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Tourism operators across Cumbria are gearing up for the summer season. GILES BROWN asked whether we will see the UK staycation boom from recent years continue in 2024?

Kate Bentley , The Inn Collection Group

The staycation boom appears to be levelling off as people return to their normal travel patterns with the world much more open and the UK’s inconsistent weather driving people to search out sunnier climes.

That said, we believe the Lake District will continue to benefit from the extra exposure to new domestic markets it saw through the boom.

We are seeing the return of the international and group travel markets, so we are anticipating guests from that segment to provide a counter to that levelling off from domestic travellers.

Whilst the boom gave a welcome restart after the pandemic, we have a real confidence that the Lakes will remain as a destination of choice, evidenced through our heavy investment into the area.

We have carried out four multi-million-pound refurbishments in the last year to drive high quality standards and we hope this will be of benefit to the wider tourism market in the Lakes.


I do think we are seeing this already. The fells are packed full of weekend ‘Instabaggers’ ticking off the Wainwrights.

If the weather plays ball we could be in for a busy one!

In all honesty, I think we all need one. Like many sectors, the recovery post Covid (oh that word again!) has been slow and I have had many conversations with colleagues in the sector and the words "keep the cogs turning" comes up too often.

Personally, our bookings are showing promise and we have already surpassed our projected target for occupancy set at the beginning of the year, which is higher than last year.

I also think Cumbria has never been so affordable to visit. With many accommodation businesses not able to put prices up, shops are offering high discounts and cheap public travel. A win win for visitors.

Mark Needham, Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa

Domestic holiday habits have changed in recent years and staycation

experiences with relaxation and a bit of extra luxury are high up on

family wish lists. We’ve seen a sustained increase in bookings for

longer stays. And guests are coming from further afield across the UK

for a proper holiday. We expect that trend will continue this summer.

There seems to be a pattern too in people looking for more relaxing

holidays where they can travel under their own steam, rather than be at

the whim of the airports and the possibility of flight delays, late

changes and cancellations. Whilst that industry remains challenged, we

think a lot of UK holidaymakers will continue to book domestic hotel


Carole Higginbottom, Dufton Barn Holidays (YOU WILL HAVE TO CROP CAROLE'S PIC, SHE IS IN THE CENTRE)

Absolutely. There are many reasons to holiday in the UK and a lot of our guests who walk

the Pennine Way book way in advance to plan their route, and this seems busier than ever.

Conversely our self-catering guests have a different perspective, looking for more frequent,

shorter getaways with a chance to destress.

At the end of 2023 we worried about the amount of forward bookings compared to 2022. However, we have seen a surge in bookings, and interestingly an increase in the number of short breaks and last minute bookings, so we have learnt not to panic, as people seem happy to fill the gaps.

There’s so much choice out there now that guests looking for a quick break know they don’t need to book in advance unless they have a particular location in mind.

Reviews and quality really help.