Research by Hoo, the hotel room offer platform, has found that the level of staycations being taken across 16 global holiday hotspots has increased by an average of 18% when compared to this time last year. With the cost of accommodation also climbing 16% due to this uplift in domestic demand.

Hoo analysed statistics on booking momentum from SiteMinder across 16 key tourism markets, looking at the ratio of international and domestic holidays booked.

The figures show that currently, an average of 76% of all bookings are for domestic holidays, with just 24% of bookings being made for holidays abroad. This is an 18% swing when compared to the same point last year when just 58% of bookings were for domestic holidays.

At the same time, this domestic demand seems to have caused an increase in the cost of staycations. Hoo also analysed hotel room rates across major cities within each nation and found that the average cost of a room per night has increased by 16% from £95 a year ago, to £111 today.

The biggest swings towards staycations

Where the biggest changes in holiday trends are concerned, Singapore leads the way. A year ago, just 42% of all holidays booked were domestic stays, while now this has increased to 83%; a 41% change in holidaymaker habits.

Both New Zealand and the Netherlands have both seen a 40% increase in domestic holiday momentum. In New Zealand, with its strict quarantine rules for overseas travel,  domestic holidays now account for 95% of all bookings, up from 55% a year ago. In the Netherlands, the choice to opt for a staycation has increased from 29% this time last year to 70% this year.

Biggest staycation holiday hotspots

When it comes to the current staycation hotspots, the UK ranks within the top five with 90% of all bookings being made for domestic holidays.

Just South Africa (91%), the United States (94%), New Zealand (95%) and Australia (97%) rank higher where the preference for a staycation is concerned.

Holidaymakers in Mexico have the lowest tendency to holiday at home, with just 47% booking domestic trips, followed by Morocco (48%) and Canada (49%).

Interestingly, Mexico and Canada are the only two nations to go against the growing trend of staycations, with -2% and -15% declines in domestic holiday bookings respectively.

Biggest hotel price hikes

The biggest increase in hotel room rates in the last year has been across Morocco, with a huge 92% jump from £106 per night to £203.

France (44%), Italy (43%), Hong Kong (33%) and the UK (21%) have also seen some of the largest increases in the cost of a hotel room per night.

In contrast, the cost of a hotel across major cities in South Africa (-35%), New Zealand (-13%) and the USA (-8%) has actually dropped, while remaining static in the Netherlands.

Hoo Co-founder, Adrian Murdock, commented:

“This time last year, we were already starting to see caution where our holidays were concerned, as the growing threat of Covid caused uncertainty over travel plans. A year down the line and there’s an obvious shift away from international travel.

The silver lining for the travel industry is that many holidaymakers are, at least, hoping to get away for a staycation this year. Although we currently remain in lockdown in many parts of the world, many are hoping that the easing of restrictions will allow domestic travel by the time the holiday season arrives.

Of course, the downside to this uplift in demand is an increase in cost and with so many of us looking to staycations to break the monotony, demand is pushing up hotel room rates by quite some margin.

While the year on year change has been smaller than other nations, it’s great to see the UK rank within the top five with respect to heading away on a staycation holiday this year. The UK tourist industry has been hit very hard as a result of numerous government lockdowns and while times are currently very tough, the release of this coiled spring of travelling intent should help to spur a quick revival across the sector. Maybe it’s the start of a longer-term return for the Great British Holiday.”

Table shows the increase in domestic vs international booking momentum and the change in the average hotel room rate sorted by the biggest swing towards domestic holidays
Nation20202021% swing to domestic bookingsAverage hotel room rate per night (major cities by nation)
InternationalDomesticInternationalDomestic2020 Room Rate2021 Room RateChange (%)
New Zealand45%55%5%95%40%£109£95-13%
South Africa34%66%9%91%25%£80£52-35%
United States23%77%6%94%17%£108£99-8%
United Kingdom23%77%10%90%13%£110£13321%
Hong Kong23%77%14%86%10%£63£8433%
Analysis of year on year booking momentum sourced from SiteMinder (Feb 2021 vs Feb 2020)
Analysis of year on year room rate cost in major cities for each nation sourced from Trivago (Feb 2021 vs Feb 2020)