Staycation boom could mean a long, profitable summer for North West hospitality

  • Video report by Tim Scott, ITV Granada Reports

Bookings for staycations in the North West are up 40% this summer, as travel abroad remains disrupted by the pandemic. 

People working in all aspects of the region's hospitality industry - from Ice Cream farms in Cheshire to Camp sites in Cumbria - say increased demand could help them recover from more than a year of lockdowns and disruption to business.

Visit England estimates that £12bn is spent by tourists in the North West each year - a figure that's bound to rise this year.

Online searches for holidays in the Lake District have risen by 90% in the last 12-months, while in the Isle of Man, the rise was 50% according to research by Semrush.

  • Visitors to The Ice Cream Farm in Chester tell us why they're holidaying in the Uk this year.

The Ice Cream Farm boasts the largest ice cream shop in the world and attracts over 750,000 visitors a year, making it the most visited family entertainment centre of its kind in the UK. 

Lake Windermere, Cumbria Credit: Press Association

Bob Atkinson, of Sykes Holiday Cottages - which has 17,000 holiday properties, said he's seeing bookings 40% up compared to the pre-pandemic summer of 2019.

Patricia Yates, from Visit England, said the boom is a huge sign of relief for many people in the industry at seeing places open, and seeing customers coming back.

She said the hospitality industry has been closed for months and really needs this good summer to kick start the business.

Tourists on Mathew Street in Liverpool Credit: Press Association

On the Isle of Man, it's thought the huge amounts of publicity surrounding their initial success in suppressing the Coronavirus has led to increased interest in holidaying there.

For many of us this summer there's simply too many hurdles to overcome to secure a foreign holiday. And staying in the UK does seem to be sensible option.

While places up and down the North West are doing a roaring trade, there's one thing you can never be certain of with a holiday at home - that of course is the weather.