A CUMBRIA tourist industry roundtable discussion concluded that it was “confident in the long-term future” of the “staycation” market.

The event, held earlier this month, was organised and hosted by Grant Seaton, senior business lending manager at The Cumberland, who was joined by a number of leading industry voices including Cumbria Tourism managing director Gill Haigh and Joby Mussell, chief commercial officer at holiday letting agency, holidaycottages.co.uk.

Mrs Haigh said: “The fact remains that people still want a holiday, they want something to look forward to and that is where the UK’s holiday let sector will really come into its own.”

The virtual roundtable, which took place on Thursday October 1, focused on how operators might move forward in light of the fast-paced nature of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and the short notice changes that continue to delay the sector’s bounce back.

Collectively, the panel agreed that whilst in the short-term, the focus is on navigating the immediate challenges operators are facing, longer-term, the future for the UK’s holiday let market looks positive with bookings for 2021 already looking healthy.

Mr Mussell said: “We are confident in the long-term future of the staycation market, with new audiences experiencing the benefits of UK holidays this year and demand for 2021 already looking strong.

“Demand and bookings remain high with the holiday season extending all the way through into October – we experienced a very busy September with less than 3 per cent availability left and less than 17 per cent availability going into October.”