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Staycation surge offers 'silver lining' for holiday investors

With schools breaking up for the summer, holiday let owners are bracing for a boom in bookings as many shun travelling abroad due to ongoing uncertainty surrounding foreign holidays. 

According to brand new research from Sykes Holiday Cottages, three in five (62%) are planning to enjoy a staycation as their main break this year, up from 50% in 2019, prior to the pandemic.

The Sykes Staycation Index 2021 analyses Sykes Holiday Cottages’ booking figures, consumer research and revenue data to reveal all about UK staycations, while also showing the numbers turning to holiday letting as an investment.


With a rise in holidaying at home, Sykes’ Index highlights a 40% uplift in holiday let bookings during the summer 2021 school holidays compared to 2019 - a silver lining for holiday let owners after an undoubtedly hard year.

The Index also reveals that, prior to the pandemic, the average Sykes owner earned £21,000 in revenue from their holiday let, a number that is expected to jump dramatically this year thanks to the rise in bookings. 

In fact, this summer holiday let owners can expect to earn an average income of £9,500 across July and August alone, a massive 56% increase on the average summer income in 2019.

And with income potential rising, the pandemic has also fuelled a rise in second homeowners and investors tapping into the UK’s tourism boom, with new owner enquiries to Sykes more than doubling in 2021 (109%) compared to 2019.

For those weighing up where to invest, the fastest-growing holiday hotspot this summer is the Peak District according to Sykes’ booking figures, which is also the most lucrative destination for holiday let owners with an average revenue of £27,000 annually.

Cumbria and the Heart of England follow closely behind as top-earning regions, with an average annual income of £26,000 and £25,000 respectively and are also high up the list of popular destinations for bookings this summer.

In terms of what people want from a holiday let, one in five (22%) say they are now more likely to work from home while on holiday versus before the pandemic, with properties with good WiFi making 16% more.

Meanwhile, following a surge in pet-ownership during lockdown, bookings for staycations with pets this summer have risen by a significant 40%. Allowing pets to stay at your holiday let is said to boost revenue by 11%.

Also likely fuelled by the pandemic, Sykes reports that three in ten (33%) say they will spend more money on holidays following the pandemic, with bookings for luxury breaks up 31% compared to 2019. Income figures suggest luxury amenities such as hot tubs and open fires could boost earnings by as much as 16% and 14%.

And with more Brits than ever staycationing, and willing to spend more to have a good time, the staycation boom is expected to boost the UK economy by an estimated £30 billion this summer.*

Graham Donoghue, chief executive officer of Sykes Holiday Cottages, says, “The entire travel industry has undergone tremendous changes and disruptions over the past year, but the UK staycation market has fought back, with the appetite for holidays at home now stronger than ever."

“And with millions of Brits choosing UK breaks over foreign trips, our cottages are generating more revenue than ever before, while the growing attractiveness of holiday letting as an investment opportunity is fuelling more and more new owner enquiries by the day."

“A stronger UK staycation market will likely remain a fixture for years to come, meaning the long-term revenue opportunities for those considering entering the market now could be substantial.”

To view the full Staycation Index report, visit Sykes Holiday Cottages' website.


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