Is the Staycation Industry Ready for a Boom in 2021?

TrafficDefender - Staycations boom in 2021
As we look forward to a lockdown-free summer, albeit with international travel restrictions still in place, huge swathes of holidaymakers are looking to book "staycations" at mainland UK resorts and hotels. Will this welcome boost for the leisure industry stretch booking systems too far under unprecedented demand?

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From PlayStations to staycations, demand for anything to distract us from the pandemic is causing websites to struggle.

It is well known that problems can occur when people flock to the same website at once. Slow loading pages, broken functionality and crashed websites deprive customers of their desired items, and businesses miss out on sales.

The double-edged sword of huge demand in internal tourism is set to hit leisure, travel and hospitality businesses hard in 2021. What can they do to prepare?

What is a staycation?

Simply enough, a “staycation” (a portmanteau of “stay” and “vacation”) is a holiday where vacationers stay within their home country, perhaps going to the countryside or coast. As well as being more economical and eco-friendly than flying across continents, internal tourism has spiked in popularity in the last year due to concerns and bans over international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sudden demand for staycations

ONS figures show that the pandemic hit these leisure, travel and hospitality businesses hardest, with turnover dipping to 9.3% of their February levels in May 2020.

There was a short reprieve for the leisure industry in the summer of 2020 as some local restrictions were relaxed, leading to a short boom in demand, but this was soon shut down by further restrictions as the second wave of COVID-19 struck.

TrafficDefender - Staycation trends

Members of the public are eager for a well-earned holiday after over a year of lockdowns. With the (provisional) end to all restrictions expected in the UK on June 21st, and the government imposing fines of £5,000 for anyone leaving the UK for a holiday, an even bigger staycation boom is expected this year. This presents a difficult yet very welcome challenge to hotels, resorts and leisure complexes across the country looking to recoup lost business from the pandemic.

Making the most of opportunity in the hospitality industry

As holidaymakers seek out UK-based destinations, resorts have a unique opportunity to gain new customers who could return year after year if their experience exceeds expectations.

Good first impressions are crucial. The online booking experience needs to be seamless, despite the expected flood of interest and web traffic. If the booking platform is slow, buggy or even crashes, most would-be visitors will simply go elsewhere.

One of TrafficDefender’s clients, a well-established domestic holiday provider, has set an excellent example for others in the industry by ensuring that their online booking platform, as well as their resorts, are ready for this spike in demand.

Providing an excellent customer service throughout the journey, from a smooth online booking experience to saying “see you next year” as happy guests leave the resort is key to their strategy.

However, it is not just the larger businesses and attractions that should expect a massive increase in interest. The BBC reports that many smaller or independent holiday destinations within the UK have been inundated with bookings.

These smaller destinations must make up for losses in 2020 whilst ensuring this year’s customers will happily return and recommend their trip away to friends and family.

Be prepared for peak web traffic

TrafficDefender provides a ready-to-go solution for coping with peak web traffic, no matter how large or sudden the demand.

By offloading excess traffic to a virtual waiting room away from your booking system, we provide your customers with a fair first-in, first-out virtual queuing experience. This ensures every visitor gets a chance to make their booking whilst protecting your website against outages or technical problems.

Book a demo of the TrafficDefender virtual waiting room today or read more about our solution.

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