey — Seamless online bookings and check-in, flexible arrival and departure times, and an abundance of technology to make the guest experience effortless and efficient.
Offer unique experiences
The pandemic has altered travel habits, with demand growing for experiential trips that put experiences over amenities. Rather than a place to sleep, guests want to experience something new. Therefore, to continue their Covid recovery, establishments must showcase their unique features and experiences.
Burgh Island’s unique Art Deco collection and design features serve as a key attraction for many of our guests, while our rich history and unique guests — pirates, playwrights, prime ministers and more — help to guide the experiences and excursions we offer. Having served as inspiration for detective author Agatha Christie, for instance, Burgh Island will thrill guests at murder mystery weekends throughout 2022.
Champion British cultures
The experiential traveller wants to connect with a destination by engaging with its history, people, culture, food and environment, and will therefore favour establishments that are intertwined with their local community.
From sourcing local produce for use in our restaurants to sharing anecdotes about local history, and offering activities unique to our island — Burgh Island does its utmost to champion our small, local community and ensure guests experience the island’s rich ecosystems, culture and past.
Hospitality must show guests that the uncertainty surrounding international travel isn’t a restriction, but an opportunity to explore the UK’s natural wonders, towns and cities steeped in history, and melting pot of customs and traditions. With an approach that focuses on meeting demands for convenience, sustainability and experience, UK hospitality can maintain the staycation boom in 2022 and beyond.
Credit: Vlad Krupa, Director of Guest Services, Burgh Island Hotel