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When it comes to holidays, it seems there’s no place quite like a home from home as, according to new research from Mintel, this year Brits are set to spend a 10-year high of £3.3 billion on holidaying in domestic property rentals and associated costs*. This comes after a 41% drop in market value in 2020 (compared to the previous year) – when Brits only spent £1.6 billion on domestic holiday rentals. Meanwhile, the average spend per stay in 2021 is projected to reach £397, up from £349 in 2020.

Over a fifth of Brits (22%) say they have stayed/expect to stay in a holiday rental property during 2021 – a figure that’s more than doubled in just one year, with one in ten (10%) Brits saying the same in 2020.

Staying in a holiday rental is set to become even more appealing as almost half (47%) of adults say they would be interested in staying in one in the future, compared to the 26% who have stayed in one in the last three years.

John Worthington, Senior Travel Analyst, Mintel, said:

“UK holiday rentals were hit hard in 2020, like all forms of tourism, but when restrictions eased, the sector has proved more resilient than others in the travel industry. Holidaymakers have sought out self-catering bubbles away from the crowds. The home has become a place of refuge for people during the pandemic and this translates naturally into a preference for holiday cottages and other properties.

“2021 – the year of the staycation – will have long-term benefits for domestic rentals as consumers discover new parts of the UK, or try out this type of holiday for the first time. City break rentals will return more slowly, but there is a window of opportunity for London breaks before overseas visitors return in large numbers. Rentals abroad will only fully recover when international travel restrictions are lifted, but long-term prospects are strong for both the UK and overseas markets as consumers seek alternatives to hotel/resort accommodation, and travel brands see growing opportunities in this sector.”

Pandemic pooches trigger a rise in pet-friendly properties

The three most important factors consumers look for when booking a rental property are proximity to a beach** (50%), proximity to a pub/restaurant** (50%) and the availability of private parking (49%) .

Being able to take pets is a priority for 23% of those planning a domestic rental stay in 2021, a 5 percentage-point rise compared to those whose last visit was in 2019 or earlier.

John Worthington, Senior Travel Analyst, Mintel, said:

“A year and a half of lockdowns has created the perfect conditions for a significant boost to pet ownership and, as such, the need for pet-friendly holiday accommodation. Demand for pet-friendly holiday properties had been rising even before the pandemic. In 2019, for example,  Cottages.com introduced a ‘More Than Dog Friendly’ collection, including extra features such as enclosed gardens and doggy treats. Our research shows that pet ownership is set to grow even further, which will create opportunities for brands to appeal to this group by integrating information on pet services and pet-friendly activities in the area in the planning and booking process.”

Notes to editors:

Mintel commissioned research among 2,000 internet users aged 16+ in May 2021.

*Including the cost of the property rental, transport, food and drink, days out etc.

**Within 1 mile