There has been a collective sigh of relief as lockdown restrictions finally start to lift and life can start to return to some form of normality.
Obviously, we are not out of the woods yet, but the data is going in the right direction, both in terms of Covid-19 numbers and economic recovery.
As we get ready for summer 2021, holidays are going to look a little different this year. Instead of welcoming international tourists to the region, Yorkshire is set for an influx of staycationers – 22 million Brits (42%) will holiday domestically instead of travelling further afield in search of warmer climates.
Summer in the UK is a luck of the draw, one of its charms, but hopefully this year we will see some sunshine to show off what Yorkshire has to offer.
According to data from Welcome to Yorkshire, tourism in Yorkshire was worth £9 billion in 2019. That year, the region welcomed 4.2m domestic tourists, highlighting the importance of local visitors, as well as international guests.
In 2020, the Yorkshire Dales noticed an increase in young people in addition to people from different ethnic backgrounds visiting the national park. And a fifth (20%) said it was their first time visiting that part of the countryside.
As well as hospitality reopening, there will be a welcome boost for the business community across Yorkshire. With people being allowed to travel again, the positive impact this will have on our economy is massively important.
As well as people’s joy at being able to do normal things again, the towns, markets, shops and visitor attractions have spent over a year navigating a very difficult roadmap. A number of lockdowns, restrictions and the general concern of people being in grounded areas has been the biggest challenge many businesses have ever faced.
We need more than ever for Brits to support the UK economy and plan their perfect staycation, holding off on that sunshine escape for just a bit longer.
A holiday at home this year, will give people the chance to explore Yorkshire and
the wider UK, and hopefully appreciate what is on offer practically on their own doorstep – but our research suggests people are not necessarily treating their staycations in the same way they would a holiday abroad.
We found that 68% of people surveyed in Yorkshire wouldn’t take out domestic travel insurance, setting them up for significant potential losses, including break downs, lost items or cancelled accommodation. And over half (51%) believe it’s not necessary or didn’t know insurance was needed when on a domestic break, despite spending £619 on average per UK holiday. 14% of people in Yorkshire also admitted to never buying travel insurance.
But why is insurance not a consideration just because we are holidaying in the UK?
Well, one in five (20%) think you only need travel insurance if going aboard and we are also fortunate that we can access the NHS for medical emergencies from anywhere in the UK (39%). Surprisingly 6% of travellers also don’t consider it a real holiday.
This misconception is a worry but there are packaged current accounts out there that include benefits like travel, breakdown and mobile phone and gadget insurance, including our Club M account, so at least some people will be covered without needing to put travel insurance on their to-do list this summer.
Brighter days are coming. We continue to support our customers in the best way we can and there will be many conversations in the coming weeks and months as we find our way in this new normal.
For our business customers, our door will always be open, and our relationships managers and senior team are here to offer guidance and advice on how you come out this pandemic in a strong position. Yorkshire has a huge amount to offer and we look forward to welcome visitors old and new to our region this summer.
Gavin Opperman is the Group Business Director of Virgin Money