Coronavirus: Brits to let homes out to 'staycationers' as local tourism spend could hit £1bn

Abigail Fenton
·2-min read
A 'Love Island'-inspired 'glamping pod', hand-built by one Brit in his own back garden, has been booked up until November. (Checkatrade)
A 'Love Island'-inspired 'glamping pod', hand-built by one Brit in his own back garden, has been booked up until November. Photo: Checkatrade

A third of Brits are considering letting their homes out to “staycationers” as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions ease — potentially earning almost £1bn ($1.3bn), according to a survey.

With 8 billion Brits set to spend £986m on UK holidays instead of taking trips abroad, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, 30% of home-owners are thinking about renting out their residence as a holiday home, a survey of 2,000 by trade directory Checkatrade found.

UK residents planning holiday-home retreats said they are willing to spend about £347 more per person for certain amenities.

Swimming pools are the most in-demand feature, with four in five holiday-makers saying they would be willing to pay more to be able to splash about outside.

Hot tubs follow closely behind, with three in four (74%) vacationers saying they would pay more for this extra.

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Patios and outdoor entertaining spaces came in third, at 72%, reflecting Brits’ eagerness to spend some time outside after months of lockdown. They would also pay more for conservatories or sun rooms (63%) and tree houses (59%), the survey found.

And, in what has been dubbed “the Love Island effect”, three in five (58%) holiday-makers said they would pay more for a villa-style garden like the one seen in the ITV reality series.

When it comes to indoor-entertainment, two-thirds (66%) of Brits would splash out more on accomodation with a cinema, home entertainment or games room.

Some Brits are already planning to renovate their homes to attract visitors. Checktrade searches for hot tub and swimming pool installations are up 229% and 137%, respectively, since before lockdown, it reported.

READ MORE: 8 secret staycation spots in the UK to inspire your next getaway

Derry Green, 37, from Merseyside, who recreated the Love Island villa in his back garden, said he has already had over 10,000 requests for bookings on AirBNB, with the “glamping pod” now rented out until November.

Mike Fairman, CEO of Checkatrade, said: “With so many Brits looking to start letting out their homes to make a bit of extra cash this year, it’s clear that homeowners could stand to benefit by upgrading their homes before letting them out.”

“With disastrous DIY currently costing the UK a huge £10.8bn nationally [according to separate Checkatrade research], getting vetted professionals in can be the best [option] for those looking to save time and make money.”