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We believe that keeping an eye on national tourism trends allows us to better understand the holiday letting industry and as a consequence we’re able to develop our holiday home insurance offering to match changing needs. Whilst we speak to holiday homeowners and letting agents every day, taking a look at the statistics means we can see the bigger picture.
This month, we’re focusing on the latest coastal tourism trends for you to consider what opportunities they may offer the holiday cottage industry.
The National Coastal Tourism Academy has recently released its 2016 report on the challenges and opportunities for growth in the coastal tourism industry. We’ve read the report cover to cover and picked out the most important bits for you.
Short trips are becoming increasingly popular as coastal tourism continues to battle with city breaks. Accommodation is becoming more flexible with start days and the length of stays allowing seaside towns and villages to find their place in the growing short break market. This flexibility appears to be a vital factor in obtaining short stay visitors.
52% of seaside breaks were just 1-3 nights long, 42% were 4-7 nights, and a mere 6% were 8+ nights. It’s clear to see that short stays are the popular thing to do amongst holiday makers.
Not surprisingly, the market is dominated by families. 41% of all seaside visitors are aged between 16-54 and have children. As the trend for inter generational holidays grows, more and more families are finding coastal breaks appealing.
As less families are visiting during term time due to government restrictions on absence from school, the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) recommend promoting visits in the autumn and winter school holiday breaks. Currently, 74% of breaks are taken between May and October, with only 4% being taken in February.
As summer holidays are expected to get busier, there is a big opportunity to draw families in during other school breaks.
Only 11% of visitors are aged under 35, despite 84% of the age group being classed as potential visitors. Research by NCTA shows that 53% of under 35s declare a lack of knowledge of what is available for them on the English coast.
Thankfully, awareness can be changed.
NCTA recommends short breaks, activity holidays, and romantic trips to draw the younger guests in.
The report shows the perceptions of the coast held by under 35s. This age group believes that the coast is good for fun activities, nostalgia, and an escape from everyday life.
One large issue addressed by the NCTA is awareness. 56% of people interviewed believe that “UK resorts are past their prime”. Potential visitors are often unaware of the product available on the coast, believing that once the summer season is over, the seaside closes for winter.
A large portion of those interviewed consider the coast as a national treasure, however it does not feature highly on their priority list of destinations due to this lack of awareness.
Often potential visitors are unsure how to get to coastal areas or they have general, negative perceptions.
One suggestion for drawing visitors in the off season is health and wellness. This growing industry is particularly popular amongst under 35s and has potential to bring in a new type of visitor.
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.