Staying local

It’s been interesting to note how many of the UK’s population hit the roads over the Bank Holiday. I wasn’t expecting such huge numbers travelling cross-country as well as the queues and missed chances to see landmarks.

I will admit my analysis is hardly scientific, however after looking into this, I found that 20% of adults in Britain planned to take a holiday in the UK over Easter, which equates to 11 million adults in Britain (source: Visit Britain. So, why not over the May Bank Holiday?

Another report, this time from Mintel, supports my thinking. Mintel finds that over half of UK holidaymakers are likely to choose staycations above holidays abroad – due to climate change.

As the cost of living crisis continues to impact individuals and families, the food and drink industry faces both challenges and opportunities – one of which lies with hospitality and leisure.

Increased food and beverage revenue is a significant income source and staycationers look for unique dining experiences, themed menus, or special promotions.

With additional custom comes a requirement for more convenience-led product ranges as shopping patterns shift from supermarkets to the independent retailers. Working with suppliers they can be quick to respond, and ensure they have the food and drink ranges available to meet with the increase in demand.

By offering specialty cocktails and exclusive signature drinks, businesses can provide customers with an exclusive experience. If visitors prefer something closer to home, their is the opportunity to embrace the tastes of the local wines and spirits. By collaborating with nearby breweries and distilleries, businesses have the chance to not only stay ahead of the competition but also play a significant role in promoting and supporting local businesses.

There are obvious benefits for the food and drink industry. Yet, responding to ever-changing consumer behaviour will once again be the big issue. It’s difficult to discern what people are expecting from their staycation, but the shape of UK holidays are undoubtedly taking on a new form.

As the next generation of holidaymaker becomes increasingly environmentally conscious, it’s only natural that these factors should play a greater role in travel plans. With discretionary spending still impacted by inflationary pressures, the so-called ‘insperience’, with consumers opting to stay home, means going out, and travelling around the country translates into consumers focusing on quality and value for money, and on more memorable or different experiences.

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