Post-Brexit anxiety boosting British seaside stays

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Tourism experts say British holidaymakers are being “more cautious” with their money as the UK’s staycation trend becomes the status quo.

 

Tourism industry experts and stakeholders are expecting a surge in British seaside holidays as post-Brexit anxiety causes consumers to tighten their spending.

They agree that the staycation trend will only get stronger as 2018 sees another boost in domestic tourism bookings and stays. Research conducted by Butlins has identified a post-Brexit sense of nostalgia amongst holidaymakers, while its bookings have risen 7.5 percent on this time last year.

Andrew French, Butlins’ head of communications, told Sky News: “There’s a lot of sentimental attachment to the British seaside, so we will see guests who come and want to tell their families about the holidays they had by the seaside skimming stones, walking along the beach or going to the fair.”

Dr Sheila Malone, a tourism and marketing lecturer at Lancaster University, echoed Butlins’ research and said that the current trend had really taken root after the Brexit referendum.

She commented: “That seemed to trigger a different kind of consumer sentiment in terms of spending – a little bit more cautious, looking for a bit more security in how they are spending their money.

“There’s a shift in the tourism landscape probably driven by the nervousness and anxiousness around Brexit.”

The latest figures from VisitBritain back this up, showing a four per cent rise in holidays taken in England in 2017 by British nationals.

Malone also agreed with Butlins that nostalgia was a key factor in driving more people to eschew overseas holidays and join the growing ranks of staycationers.

She added: “There’s been a renewed interest in what’s on our own doorstep, looking to what traditionally would have been a 19th century style holiday,your fish and chips by the seaside, your ice creams on the promenade.

“We have seen a revival of beach huts and donkey rides.”

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