Home U.K Hopes for Great British summer boosted as prices for UK's top 10...

Hopes for Great British summer boosted as prices for UK's top 10 beach destinations soar


UK travel: Expert advises on booking summer holidays

Matt Hancock said he is confident restrictions will be lifted thanks to the vaccine, giving Britons the green light for holidays across the UK. But they face a 35 percent higher bill as property investors cash in on pent-up demand. Which? said the price of staycations had rocketed in 10 of the UK’s most popular beach destinations – including St Ives, Whitby, Llandudno and Brighton. The Health Secretary, who has already booked his family break in Cornwall, said yesterday: “I very much hope as we lift restrictions we are all able to travel across the UK.

“I’m confident, because of the ­vaccine, that we will be able to make that progress and travel freely ­wherever we are within these islands.

“I’m more optimistic about having a great British summer than I have been at any time, thanks to the speed and effectiveness of the vaccine rollout.

“By great British summer, I absolutely mean people being able to enjoy travel across the whole of the UK.”

People in England may be allowed to stay in self-contained holiday lets from April 12 – in just over five weeks – under Boris Johnson’s roadmap.

Foreign holidays – which might be possible from May 17 – are likely to involve several requirements such as testing and self-isolation periods.

In its study published today, consumer watchdog Which? lists the price of holiday lets on booking platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo with owners looking to cash in on a surge in demand for a UK break.

Summer Holidays

Prices for July and August are typically 35 percent higher than the equivalent dates last year (Image: Getty )

Prices for July and August are typically 35 percent higher than the equivalent dates last year.

A one-bedroom maisonette in Brighton has the largest mark-up, more than doubling from £53 a night to a wallet-emptying £127 per night.

A one-bedroom ­place in Bourne-mouth has risen from £722 for the first week of August last year to £958 in 2021 – an increase of 33 percent.

The bill for a one-week stay in Llandudno shot up from £427 to £596, while seven nights in St Ives climbed from £860 to £1,263.

Some hikes were more modest, with a one-bedroom cottage in Scarborough just seven percent more expensive.

However, Airbnb described the analysis as “misleading”, claiming research shows guests rate its platform as more affordable than rivals.

Meanwhile, Vrbo said it “does not set, change or influence the property prices a host chooses”, adding that holidaymakers agree to prices before they book.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “Many holidaymakers are looking forward to finally going to the seaside, so it’s perhaps not a surprise that high demand has seen prices for some destinations shoot up too.

“If ­people are prepared to pay more for their summer holidays this year, it’s essential that they know their money will be protected or returned to them without hassle in the event they ­cannot travel as planned.

“Make sure you choose a provider that offers fair and flexible booking terms, so you won’t be left chasing a refund if something goes wrong.”

Hosts on Airbnb set the cost and cleaning fees for their properties.

It said: “This misleading research ­features isolated examples not representative of prices on Airbnb.

“A survey shows more than half of UK guests choose Airbnb as it is more affordable than a hotel or other options.

Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock said he is confident restrictions will be lifted in time for summer thanks to the jab (Image: Getty)

“With the Great British staycation back on the horizon, hosts are ready to provide clean and private accommodation to help families and loved ones safely reconnect.

“And around half say they rely on the additional income from hosting.”

Vrbo told Which?: “We are…connecting holidaymakers and home hosts, without being part of any contractual agreements at any time.

“That means all rental contracts are closed between the holidaymaker and the holiday-home host, or the property manager, directly.”

There was good news last night for those still dreaming of a foreign break.

Cyprus said it will welcome Britons from May 1 – if they are fully vaccinated, including having their second jab at least seven days before travel.

Random Covid tests will still be carried out on arrivals. Meanwhile, British Airways is to start offering customers a £33 rapid virus kit.


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