UK: Research from building society The Cumberland reveals UK consumer travel sentiment and property owner insights ahead of the summer season and beyond.
The survey, commissioned by The Cumberland, was conducted between 1-18 June 2021. It comprised 1,021 UK adults and 233 UK accommodation owners and managers.
Findings revealed that hotels (38 per cent), cottages (32 per cent), and B&B’s (24 per cent) are the most popular types of accommodation amongst travellers.
Overall, 69 per cent stated they are willing to pay more for a property that complies with Covid-19 hygiene and safety measures. This is divided between 38 per cent stating they would pay more for a property with a deep cleaning service, and 31 per cent stating they would pay more for a property with clear Covid-19 guidance.
This correlates with 86 per cent of holiday accommodation owners highlighting they have invested in their business during the pandemic. 80 per cent reported spending money on Covid-19 compliance, whilst 71 per cent have improved their property or service.
Regarding destinations, Cornwall is the favourite UK place to visit (17 per cent) with the Lake District and Devon both ranking second (14 per cent). Scotland (13 per cent), Wales (11 per cent) and East Anglia (nine per cent) closely follow.
84 per cent of respondents said they will holiday in the UK this summer. 56 per cent cited concerns about cancellations due to the impact of new strains for the 2021 summer season, whereas 31 per cent of accommodation owners said they were worried about double reservations and cancellations last minute.
“This dual research amongst consumers and UK holiday accommodation owners provides really important insights into the opportunities and challenges currently faced by the British hospitality industry, as it navigates its way out of the pandemic and into the ‘new normal’,” said Scott McKerracher, head of commercial at The Cumberland. “With mortgage customers across the UK hospitality industry, including hotels, B&Bs and holiday let owners, we understand how optimism within the market can show a clear way forward for this sector.
“It is very clear from our consumer research that a UK holiday is by far and away the main choice for British consumers this summer and it seems that many UK accommodation owners have decided to invest in their businesses not only for the short term but also to make long lasting, positive change. This can only bode well for the sector going forward, as consumer confidence rises to match.”
When it comes to business funding during the pandemic, 52 per cent of accommodation owners and managers funded investment in their business from savings/equity contribution; 41 per cent from a business loan; 26 per cent from insurance; 21 per cent from external equity; 17 per cent from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) or the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS); and 15 per cent from remortgage.
Additionally, 75 per cent said they were definitely going to or are considering using the Government Recovery Loan Scheme, which was introduced in April.
Grant Seaton, senior business lending manager at The Cumberland, said: “The research findings regarding the use of CBILS and BBLS is interesting and encouraging, as it demonstrates that the businesses had other means to invest for the future. The level of investment to which businesses are committing demonstrates optimism and resilience during a very challenging time and will hopefully be rewarded as consumer confidence and demand to holidaying in the UK continues to grow.”
The survey was carried out by Research Without Barriers. Further information about The Cumberland can be found here.