By Olga Pavlova, Content Marketing Manager at ALTIDO (www.stayaltido.com)
As the future of international travel this year remains unclear and regulations are changing every day, staycations are booming in the UK and Europe.With my colleagues at ALTIDO we discussed what it means for people and industry and whether staycations are here to stay. I spoke with Jeremy Slater, the General Manager of ALTIDO UK,Thomas Archer, ALTIDO co-founder and the Managing Director of ALTIDO Portugal and Marco Rossanigo, the General Manager of ALTIDO Italy. Here is a short take away from our talk.
1. STAYCATIONS ARE ON THE RISE
We’ve seen a significant increase in domestic bookings in all regions starting from March 2020 and expect more to come in summer 2021. In Italy up to 80% of reservations last summer came from local guests and we are likely to see similar numbers this year. Majority of bookings in the UK and Portugal are expected to be from local guests as well.As Tom Archer puts it: “People are desperate to travel. I think it’s pretty clear. And if you can’t go abroad, staycations are a great alternative.”
2.THE CONCEPT OF TRAVEL HAS CHANGED
Two years ago we had a large amount of guests booking weekends in big cities for short breaks, but things are different now. As the majority of people are still working from home and international travel remains the subject of restrictions, we see much more bookings from local customers who want to spend several weeks or even months in properties out of cities. “It’s a new life, home working has changed everything, – Marco Rossanigo explains. Mostly people live in apartments, and once they have the possibility to escape the city and spend some time in a house in the countryside, they use it”.
3. HOSPITALITY BUSINESS IS CHANGING AS WELL
As guests are moving out of the big cities, so do property managers. Although city apartments remain to be the core of our business, we now acquire more houses in rural areas and villas at the seaside. Furthermore, we launched a new brand Coast and Country by ALTIDO which offers full management hospitality service to holiday let properties in far-flung areas. “It is a logistical challenge for us as business, – Jeremy Slater admits. But the core tenets of hospitality still apply: providing a well-maintained property, good value for money, 24/7 guest support and friendly local touches.”
4.THERE ARE SOME BENEFITS IN THIS SITUATION
While just like all travel professionals we are eagerly waiting for inter- national travellers to return, staycations proved to be quite beneficial not only for business, but also for guests and local economies.They pro- vide the opportunity for property managers and owners to still receive some cash flow in these challenging times and for guests to go on holiday even though borders may stay closed. Staycations also are helping to diversify business and support local economies in not so popular destinations.
Marco Rossanigo says:“Staycations opened the possibility for less known destinations to attract much more visitors than it was possible before.We now have properties in less famous destinations with the same level of bookings as in well known regions like Chianti.”
5. STAYCATIONS ARE HERE TO STAY. AT LEAST, FOR SOME TIME
The current boom in domestic holidays is fueled by exceptional circumstances which hopefully will change by the next holiday season, but it seems that staycations are here to stay for at least a couple of years. And it’s a good thing.
Tom Archer shares his thoughts: “I think international travel will pick up massively in the next 2-3 years, possibly bigger than before. But stay- cations are definitely going to stick around.After two years of doing staycations people might think ‘well, I’d like to explore my country a bit more’. It’s a positive step”.
About the author
Olga Pavlova is the Content Marketing Manager at ALTIDO who’s been with the company for several years. She graduated from the London School of Journalism and has been writing about travel and tourism industry for a num- ber of publications including the Condé Nast Traveller magazine. ALTIDO is a hospitality provider managing Airbnbs, serviced apartments, hotels and private residences across Europe.