Reductions in the hospitality sector, travel bans, limited air travel and, indeed, fear of catching the virus itself will severely limit UK citizens’ desire to travel abroad.
Considering the continued unpredictability around overseas travel, there is strong evidence to suggest that UK holidaymakers will look to stay closer to home this summer and beyond.
Harpenden Building Society has experienced a noticeable surge in holiday let inquiries since the pandemic began.
At a time where people wish to minimise contact with others and journey to more remote parts of the country, this is a prime opportunity for the holiday let market.
Holiday-lets had risen in popularity even before the pandemic hit.
Increased taxation and regulation around buy-to-lets had led buyers to transfer their attention to holiday-lets for alternative sources of income.
Additionally, the popularity of websites such as Airbnb has increasingly led to a global demand for self-catered accommodation.
Rise of staycations
A survey from Lastminute.com showed that 33 per cent of British people intended to remain in the country this summer.
Depending on how long the pandemic continues, there is evidence to suggest this could be part of a far longer trend.
The lack of opportunity for a foreign holiday has led Brits to consider the wealth of vacation opportunities within the UK.
Holiday cottage agency Cornwall Cottages stated it had seen a sharp increase in demand for properties.
Lastminute.com said the hotel booking trends showed a 45 per cent week-on-week increase for the UK and particularly for London, Manchester, Blackpool and Bristol during summer and autumn.
The fact that booking interest extends beyond the summer suggests the staycation trend will not be confined to the warmer months.
Hoseasons reported a significant increase in holiday lodge bookings for the summer with its Norfolk Broads bookings up 28 per cent year-on-year, a trend likely to increase even further as a result of the pandemic.
Indeed, in mid-June it said internet searches for lodges in Norfolk had increased by 21 per cent and in Suffolk by 30 per cent since the government eased certain restrictions.
Holiday lets a safer option?
People who would never have considered foregoing their annual holiday abroad are suddenly realising the multitude of options available on their doorstep.
While investing in the property market may seem daunting considering the current sense of global unpredictability, holiday lets could be in a strong position if the pandemic continues.
Unlike traditional hotels, they can offer minimal, if any, contact between hosts and guests.
They can also provide an alternative residence for longer-term stays, such as over the summer holidays, if tenants are struggling with a lack of space in their primary homes.
And they additionally allow the buyers themselves to take advantage of a secondary location.