UK set for coronavirus ‘staycation’ boom

Tourist hotspots could enjoy a huge surge with travel abroad likely to be severely curtailed and budgets stretched

(Image credit: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

UK tourist hotspots could experience a huge boom this summer, as limited freedom to travel abroad and reduced holiday budgets mean more people opt for a “staycation”.

“Tourism accounts for 10% of the EU's economic output, and the 27 member states must now decide how to resume public movement both within their countries and beyond,” says the BBC.

Germany, which has been among the most successful countries in Europe in keeping coronavirus cases down, has extended its warning against worldwide travel until 14 June. Meanwhile, visitors to Spain, which welcomes a large number of British tourists each year, can currently only enter if they can prove they have an essential reason to visit.

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Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli has called for “tourist corridors” to be created between EU countries, with epidemiologists deciding the rules for movement.

Yet international air travel will remain a far less attractive proposition for the foreseeable future.

The Sun reports that “passengers could face a four-hour wait to get airborne, a reduced schedule and prices hiked up in a post-lockdown world”.

“Air travel could become more of a luxury as airlines sticking to distancing rules may need to pull up the fares to cover the cost of less travellers,” it adds.

“Even if lockdowns are lifted, leisure travel abroad is likely to be severely hampered by restrictions or risk-averse holiday-goers wary of another wave of infections,” says The Telegraph.

It means a return to the seaside holiday enjoyed by most Britons before the advent of cheap air travel and package holidays in the 1960s and 70s, with new statistics from CabinBookers revealing that 90% of UK holidaymakers are planning to take a domestic holiday once the coronavirus lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

According to the research eight in 10 people said their “appreciation for UK beauty spots had increased while under lockdown”, while 86% of holiday hunters are on the lookout for countryside escapes rather than the usually popular city breaks.

With 44% of those surveyed saying their interest in staying in the UK for a holiday was a direct result of having a lower budget due to the financial impact of the crisis, “the likes of holiday lets and camping sites in the Lake District and Cornwall could also benefit from Britons scaling back their holiday plans as incomes are squeezed” says the Telegraph.

“The promise of future domestic tourism is good news for the UK’s travel industry, usually worth £88 billion annually to the economy, which has taken a huge hit since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis,” says the Daily Express.

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