60% of NI people choosing to 'staycation' due to pandemic

Three out of five holidays are replacing a trip abroad. Credit: UTV

60% of people in Northern Ireland are choosing to holiday closer to home this summer, according to new figures from Tourism NI.

The statistics also show that, between August and October, people replacing longer trips abroad with mid-week breaks at home.

It comes after the UK government announced that all holiday makers who travel to Spain and the Spanish islands must self-isolate for two weeks after returning from the country.

Spain has seen several spikes in Covid cases, prompting new travel advice in the UK. Credit: AP

As a result of the increase in so-called 'staycations', the local tourism industry has seen a boost in recent weeks.

The owners of one caravan park in Co Fermanagh have said they've never seen the site so busy in the 27 years it has been open.

Castle Archdale has seen an increase in the number of bookings in recent weeks. Credit: UTV

David Mahon, who runs Castle Archdale Caravan Park near Irvinestown, said: "We have never seen 100% occupancy; our touring site, camping site, all fully booked."

He continued: "We've never had it so good."

Mr Mahon said he has even had to hire more staff to deal with the extra bookings in recent weeks.

"We had to take on an extra two girls to man the phones these last few days."

He concluded: "I think people have a totally different way of thinking now. People are going to think, before they go on planes, we can holiday better at home."

Video report by Sara O'Kane