BRITS are scrambling to book up staycations amid fears travelling abroad will be impossible this summer.
Demand for some popular destinations is ten times higher than 2019 with prices soaring by as much as 50 per cent.
Demand for some popular destinations is ten times higher than 2019
Industry experts say the majority of bookings are coming from customers aged 55 and over – who plan to go for a break after getting the Covid vaccine.
It comes as Boris Johnson pledged that every adult will have the jab by July – with over 50s set to be vaccinated by April 15.
But while the government’s roll out goes full steam ahead, desperate holidaymakers are planning ahead.
Simply Sea Views, an agency with more than 8,000 cottages, is already 99 percent booked in Padstow, Cornwall for peak season.
Only one property remains for the whole of July and August while Lyme Regis, Dorset is 86 per cent full for both months.
A spokesperson told the Mail on Sunday: “Holidaymakers can forget Southwold in Suffolk, too – it is 100 per cent booked. There’s a similar picture in Tenby, Wales, which has only very slim pickings.”
Travel Counsellors, which operates a network of 1,500 UK travel professionals in the UK, saw its highest number of UK holiday bookings ever last week.
Sales were at ten times the level they were at this time last year and 20 per cent up on week on week.
Chief executive of Sykes, which manages 18,000 UK properties, Graham Donoghue said: “Occupancy levels last year hit a record 95 per cent and I think this year will be better.
“If we get clarity from the Government tomorrow, demand will go through the roof.”
Some “super honeypot locations” are already 70 per cent booked for August, he added.
Some agencies have had to create a waiting list because of demand while others are paying as much as £500 more than the asking price to secure a property that has already been let out.
Boutique agency Bloomstays’ Rowena Owens said: “I’ve been in the holiday rental business for 20 years and I’ve not come across it before.”
She said she has been shocked by guests attempting to gazump.
Demand for campsites and motorhomes has also surged.
And more agencies are reporting a rise in people putting their homes up for rent to make the most of the staycation boom.
Prices for UK holiday rentals are soaring by as much as 50 per cent