UK seaside holiday accommodation prices soar by a third, finds investigation

Average prices are up 35 per cent, finds Which?

One Brighton property costs 140 per cent more
One Brighton property costs 140 per cent more

Prices for summer holiday accommodation in popular seaside destinations have surged by around a third, according to new research.

According to a snapshot investigation conducted by Which?, prices are up by 35 per cent on average at beach hotspots around the country.

The consumer champion tracked the prices of 15 holiday lets in the top 10 most visited UK seaside destinations and discovered that, in every case, 2021 prices have increased compared to last summer.

The investigation looked at 15 properties listed between Airbnb and Vrbo in destinations such as St Ives, Whitby, Llandudno and Brighton.

Holding up the prices of these properties for various dates in July and August 2020 against those for similar dates in July and August 2021, all had risen, with an average increase of 35 per cent.

The highest mark-up among the listings applied to a one-bedroom maisonette in Brighton, priced at £53 per night in August 2020 and at £127 per night for August 2021 – a jump of 140 per cent.

Which? also found a 70 per cent increase in price for a one-bedroom property in Eastbourne on Airbnb, where the seven-night cost has gone from £409 in August 2020 to £696 for the same week in August of this year.

Many British holiday companies have revealed that bookings and enquiries have soared following the government’s announcement of the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown.

With the news that some domestic holidays may be permitted from 12 April – those in self-contained accommodation such as cottages, apartments and campsites and caravan parks without shared indoor facilities – thousands of holidaymakers started planning their first trip once recreational travel is legal.

All other holiday accommodation is slated to reopen from 17 May, depending on coronavirus infection rates and the efficacy of the vaccine rollout.

Glamping and holiday cottage options did particularly well in the wake of the announcement.

Canopy and Stars, which offers glamping and luxury camping accommodation, reported that 22 February 2021 was the biggest ever day for bookings in the company’s 10-year history.

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Last Minute Cottages, meanwhile, said bookings for self-catering cottages shot up 187 per cent following Boris Johnson’s address, with April bookings seeing the biggest increase in interest, rising by 284 per cent.

“Many holidaymakers are looking forward to finally going to the seaside this summer, so it’s perhaps not a surprise that high demand has seen prices for some destinations shoot up too,” said Which? travel editor Rory Boland.

“If people are prepared to pay more for their summer holidays this year, it’s essential that they know their money will be protected or returned to them without hassle in the event they cannot travel as planned. Make sure you choose a provider that offers fair and flexible booking terms, so you won’t be left chasing a refund if something goes wrong.”

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