UK staycation increase is a time for tourism providers to invest in their properties

The dramatic rise in staycations in Wales as a result of coronavirus travel restrictions abroad is an opportunity for tourism providers to invest in new and existing properties to cater for the expected long-term demand, according to one of the region’s leading architects.

Uncertainty of how the coronavirus situation will affect global travel means the majority of people in the UK are seeking holidays and short breaks in places like Wales. In addition, the demand for outdoor recreation for leisure and exercise means many tourism providers have seen a jump in bookings well into 2021.

Doug Hughes, Principal Architect and Managing Director of Hughes Architects, an architectural building design and planning practice in Mid Wales, said the trend was likely to last for the long-term and so investment in extending and renovating existing accommodation or providing new tourism destination accommodation is a key to developing the industry.

Demand for good quality tourism accommodation

“The tourism industry was hit hard at the start of the pandemic. But with significant increases in UK staycations and the expected long-term effect on global travel there is demand for good quality holiday accommodation in Wales and throughout the UK,” he said.

“People’s lifestyles and values have changed dramatically throughout the lockdown period. In addition to many wanting to relocate to more rural areas for a better work-life balance, tourism has seen a significant and rapid shift with demand far exceeding the supply of holiday accommodation since restrictions were lifted.

Extending, remodelling and renovating

“I’m not talking about creating new large-scale tourism developments. It’s about existing holiday providers and property owners looking at their accommodation and maximising the space in sympathy with their local environment, or bringing forward plans for remodelling, extending or renovating their properties. These can be from existing hotels through to smaller holiday lets.”

He added: “In addition, demand has soared for self-catering accommodation as a result of the need for social distancing. The surge has seen bookings for cottages, houses and other tourism accommodation in coastal and countryside areas of Wales outstrip supply, with long waiting times as a result.

“This makes it a perfect time to bring existing properties back into use, such as barns and outbuildings. Property owners with such buildings can seek planning permission for change of use in such cases and bring new business opportunities.

Supporting the economy of local communities

“This also helps local communities as a result of tourists using local businesses and services, from pubs and shops to attractions and tourism operators.”

More details about Hughes Architects architectural building design and planning services can be found at www.hughesarchietcts.co.uk, email enquiries@hughesarchitects.co.uk or telephone 01686 610311.

Hughes Architects has offices at Newtown and Welshpool in Powys and Aberystwyth in Ceredigion, as well as working in Cardiff and throughout Wales and the borders.