Staycation boom fires up economy as Britons set to bake in 31C at weekend

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    BBC Weather: Europe set for heatwave

    Temperatures could soar to 88F (31C) by Sunday in a new high for the year. The warm spell is predicted to last all next week. And the weather uplift will provide a much-needed boost after the recent torrential downpours and England’s heartbreaking defeat in the Euro 2020 final. It should be bright and sunny for Freedom Day on Monday, when most Covid restrictions are finally lifted. The forecast is a blessing for staycation holidaymakers. At least 33 million people are expected to holiday in Britain this summer, providing a massive boost to the economy.

    Travel restrictions, such as tests before departure and quarantine afterwards, have dampened people’s enthusiasm for overseas travel.

    And yesterday, foreign holiday plans were made even more difficult with Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca returned to the amber travel watch list, while Croatia was added to the green list.

    With schools breaking up next week, millions of families will be setting off on UK breaks as the warm weather finally returns.

    Some 62 per cent of Britons have said they plan to spend their main summer break in the UK this year, up from half in 2019.

    Data from the annual 2021 Staycation Index from Sykes Holiday Cottages showed that bookings to its 17,000 UK holiday cottages have risen by 40 per cent for this summer, compared with before the pandemic.

    The company says the increased demand means Britain’s economy will reap a £30billion reward across the holiday sector.

    The warm spell

    The warm spell is predicted to last all week (Image: Getty )

    It says there is also a growing trend towards “work-cations” because of greater flexibility while working.

    Many tourists are also expected to take two week-long trips away rather than having a fortnight abroad.

    The Peak District, Bournemouth, East Anglia and Lyme Regis, in Dorset, are among the top destinations for British breaks this summer, the Sykes data suggests.

    Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “The pandemic will have a lasting impact on us all, and this is especially true for how people holiday.

    “We expect the shift towards holidays at home to stick and hope to continue to see staycation destinations outside of the usual honeypot locations grow in popularity in the years to come.

    “And with beautiful countryside and award-winning beaches on our doorstep, plus rumours of a summer heatwave coming just in time for schools finishing, it’s sure to be a summer to remember.”

    The holiday spots currently rising in popularity the fastest are Warton in Lancashire, Liskeard in Cornwall and Barmouth in Wales.

    staycation holidaymakers

    The weather forecast is a blessing for staycation holidaymakers (Image: Getty )

    The index also found a huge uplift in demand for glamping accommodation over the summer, with bookings for shepherd’s huts up by more than 400 per cent compared to 2019.

    Staycation tourists plan to splash out £940 on average on their main summer holiday this year, including accommodation, travel, food and drinks.

    Britons will be able to make the most of eased restrictions from Monday, which includes being able to go to a concert or sporting event.

    Unlimited numbers of friends will be able to bask in the sunshine outdoors while people will be able to order drinks from a bar.

    Meteorologist Alyssa Smithmyer, from AccuWeather, said: “Great Britain should be experiencing a boost weather-wise in the coming days as a tranquil and warmer pattern sets in.

    “After an unsettled start to the week that brought flooding and rains and set the region’s single-day wettest rainfall since 1983, this change is graciously welcomed.

    “It’s expected that there will be plenty of sunshine for this weekend and the UK will remain largely dry from Thursday through Monday.

    “Temperatures will be better into the weekend as widespread high temperatures are forecast to range from the mid-70s to lower 80s through Monday.

    “Overall, a shift to warm and quite pleasant weather is on the way for this weekend and Freedom Day.”

    Cornwall

    Cornwall is currently one of the holiday spots rising in popularity the fastest (Image: Getty )

    Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon said today would be “fine and sunny” with highs of 79F in the South and 75F in the North.

    Tomorrow is looking “fine and dry for most” with warm sunny spells across England.

    The forecaster also predicted a high temperature of 82F on Saturday. The current hottest day of the year was recorded on June 14 when temperatures reached 83F in Heathrow, west London.

    Mr Dixon added: “Conditions are similar on Sunday with dry and fine conditions for most, with particularly warm conditions in the south of England but warm elsewhere.

    “Temperatures could possibly reach 88F in some isolated spots in the South-east, but otherwise generally high 70s.

    “From early next week, there’s a chance of some showers but it’s still looking largely fine and dry in the early parts of next week.

    “From Wednesday, there’s initial signals of more unsettled weather to come.”

    But temperatures will hover around 77F for the rest of the month, giving holidaymakers in Britain a chance to enjoy plenty of sunshine.

    Sunny

    It should be bright and sunny for freedom day on Monday (Image: Getty )

    According to the Met Office, an official heatwave is only recorded if temperatures meet a certain threshold and remain above it for three consecutive days.

    Asked if anywhere across the country is likely to meet the criteria, Mr Dixon said: “It’s borderline at the moment in some areas.”

    He said there is more confidence of the hottest temperatures being sustained in the South-east, adding the “threshold is higher” there.

    He added: “There is a chance of an official heatwave.”

    Comment by Graham Donoghue

    AFTER a difficult year for the entire travel industry, the UK staycation market has come back fighting.

    According to our latest Staycation Index report, almost four in five of us will enjoy a staycation this year – with nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) planning to spend their main summer break in the UK.

    And it’s not just families that will be going staycationmad this summer.

    Couples and adult groups actually make up the majority of our bookings for the weeks ahead.

    Trends unveiled in our report revealed a rise in “workcations”.

    Meanwhile, pets are dominating our bookings too, with a rise in demand for pet-friendly properties likely fuelled by the increase in pet ownership during lockdown. Our research estimates a whopping £30billion boost to the UK economy as a result of holiday spending this summer.

    The popularity of UK staycations is likely to continue past this summer, as almost half (46 per cent) of Britons say they are now more likely to consider a staycation than prior to the pandemic.

    The ongoing uncertainty of travelling abroad is obviously playing a major part in all of this, but there are plenty of other reasons aside from the pandemic to leave our passports at home this year.

    In part, it appears we have simply rediscovered all that our country has to offer, and also realising the ease that comes with holidaying close to home.



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