'Staycationers' stay away

December 11th, 2009 in UK travel by Sarah Lee 1
Grab your bags, we're not staying here!

According to the managing director of Butlins the big 2009 staycation (the term for taking a UK holiday) revolution never materialised: http://bit.ly/87bRAX

Earlier this year I was wondering about this much talked about phenomena and concluded back in the summer that staycations, like nano-breaks and other ridiculous sounding ‘new’ ways to beat the recession and still take a holiday, were made up notions. The stuff of travel company marketing teams who felt that by developing a new trend travellers would book in their droves.

Whenever I travelled this year, and as a travel journo I do quite a lot of travelling, the airports were pretty busy. I’m not saying the industry hasn’t felt the effects of the economic meltdown – 2009 has been a struggle for many travel companies. But people are so used to foreign holidays now they don’t want to give them up.

Instead they’ve changed the way they travel – staying in cheaper accommodation, going for 10 instead of 14 nights and some have bought shared holiday ownership (timeshare and fractional) too. Butlins itself has seen a lot of interest in its fractional at its Minehead resort, something I wrote about here in the summer. And though there seemed to be a slight increase in the numbers of people taking a UK holiday this year, the only people who really enjoyed a staycation were the marketers that earned a packet devising the ridiculous term.

In the words of a 90s boy band call it what you want. But realise that today most of us are fitted with an acute hype filter. For me, made up marketing terms are a total turn off. I’d rather be sold a destination or a hotel on its enviable attractions than as a ‘new way to travel’.

My hope for 2010 is that travel companies get back to selling holidays on their merits instead of hype.

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