Staycation boom attracts increased visitors to Scotland

There really is no place like home when it comes to getting away from it all.

New figures reveal there’s been a boom in staycations across the UK with Scotland emerging as a prime destination for holidaymakers.

According to letting agents, Cottages & Castles, there has been a huge surge in summer bookings this year from families, and couples, opting to stay in the UK.

The company’s summer bookings have increased by 56 per cent this year in comparison to 2016 figures, with the top five most popular self-catering holiday destinations being the Isle of Arran, Scottish Highlands including Fort William, Inverness, Perthshire and Argyll.

Each region continues to attract the family market due to the abundance of family friendly activities within easy reach and the self-catering properties in each region all enjoying fantastic locations and spectacular scenery.

Customer bookings in general have also continued to rise with the number of online bookings increasing by 24 per cent for the last 12 months (July’16 – June’17) compared to the previous year.

The upward trend is good news for property owners as they have benefitted from a significant rise in revenue from holiday lettings.

Second home owners are now looking for a more comprehensive end-to-end service for their money. Specialising in providing high quality holiday homes has resulted in Cottages & Castles, which has over 450 retained properties in its portfolio, generating a 21 per cent increase in holiday let income for its home owners in 2016 than the previous year.

Some £3.2million of revenue was generated for owners in 2016 compared to £2.68 million in 2015, an increase of more than half a million pounds. The average number of bookings generated per property rose 43 per cent in 2016 compared to the previous year.

Sue Bourne

The company spotted a trend in the market several years ago for short breaks and designed a bespoke short break and last-minute booking system which resulted in a 55 per cent increase in short break reservations and a 32 per cent rise in last-minute bookings in 2016 compared to 2015.

Sue Bourne, manager of Cottages & Castles, said: “As our bookings figures and increased revenue for home owners demonstrate, holiday letting in Scotland is big business and it is key to the tourism industry’s growth in Scotland that the services being provided for home owners and holiday makers are first class.

“Scotland is one of the best holiday destinations in the world, it’s vital that the experience is comprehensive and personal to ensure visitors receive the warm welcome and high-quality service Scotland is renowned for and that holiday home owners fully benefit from letting their properties.”