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Profits of UK SMEs sizzle as Brits spend increasing amount on staycations

4 min read

26 August 2016

Former deputy editor

With the bank holiday weekend ahead, Barclays has found British SMEs operating in hospitality sectors are experiencing impressive growth as holidaymakers nationwide opt for getaways on UK soil and spend an increasing amount in the process.

Indeed, 70 per cent of adults have either been on, or are planning, a staycation. Barclays Business also found that the average spend per stay has risen 6.4 per cent year-on-year for H1 2016.

On a regional basis, London has the largest number of businesses in the accommodation and food services industries open, followed by the south east and north west, the report found.

That said, the south west had the largest SME turnover share at six per cent, driven by 32 per cent of consumers that choose to visit the region, which makes it the most popular 2016 staycation destination.

The average spend for a staycation is £613, up from £575 in 2015. Breaking the figures down further, men spend £657 on average – 14 per cent more than women – and those over 55 spend an average of £684. Elsewhere, London has an average spend of £701, which falls to £526 in Wales.

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“Brits are opting to spend their leisure time on UK shores and in turn it is boosting the takings of business in the tourism sector. With a weaker pound, UK SMEs are also likely to see a rise in overseas holidaymakers coming to the UK,” said Adam Rowse, head of business banking at Barclays.

The staycation business sector’s income is now at £50bn, which has spiked by 30 per cent since 2012. According to Barclays, this makes the market one of the strongest growing in the UK as growth is ten per cent higher than the average for UK SME turnover growth.

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In terms of location, 46 per cent of Brits named the seaside the preferred staycation location, followed by country breaks on 40 per cent. Meanwhile, 36 per cent opted for a city break, 25 per cent are just happy to stay with friends and family, and 21 per cent appreciate National Trust sites.

Rowse continued: “With people spending more money on their ‘Great British Getaway’, this in turn presents a huge opportunity for business owners and the tourism industry to capitalise on the rise in domestic tourism.

“There is welcome growth for UK accommodation and food sectors who have adapted around seasonal volatility and come out fighting.”

The opportunity for exploring their country was the top reason for remaining in the UK, according to 38 per cent, and 34 per cent claimed there are lots of fun things to do.

For 27 per cent, it was a matter of reducing travel time, 22 per cent said they believe it’s cheaper to stay in the UK, while 19 per cent cited security fears and terror attacks abroad as the reason for keeping them at home. The report noted August and September are the most popular times for staycations.

Showcasing the power of the staycation, indulgent multi-million pound investments have turned up the heat for this holiday park operator’s sales.