The UK’s favourite staycation destinations have been revealed in a new study, as Britons plan to holiday-at-home this year amid coronavirus concerns.
London was found to be the most popular destination for holidaymakers staying in Britain this year, new analysis shows.
Compare the Market analysed the number of average monthly Google searches over the last year to show the most popular UK holiday spots.
London was the most searched for location this year, with a staggering 40,030 average monthly searches, almost 10,000 ahead of Cornwall.
But Cornwall was the number one destination for those looking for a holiday in the British countryside this year, with more than 32,000 monthly searches.
Many holidaymakers are planning to flock to the seaside this summer, as Brighton, the Isle of Weight, just off the south coast, and Bournemouth all ranked in the top ten.
Blackpool also came third in Compare the Market’s analysis, just coming shy of Cornwall with 31,450 searches.
But the most sought after town and city destinations, other than London, were York, Edinburgh and Manchester.
The Lake District ranked as the second most-searched for rural holiday destination this year, also making the overall top ten with 24,050 searches.
The Isle of Wight, just off the south coast, ranked ninth in the top ten most searched locations, with 16,050 average monthly searches, surprisingly beating popular holiday spot Brighton.
In separate findings, Official-Esta.com said the biggest increase in Google searches by Britons for foreign countries is for the Netherlands.
The company, which helps people fill out Esta forms for the US, said searches are up 733 per cent when compared to pre-lockdown levels.
Greece has increased by 488 per cent, compared with the Czech Republic, which is up by 223 per cent.
This comes after hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites in beauty spots were given the green light to reopen from July 4, as long as they remain clean and safe.
Boris Johnson made the announcement in the House of Commons, allowing families to take much-needed staycations following lockdown.
But holidaymakers can expect to see some big changes when they embark on their summer holidays this year.
There will be contactless check-ins at hotels, bed and breakfast and camp sites and visitors will be expected to stay a metre apart.
Breakfast buffets and mini bars are also out of action in many places, as visitors will be asked to bring their own hand sanitiser and soap with them.
Travelodge have launched a programme, TravelodgeProtect+, to ensure cleaning and social distancing measures remain in line with government guidance.
At campsites, guests will have to stay in their car until they are directed to their pitch, and camp site staff will clean their toilet facilities six times a day.
Social distancing will remain strictly in place, as guests will not be allowed to have visitors where they are staying and family holidays will be restricted to just two households.
Check-in times are also likely to be staggered at many hotels, or set later in the afternoon, to allow for deep cleaning of rooms. At the seven-strong collection of The Pig Hotels in south-west England, for example, this has switched from 3pm to 4pm.
Hotel bars, if they are opened, will likely be table service only, while dining tables will be arranged to satisfy the two-metre rule, and probably be without linen.
This comes as Patricia Yates, director of tourism agency Visit Britain, encouraged a campaign to promote British locations and landmarks as holiday spots, as many call for an additional Bank Holiday to generate further income.
She told The Sun: ‘It’s really important to extend the season, and bank holidays are really valuable.
‘Having a bank holiday in the October half term would really drive business, and remind people that the holiday season is still going and not just ending in August.’
Speaking in the Commons on Thursday about the possibility of another Bank Holiday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: ‘That is an excellent proposal.
‘One of the challenges we will have is getting the sector up and running as strongly as possible in the summer and extending it for as long as we can.’
But the future of more than 30 per cent of jobs in Britain’s holiday destinations remain at risk due to coronavirus, a study claimed.
The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) found that areas such as Cornwall, the Cotswolds and the Isle of Wight are threatened in light of the pandemic.
Some 66,878 jobs could be lost on England’s southwestern tip, traditionally inundated with swathes of tourists and holidaymakers during the summer months, the research suggests.
Many other coastal towns are also vulnerable, with North Norfolk potentially looking at 10,063 losses, 13,313 in Pembrokeshire, 14,458 in Scarborough and 10,074 in Argyll and Bute in the Scottish Highlands.
However, the biggest percentage of losses may come in Richmondshire in the Yorkshire Dales, home to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s constituency, with uncertainty over 35 per cent, equating to 5,965 potential losses.
In an attempt to help revive the flagging hospitality industry, Rishi Sunak unveiled a Eat Out To Help Out programme for Britons to enjoy 50 per cent discount in restaurants and pubs earlier this month.
On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August, customers will be able to claim the reduction, up to a maximum of £10 per head, at participating businesses which will claim the money back from the Treasury.
Mr Sunak hailed the £500million scheme a ‘creative’ solution to get the restaurant trade back on its feet.
Within minutes of Mr Sunak wrapping up his address to MPs in the Commons, social media was flooded with reaction such as: ‘No worries if you can’t pay your rent, just cop (buy) a cheeky half-priced Nando’s on Monday.’
Many also said the Treasury’s bankrolling of meals was tantamount to reinventing Tastecard – the popular scheme which allows diners to enjoy bargain prices.
But the hospitality sector generally welcomed the announcement, which was accompanied by a VAT reduction for food, accommodation and attractions such as cinemas.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the Chancellor said: ‘The final measure I am announcing today has never been tried in the UK before.
‘This moment is unique. We need to be creative. So to get customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs and protect the 1.8million people who work in them, I can announce today that for the month of August we will give everyone in the country an Eat Out To Help Out discount.’
This comes as the Travelodge revealed Britons are spending an average of £797.54 on their staycations this year, which collectively equals a boost of £24 billion for the UK economy.
Mr Sunak has also shunned foreign travel amid the coronavirus pandemic and has opted to join others in enjoying staycations this summer, reports suggest.
He was joined by Boris Johnson, who will also opt to spend his holidays at home, in what appears to be a bid to boost Britain’s tourism industry.
A source close to the PM told The Sunday Times: ‘He hasn’t had much of a chance to think about holidays, but it will definitely be in the UK.’
The move is set to put pressure on other MPs to avoid travelling abroad as well – even though 67 countries were taken off the Foreign Office’s ‘non-essential travel’ list earlier this month.
Mr Johnson and Miss Symonds are said to be deciding on where to go in the UK with their two-month-old son Wilfred.
This could include the Prime Minister’s grace-and-favour homes Chevening and Chequers – where Miss Symonds isolated while pregnant during the pandemic – and his privately-owned farmhouse in Oxfordshire.
Mr Sunak has a selection of four potential properties to spend the summer in, which he owns with his wife Akshata Murthy.
These include a magnificent Georgian manor in North Yorkshire as well as a £7million property in London.
Mr Johnson’s father Stanley earlier faced fierce criticism for travelling abroad to Greece when the Foreign Office guidance said Britons should not go abroad unless they have to.
He flew to Athens via Bulgaria due to a current ban on direct flights from the UK, before visiting his Villa Irene, on Mount Pelion, in central Greece.
But some holidaymakers are still opting for overseas travel, as Britain opens up air bridges with other countries, including Finland, Italy and Turkey.
Heathrow airport was overrun with chaos this week, as crowds of people were seen standing close together, in footage posted on Twitter.
Passengers wore face masks and stood extremely near one another while waiting in a long line at the airport’s Terminal 2, much to the disbelief of angry travellers.
The video, from July 19, was captioned: ‘Heathrow Airport T2 entry has no social distancing… long queue with people bumping into each other, no system in place and where are your staff managing this?
Heathrow has blamed the chaotic scenes on holidaymakers arriving too early, as passengers complain there were ‘no staff managing massive queues’.
‘Chaos with people coming out of the elevators and zero instruction.’
Airport bosses responded to the footage on Sunday: ‘We have clear signage across the airport and ask passengers to keep a safe distance from others, and that face coverings must be worn at all times.’
But the social media user claimed staff were ‘bunched up at the filter section’ and passengers were ‘coming out of lifts with no instruction or idea what to do’.
In response, Heathrow Airport said: ‘We apologise for any inconvenience, we will pass this along to our relevant team. Thank you.’