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UK holiday letting businesses see staycation boom.

With the lifting of Covid restrictions, overseas holidays are a possibility once again. However in good news for UK hotels and holiday lettings, Britons are showing an increasing desire for staycations.

Overseas travel chaos continues with airlines including easyJet cancelling hundreds of flights in recent weeks and British Airways announcing four months worth of flight cancellations – both are suffering from post-Covid-related reduced staff numbers.

Several travel experts have said they believe the disruption is prompting UK tourists to opt for staycations. The cost of living crisis is also thought to be influencing people to holiday closer to home.

Recently, Sykes Holiday Cottages bookings were up 75 per cent for the 2022 Easter bank holiday weekend. A spokesperson said the “staycation boom” shows no signs of slowing down, with bookings for summer and autumn 2022 already up 35 per cent compared to 2019.

Finest Retreats founder Richard Bond said the UK holiday cottages agency was seeing “a distinct shift in advance bookings”. Mr Bond said: “This is likely to be partly because they trust the UK will be open and available, whereas there may yet be further restrictions on travel abroad and also to get in early and guarantee a stay in especially popular parts of the country.”

With their own staffing issues post-Brexit, some holiday business owners are struggling to cope with the increased number of enquiries and bookings. Many are looking to technology as one way to become more efficient in answering enquiries and taking bookings whilst maintaining levels of customer service.

Virtual tours of holiday accommodation are one way new technology can help. A virtual tour on a website or sent with booking replies answers all the clients’ questions about the accommodation, letting them see a property in perfect 360° detail, as if they were there themselves – increasing booking confidence and lead conversion.

Taking just a day to shoot, often in between hand-overs, and delivered in just 48 hours, a virtual tour can be live on a holiday business’ website and across all their social media within a week – immediately helping to relieve some of the  pressure on busy owners.

The Recording Studio at Salcombe Farm is a luxury holiday rental in South Devon. The owners use their virtual tour to show clients around in 360° detail – especially useful when taking bookings from abroad. Their virtual tour highlights the details of the accommodation and allows them to show different configurations, such as alternative bedroom or dining layouts. Customers can also reassure themselves about access for the elderly or disabled, as well as child safety measures.