Dorset bookings increase by 81% as people holiday in UK
Dorset has seen an 81% increase in holiday bookings from last year and it could be because of Brexit, says one booking site.
35% more bookings were made by Brits on Pitchup.com between December 26 and January 1 compared with last year.
Pitchup.com has more than 3,000 sites in 57 countries but has found that bookings to popular European destinations like France (-12%) and Spain (-11%) have gone down.
They found that the biggest winners were UK holidays, as Scotland saw a 100% increase in bookings, followed by England (+49%) and Wales (+20%). Dorset saw an 81% increase.
The founder of Pitchup.com, said: “Brexit is definitely impacting the confidence of British consumers. As well as drops in large, popular European destinations such as France and Spain which usually attract high repeat bookings, we’re also seeing shorter holidays with an average stay of 3.38 nights per booking compared to 3.92 nights last year.
“People still want to get away but appear to be more cautious around destinations where currency fluctuation might impact their break or they’re seeking destinations where they haven’t been before for a change of scenery.”
The site also found the average lead time for bookings made during this period was 106 days, down from 120 days last year.
“With Easter around 110 days away from the booking period, we’ve seen many short breaks snapped up at top sites for the Easter long weekend. Balancing that out, we’re also seeing February half term and ‘Brexit Weekend’ (29-31 March) as popular getaway dates, particularly for stays within the UK.
“Longer lead bookings are heading towards the British coast with Cornwall and Dorset popular for summer.”
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s tourism brief holder, said: “I don’t think it’s got anything to do with Brexit, people just like to quote Brexit whether it goes up or down.
“I think people came down last year for the weekend because of all the nice weather we were having and have seen our lovely beaches and surrounding countryside and decided to book somewhere in the UK.”
The owner of the Leam Hotel in Weymouth, said: "I think there's a national trend that people are looking closer to home rather than going away.
"That could be down to the exchange rates or the uncertainty or people just love staying in the UK.
"We had such a wonderful summer, the weather was gorgeous and it's rekindled the love of the UK.
"I have noticed recently a huge increase in people coming to Weymouth and staying with us."
Source: Dorset Echo