The British government has announced that its countrywide lockdown will be relaxed on July 4, allowing for hotels and campsites to open again to tourists. For many, 2020 will be the year of passport-free holidays
As Globetrender predicted in its free report, Travel in the Age of Covid-19, Domestic Sanctity (referring to holidays taken in one’s home country) will be a defining trend of the new world order.
And now, the UK government has announced that hotels, campsites and home rentals, as well as restaurants, pubs (albeit with table service-only) and museums, will be able to open for business from July 4.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “This has been an incredibly tough time for all these establishments, but I hope everyone in them can take confidence that they can open their doors again in a couple of weeks time.”
Hotels such as the Swan in the Lake District have been quick to announce they will be opening their doors, albeit with new “Covid-19 compliance procedures” in place. In this instance, these include social-distancing measures, operating at limited capacity, an enhanced hygiene programme and flexible cancellation policy.
Luxury Lodges will also be opening its UK resorts from July 4, with “rigorous cleaning and hygiene routines” and contactless check-in.
In London, staff at the Treehouse hotel will be wearing Liberty-print face masks (also available for guests to purchase), and will be offering “retro rooftop picnics” on its terrace when it reopens for stays in early July.
For those looking to arrange reunion holiday with family or friends, properties such as the Suffolk Farmhouse (pictured above) can be rented out exclusively (in this case via Olivers Travels for £5,706 for 12 people over seven nights).
Here is an excerpt from Globetrender’s report looking at the Domestic Sanctity trend, by Rose Dykins.
Passport-free holidays will be the norm for 2020. This is for a number of reasons: border closures and arrival quarantines, the fear of getting ill abroad, concern about having to negotiate airports and planes, and limited disposable income.
Some commentators are using the word “staycation” to describe domestic tourism, but what Globetrender is referring to is hitting the road and going somewhere different – without having to leave the country.
Domestic tourism (both overnight and day trips) in England contributed £80 billion in 2019 but coronavirus is expected to knock £22 billion off that figure in 2020, according to Patricia Yates, acting chief executive at Visit Britain.
She said: “To get British tourism up and running this summer, you’re going to need that domestic audience. [But] I think the worrying thing is the lack of confidence in the British public about travelling.”
Among some segments of society, however, there is huge pent-up demand for travel. During lockdown, operator Luxury Cotswold Rentals told Globetrender it has seen a 166 per cent year-on-year increase in traffic to its website, and a 138 per cent rise in the number of enquiries.
In China, during its May bank holiday weekend, more than 50 million domestic trips were made in two days after the government eased lockdown restrictions. Prior to this, there were staggeringly cheap deals on flights within the country – nicknamed “bok choy” tickets by the media, because they were the same price as vegetables.
Countries with large domestic flight networks may initially experience similar deals from airlines to encourage travellers to return to the skies.
However, where possible, Globetrender predicts travellers will choose to go by road in the virus-free safety of their own car. Tapping into this, US-based startup RoadTravel is now offering “road trip packages” – curated itineraries, trip planning features and accommodation booking powered by sites such as booking.com.
Founder Nikita Dedik says: “The crisis not only hasn’t hurt us but so far it’s helped us.” Camper van sales are also booming. “We have seen a dramatic rise in inquiries,” Steve Lumley, of CamperVantastic, told The Times in May.
Some tourist boards are thinking up ways to encourage domestic travellers to book trips to boost the economy. In Poland, the government has been mulling giving each citizen vouchers worth 1,000 zloty (about US$238) to be spent on domestic holidays.
Thailand has launched a “We Love Thailand” campaign, promoting national attractions, while New Zealand is pinning its hopes on recouping lost dollars from inbound tourists by getting locals to explore what’s on their doorstep.
However, care will have to be made to ensure hotspots are not overrun, which is what happened when the US reopened Yellowstone National Park.
What’s coming next? Trend reports available to download HERE