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The Billion-Pound Boom – Staycationers Set to Boost Welsh Economy


A sunny summer is forecast for the UK’s tourist hot spots as new Barclays research reveals that millions of Brits are planning ‘staycations’ in 2021.

The news comes as Barclays encourages people to get to ‘Know Your Nation’ and explore the British Isles, with the bank finding that the average UK resident has visited more places abroad than domestically.

As accommodation and indoor hospitality sector prepares to reopen on 17th May, the total spend on domestic holidays this year is anticipated to reach £31 billion,2 with 23 million Brits planning at least one staycation.

Billion-pound windfalls will be enjoyed by the ten most popular holiday destinations, with top-ranked Cornwall set to welcome £1.7 billion worth of staycation business, while the hotels, B&Bs and tourism economies in the Lake District, Devon and Yorkshire are also likely to feel the benefit.

 Top ten UK holiday destinations 2021

Destination 2021 staycation windfall
Cornwall £1.693 billion
Lake District £1.635 billion
Devon £1.534 billion
Yorkshire £1.462 billion
London £1.366 billion
North Wales £1.346 billion
Scottish Highlands £1.135 billion
Dorset £1.116 billion
South Wales £1.039 billion
Cotswolds £981 million


The pandemic has encouraged people to support the local economy, and half of British holidaymakers (48 per cent) are planning trips that will allow them to explore areas in the UK with lots of small independent businesses. Restaurants are also central to people’s holiday hopes, with access to a top dining spot considered to be ‘really important’ by over half of Brits (54 per cent) when on holiday.

Better together

The impact of the pandemic is also shown in people’s holiday preferences. After so much of the past year being spent in lockdown and apart from loved ones, being together is set to be a common theme of this year’s holiday season, with three in five Brits (58%) expecting a resurgence in family holidays.

And with pets considered very much a part of the family, 5.8 million dog owners and 1.4 million cat owners are planning to take their furry friends on holiday with them.

Over half of 18–34-year-olds (55 per cent) are looking for a luxury break as an antidote to the stress of lockdown life, compared to just one quarter of those over 55 (26 per cent). That said, 45 per cent of 18–34-year-olds are looking to try sea kayaking or surfing this summer, suggesting appetite for activities remains high after weeks and months spent indoors.

Hannah Bernard, Head of Business Banking at Barclays, said:

“We’ve been supporting thousands of hospitality and tourism businesses throughout the pandemic, signposting them to grants, helping them with marketing their services even when the shutters have been down, and providing millions of pounds worth of funds through the Government lending schemes.

“We’ve seen many small businesses adapting their premises to get ready to meet the needs of holidaymakers this summer. The investments that they have made will hopefully be rewarded as millions of Brits support the nation’s hotels, restaurants and shops, providing local economies with a welcome boost.”

Tony Olley, Company Director, Barmouth Beach Club said:

“We provide accessible holiday accommodation and support for people with disabilities, their families and carers. When it comes to location for a Great British staycation, North wales has always been top of the list in my opinion and hopefully this summer will be super busy for the tourism sector in North Wales and many other parts of the UK. With stunning landscapes and beaches, fantastic outdoor attractions and culinary delights such as Barmouth crab and lobster visitors will spoiled for choice.

We have been supported by Barclays to invest in new facilities such as new kitchen equipment, hot tubs and a new marquee to expand our outdoor space to ensure we are ready for the forthcoming demand. ‘Know Your Nation’ will help staycationers discover the many delights that the British Isles have the offer and further enable the recovery of hospitality and tourism.”

To find out more about how Barclays can help support your business visit