An analysis by consumer group Which? found that while increased demand because of Covid has pushed prices up, the UK was one of the most expensive European destinations even in 2019.
Inews reports that Families are being priced out of self-catered staycations in the UK amid cost surges of more than 40 per cent, with a trip to Italy £1,622 cheaper than a family holiday to the Lake District. Analysis by Which? found that increased demand amid the pandemic had led to a steep rise in the cost of private accommodation in the UK over the course of the pandemic.
Data from AirDNA shows that self-catered accommodation in the UK in August costs 41 per cent more on average than it did in 2019, working out at roughly an extra £300 a week.
In August 2019, private accommodation in Brighton would have cost an average of £109 a night, but this month the cost is up by 89 per cent to £206 a night. Prices have also risen by an average of 74 per cent in Lyme Regis, 63 per cent in Sidmouth and 42 per cent in St Ives.
Price increases in UK self-catered accommodation
The data below, from AirDNA, shows average nightly prices of bookings made on either Airbnb or Vrbo during the weeks commencing 19 August 2019 and 23 August 2021.
Brighton, East Sussex: £109, versus £206 – 89 per cent increase.
Lyme Regis, Dorset: £150, versus £260 – 74 per cent increase.
Sidmouth, Devon: £124, versus £202 – 63 per cent increase.
St Ives, Cornwall: £141, versus £200 – 42 per cent increase.
Whitby, North Yorkshire: £138, versus £171 – 24 per cent increase.
Though the extra demand for self-contained accommodation has driven up prices elsewhere, other countries have not seen surges as dramatic as the UK. In popular Portuguese and Spanish resorts, such as Alvor in the Algarve and Costa Adeje in Tenerife, the price of private accommodation has increased by 22 per cent and 33 per cent respectively. The consumer group also found that holidays to some popular UK destinations currently cost hundreds of pounds more than trips to European destinations even when airfare is factored in.
Which? compared the average cost of private holiday rentals and hotels in British destinations in comparison with overseas tourist hotspots for August. A seven-night stay in a highly-rated hotel in Lake Garda, Italy, was nearly a quarter of the price of a similar holiday in the Lake District – totalling £802 in comparison to £2,424. Transport costs for staycations were based on an estimate that the average UK resident travels 310 miles for their holiday, which works out at £43 in petrol costs. The only holiday Which? found this month which worked out cheaper in the UK than abroad was a break in Tenby, Wales, compared to Estepona, on the Costa del Sol in Spain. However, this was only £10 cheaper.
How does seven nights at the cheapest highly-rated hotel in August compare between UK destinations and abroad?
Windermere, UK Garda, Italy
£2,831 Accommodation £631
£43 Estimated transport cost £171
£2,424 Total £802
Brighton, UK Nice, France
£1,088 Accommodation £679
£43 Estimated transport cost £405
£1,131 Total £1,085
Prices are based on 2 adults with breakfast at the cheapest central hotel rated 8+ on Booking.com. Overseas transport costs are based on the cheapest reasonable flights on Skyscanner. It also found that while the pandemic had helped to push the price of UK breaks up, even before Covid, it was among the most expensive holiday destinations in Europe.
According to data from travel firm Kayak, the average nightly rate of three and four star hotels in 2019 in the UK was £109 – 79 per cent more than Malta, 35 per cent more than Portugal and 21 per cent more than Spain, on average. Meanwhile, despite British hotel prices dropping by an average of 13 per cent last year due to Covid, prices in other European countries dropped by as much or more. In Greece, prices dipped by 20 per cent in 2020, with a hotel room costing £71 on average.
Rory Boland, Which? travel editor, said: “Holidaying at home has always been expensive, but the situation has become far worse during the pandemic and it’s no wonder many people have felt priced out of a holiday this year. “The reasons for higher prices are
complex, but it is hard to avoid the conclusion that some unscrupulous accommodation providers are charging over the odds.”
(Story source: Inews)