UK holidays are soon to be no longer a distant memory for Britons, with many campsites, caravan parks and hotels reopening their doors from July 4. However, Britons do not have to miss out on the usual luxury they enjoy just because they want to stay safe.
“Holidays will feel much the same but a lot of planning has gone in behind the scenes to ensure the health and wellbeing of our guests and property owners,” he explained.
“We’re working with our UK property owners and contractors to make sure every cottage in our care is deep cleaned and sanitised during guest changeovers. “Visitors will also be given essential items such as hand soap, hand sanitiser and cleaning products to use during their stay.
“Previously our owners have met guests to check-in and hand over the keys, but they’re now expected to introduce contactless key collections – either by keeping a safe distance or installing key lockboxes.”
Though a self-catered break might not feel the exact same as a hotel experience, it turns out there are plenty of luxurious and unique options to choose from.
“We have a range of unique properties available across the UK and Ireland, from traditional thatched cottages and shepherd’s huts to converted railway carriages and fairytale towers,” Mr Donoghue pointed out.
“Bertram’s Hotel is a former route master bus with an Agatha Christie theme. The bus has been transformed into the perfect Devonshire bolthole, complete with a shower right next to the driver’s seat and its own herd of alpacas.
“For those wanting a rural retreat, Grade II listed watermill Grafton Mill can be found in the heart of Worcestershire. Set over three floors, this characterful property boasts original mill features and extensive grounds.”
July is set to see a boom in bookings across the UK.
Holiday rental marketplace Snaptrip, for example, found that in the first day following the announcement that lockdown restrictions would ease further, they experienced a 172 percent increase in bookings.
Of those, 50 percent were for July alone.
For Sykes Holiday Cottages, the results were similar.
“Moments after Boris Johnson confirmed that the sector will reopen, our customers took to the website and a new booking was made every ten seconds,” said Mr Donoghue.
“We also saw a significant increase in bookings year on year, showing that confidence is returning and just how eager we all are to take a well-deserved break as soon as it is safe to do so.
“With foreign travel still so uncertain, it’s a perfect opportunity for Brits to enjoy what our own country has to offer.
“Besides, the UK as a holiday destination is hard to beat – we’re blessed with picture-perfect towns, stunning coastlines and spectacular countryside.”
Having faced months of lockdown at the beginning of what is usually the UK’s peak holiday season, VisitBritain bosses have urged Britons to book a holiday at home.
“Our tourist sector is one of the most vibrant and successful in the world – it needs you to make sure it bounces back once more,” commented Patricia Yates, VisitBritain’s chief executive.
Mr Donoghue is confident that tourism will return, though.
“The number of domestic tourists holidaying in the UK hit an all-time high last year and, when lockdown lifts, we’re confident this will continue,” he said.
“After months in lockdown, many of us are going to be keen to travel as soon as it’s safe to do so and for some time UK travel is likely to be preferable.”