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UK holiday bookings boom as Britons think twice about trips abroad

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theguardian.com

British hotels, B&Bs and holiday parks recorded a 20%-30% rise in enquiries following the half term travel chaos as families think twice about heading abroad this summer.Businesses said a surge in last-minute bookings were providing a much-needed boost as sales had fallen back after the boom in 2020 and 2021, thanks to the removal of restrictions on overseas travel.The cost of living crisis has also put a dampener on family holiday plans for this summer, with many delaying bookings because of concerns about having spare cash to spend.Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of the UK Hospitality trade body which represents thousands of accommodation providers, said bookings were generally down on the past two years as foreign travel resumed.But she said there had been surge in enquiries for late summer and the October half term, particularly city breaks and rural and coastal locations, after airlines were forced to cancel flights.“We are not sure if this was a direct response to the travel chaos and the difficulty in travelling abroad or the cost of living squeeze or people realising how good the UK is after the platinum jubilee,” she said, adding that as well as strong domestic bookings international visitors are also coming back.Nicholls said the trend for last-minute bookings, experienced in recent years because of Covid concerns, has continued but businesses are being held back by staff shortages, with hoteliers closing rooms because of too few cleaners or kitchen staff to service them.Paul Hardingham, managing director of holiday park operator Landal GreenParks UK, which has a string of sites across the UK including Cornwall, Scotland, the Peak District and Yorkshire, revealed a similar pattern.

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