Imagine someone rhapsodizes to you “Oh I had just a marvellous holiday, the mild climate was exactly what I needed and the seaside towns were so quirky and charming”. Your first thought would probably be ‘Stop talking!’ and your second ‘where in the Mediterranean is this place?’
Undoubtedly to your surprise, this person was talking about their short trip staycation in Britain.
According to multiple sources [Mintel 2015, Domestic Tourism UK, Euromonitor 2015, Consumer Lifestyles UK] the ‘staycation’ trend emerged post-recession, as more and more Brits were taking holidays within the UK, mainly due to personal budget restraints.
Since then, for many, the financial landscape has improved again and we saw domestic vacations declined in 2014. However, according to Mintel’s Domestic Tourism report, domestic trips and short trips are back on track for growth. The reasons for this vary from unwillingness or fear of travelling abroad in uncertain political times, environmental concerns, to the joyous embrace of the increasingly warmer UK climate.
Another increasingly prominent reason to holiday in the UK is an overall mood change due to increased interest in what the UK has to offer right on our doorstep and the desire for cultural edification.
We asked our Your Voice Community where their ideal staycation would be in the UK. We asked them to place a pin on their first choice UK location and lo and behold the outcome was this beautiful heat map which visualises clear preferences towards the West coast with hotspots such as the North West, Wales and the South West of the UK.
Source: OMD UK Your Voice
The reasons they cited were ‘fond and nostalgic memories’, and the belief that the South West is the ‘warmest and least rainy part of the UK’ as well as being most picturesque, with the most beautiful beaches and landscapes, and interesting wildlife.
The UK has become an increasingly attractive destination, with its beautiful landmarks and historic scenery, as shown in many British TV dramas. In fact, figures from visitcornwall.com report a 65% increase in traffic since the first episode of Poldark aired and they found that 26% of visitors to the area in summer 2015 had been inspired by the Poldark series. Other examples of TV dramas inspiring us to travel within our country are Broadchurch (Dorset) and Game of Thrones (Northern Ireland).
The power of TV is clearly unquestionable in this instance to promote destinations outside of the capital. That combined with visually powerful digi-nitiatives from Airbnb (promoting castles or converted water towers and mills) and Pinterest and Instagram certainly help to trigger curiosity and interest for travel planning and inspiration – as we know ‘a picture tells a thousand words’.
Most of us love to share or brag about our holiday experiences – be it by uploading ‘the best of’ on social media or showing the never-ending pictures taken on the smartphone. We always look for ways to create and most importantly store our memories. This lends itself to a challenge for travel companies and brands: How can they be part of this furious showing and telling of holiday experiences and memories? For an interesting read on this check out Google’s Travel Trends.
One way could be to bring the traditional medium of the Postcard back into fashion. Partnering up with apps such as Touchnote add a personal and powerful touch to experiences by allowing users to send their images as physical postcards and tell the receiver about their travel experience. Postcards show and tell a story in an inoffensive way, create memories and allow for creativity – and if they are lucky they find a place on the fridge in the kitchen.
Simply a beautiful way of embracing the aesthetics of the relationship between traditional and new forms of communication tools to share personal experiences.