Published on Friday, January 20, 2012

TravelMole Guest Comment: Staycation trends for 2012

Maya Asset Management explores what’s in store for the UK domestic holiday market in the next year.

In the first of a two-part series, marketing director Tania Duarte shares five of her top 10 predictions for 2012..

"According to a study by Travel Supermarket, 2011 was another good year for those engaged in servicing the 40% of the UK population who took their main holiday in the UK, as well as the increasing number of us Brits who have been taking more short domestic breaks. Although these breaks may have been for fewer nights, this still proved to have a great impact on the UK holiday market. With such results, it is fair to say the post recession ‘staycation’ trend will continue into 2012. However, this year will be a tough one. To survive it, businesses need to embrace social media marketing and ensure that they have the business model, investment and structure to survive the combination of lower prices and increased inflationary costs.

Here are five of my predictions for what is in store for the staycation industry this year:

Olympics- creating legendary bookings?
The Olympic and Paralympic Games will create opportunities for increased bookings but these opportunities will be later than expected with only a few accommodation providers in key locations likely to attract the massive price hikes which caused controversy a year ago. Existing hoteliers and accommodation providers for business will face competition from people renting out public, private garden spaces for camping and short-let flats. Those properties offering sporting activities will no doubt capitalise on the interest. However, a sound business model is still needed for such flash ventures even if over a small window of time.

Eco tourism starts in the UK
Following the 2011 European trend of luxury authentic and ethical tourism, eco and sustainable holiday options will increase in popularity in 2012. With advocates such as Conscious Travel, Eurostar and a carbon neutral UK hotel winning award categories in the worldwide travel Responsible Tourism Awards, eco tourism is really set to take off. After all, the first rule of eco tourism is to visit your own country first.

Royal Jubilation
There is a plethora of cultural and royal experiences for domestic tourism to take advantage of in 2012. With HM Diamond Jubilee giving the British public an extra Bank holiday, William and Kate’s first wedding anniversary and the 200th anniversary of Dickens birth, there will be an increase in events and themes to attract both domestic and overseas visitors. This should see a rise in overseas and domestic tourism, as the British public take advantage of the chance to revel in their heritage.

Glamping grows up
Glamorous camping or ‘glamping’ is fast becoming the cool way to camp. More and more glamping experiences will be offered in 2012, with a growing proliferation of accommodation and experience types already available. On bell, pavilion, and safari tents compete with tipis, domes, huts, lodges, tree-houses, pods, yurts, gypsy and airstream caravans! Glamping will grow to encompass kitsch, retro, uber-luxury and eco experiences, currently mainly from independents only, and a franchise from Featherdown Farms, the most popular of which are already booked up until 2013.

Good Deal Hunting
A key trend for 2012 will be deal hunting. The phenomenally late booking that we saw in 2011 will continue in 2012 with the expectation of significant price discounts. Operators will have to compete not only with each other, but also with low price holidays in countries such as Japan and Egypt which are trying to revive their tourism industry."

The other five of Maya's top 10 predictions will be unveiled next week.

For more information see  or follow Maya on Twitter @MayaManagement


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