Hopes for some economic redemption for the year were stoked last week by the news that bookings for domestic holidays had surged 150 per cent compared to 2019.
As documented by the Daily Mirror last week, booking data released by campsites.co.uk – which lists some 3,000 individual campsites – showed that the number of reservations for the remainder of 2020 had risen to “record levels” since the July 4 reopening, as leisure-starved Britons clamour for a chance to get away from home.
Meanwhile, fellow camping website pitchup.com has said that it has received in excess of 30,000 bookings over the course of the past week – which accounts for 120,000 guests. Such was the intensity of demand, Pitchup founder Dan Yates claimed that his team had been taking calls once every three seconds during the busiest period immediately after lockdown was lifted.
And there was further good news on the staycation front last week with the announcement from chancellor Rishi Sunak that he was slashing VAT charged on all domestic holiday accommodation from 20 per cent to 5 per cent: with the policy effective throughout the remainder of the year.
“We need to give hospitality businesses the confidence to know that if they open up, invest in making their premises safe, and protect jobs, then demand will be there,” the chancellor told the Commons in his summer statement last Wednesday, adding that the tax cut was aimed to “get these sectors moving.”