Hot tub breaks keep staycation demand bubbling over bank holiday weekends
PUBLISHED: 14:52 08 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:31 08 May 2019
Staycation specialists Hoseasons has said that uncertainty over Brexit is helping to strengthen the region's tourism economy.
The Lowestoft-based business specialist is predicting a healthy outlook for domestic breaks over the remainder of the year following a strong Easter and a surge in short break bookings across its lodges and parks portfolio for May and beyond.
Easter bookings for the East of England were up 15% compared to 2018, while sales for the period starting with this weekend's May bank holiday through to Whitsun are up 19% on where they were last year.
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Simon Altham, chief portfolio officer for Awaze UK - the parent company of Hoseasons - says a combination of factors including lack of clarity on Brexit and recent good weather are responsible for the bookings boom.
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He said: "There's no doubt the continuing confusion over Brexit has had a positive impact on bookings. Standards of accommodation and facilities have improved so much over the last decade that holidaymakers are now actively seeking out luxury, hassle-free short breaks closer to home at a time when they may have concerns about going further afield.
"The good weather has also played its part, but the impact of industry investment should not be underestimated. Customer expectations have rocketed in recent years so it's no surprise that the local locations we see performing best are the ones where owners have been prepared to improve their offer and, in turn, wow their guests."
Hot tub breaks have been particularly popular for Hoseasons in 2019, with 21% more hot tub breaks sold so far this year compared to the same point in 2018.
The company is also reporting a 24% year-on-year increase in sales of weekend short breaks.
Hoseasons also has a long-established partnership with Stalham-based Richardson's Holidays and sells their lodge and boating holidays.
Greg Munford, chief executive of Richardson's Holidays said: "It's been a very strong start to the season with our investment strategy proving to be paying off. Both Hemsby Beach Holiday Park and our boating breaks are performing well.
"Revenue for boating is up 4% from 2018 thanks to our continued investment, giving us the best start from the Easter period. Overall, our recent £10m investment in new accommodation, entertainment complex and sports facilities for Hemsby Beach Holiday Park has supported a 44% growth in bookings this year."