It’s famed for its beaches, fish restaurants, rugged coastline, ice cream and pasties, and property agency Spot Blue International Property believes this – coupled with the fallout from Brexit, improving domestic transport links and an expanding holiday home market - is helping Cornwall to cement its position as the UK’s favourite staycation destination.
Long a favoured destination for domestic tourists, its reputation among those visiting from overseas is also on the rise with an increasing number of foreign tourists visiting this historic and unique part of England.
According to a recent survey by a leading high street bank, 31% of British 'staycationers' planned to visit Cornwall this year, making the south-western county the UK’s most popular region.
Additionally, just over half (52%) of people surveyed said they would take most or all of this year's holiday in the UK, with 31% saying they intend to spend more time in the UK than previous years.
Meanwhile, another survey by a leading rental company found that 66% of British people enjoyed a staycation last year, representing a 10% increase on 2017.
“Evidence points to British people being spooked by both the weak pound, pushing up the costs associated with overseas holidays, and the fear of possible travel disruption once they can no longer travel as EU citizens,” Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue International Property, said.
“The natural response of many is to choose the safety of the UK for their annual holidays, helped by the recent warmer summers. Already a popular coastal destination with famous beaches and popular towns like Padstow, Newquay and St Ives, not to mention the Eden Project, Cornwall is well-placed to benefit from this trend in 2019 and beyond.”
Ever-improving air access is helping to drive tourism in Cornwall, which is home to the UK’s fastest-growing airport. During the 2018-19 financial year, 461,000 passengers passed through Cornwall Airport Newquay, making it the fifth consecutive year of growth and the best year ever for the airport.
Key new routes launched in 2019 have included four daily services to London Heathrow, as well as services to London Southend, Jersey and Guernsey, and Danish capital Copenhagen.
New or improved routes for 2020 will include Glasgow, Aberdeen, Norwich and Newcastle. These are set to complement the airport’s existing services to other regional UK airports, as well as its popular London Gatwick and Manchester services.
As well as appealing to domestic visitors, drawn by the fishing villages, the Cornish micro-climate and historical landmarks such as The Minack Theatre, Cornwall is also attracting a rising number of foreign tourists, with German holidaymakers one of the region’s strongest growth markets.
In response to this, German carrier Eurowings now connects Cornwall with four major German cities - Berlin, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt Hahn.
“Off the back of all this, we predict a rise in demand for desirable accommodation, both for rentals and ownership,” Walker added. “Purpose-built, fully managed holiday communities with on-site facilities are a growing sector of the Cornish market.”
“We are pleased to be promoting a range of boutique lodges within a holiday park near Newquay. The world-class leisure facilities there include pools, watersports activities, an inflatable aqua park, playgrounds, a spa and beauty centre, and places to eat and drink. For investors, there is the option to enter your property into a rental scheme, delivering a 7% return.”
Despite its booming popularity as a staycation hotspot and its rising appeal among foreign tourists, investing in Cornwall isn’t without its risks. There has been a fierce backlash against the number of second home owners in the region, which critics said was making it more difficult for local residents to get on the property ladder.
In 2016, the inhabitants of St Ives – one of Cornwall’s most popular towns - voted to ban the sale of new houses as second homes.
It was hoped that this would make housing more affordable for local people who were being priced out of the market by wealthy summer-dwellers.
However, a new study has now revealed that banning second homes has made it even harder for local people in St Ives to get on the property ladder, with the research from the London School of Economics finding that such bans have been damaging to the local construction and tourism industries.
Overall, Cornwall offers plenty for investors to get excited about, with plenty of scope for bagging a bargain if investment is made in the right areas.