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Record-breaking summer for Suffolk staycation holidays

PUBLISHED: 08:42 05 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:42 05 September 2018

Layla and Lucas enjoying the heatwave  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Layla and Lucas enjoying the heatwave Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

It's official: Suffolk's leading tourism businesses have had their best summer - and bookings are up for next year too.

Julie Apps, from Brentwood, on holiday in Southwold with mother-in-law Clare and children Sophie (4), Felicity (2) and 8 month old Henrietta on 28-June-2018 Picture: STEVE WALLERJulie Apps, from Brentwood, on holiday in Southwold with mother-in-law Clare and children Sophie (4), Felicity (2) and 8 month old Henrietta on 28-June-2018 Picture: STEVE WALLER

The day after the Met office confirmed that the summer of 2018 had eclipsed 1976 as England’s ‘hottest ever’, Suffolk’s largest holiday lettings agencies have announced that the summer holiday season has also been the busiest ever.

Suffolk Secrets, the county’s largest holiday lettings agency, along with sister companies Suffolk Cottage Holidays and So Southwold have just released their latest figures to reveal that total visitor numbers had increased by just over 10% year on year for July and August.

Whilst the record-breaking heatwave has definitely had a favourable impact on those figures, with 10% of summer bookings made with a lead time of less than thirty days, it’s not the only notable business trend according to brand manager Sally Owen,

“There have been two equally important booking trends this summer,” she said.

“The first is a noticeable increase in bookings for 6-8 people. These tend to be multi-generational holidays or people taking a holiday with another family and are up 22% year on year.

“The second is a shift towards stays of shorter stays, up from 15% last year to 22% for 2018, something we’ve seen over the past few years suggesting that as people become more time pressed they’re still making time for an escape to Suffolk,” says Ms Owen.

Consumer confidence for next year is also at an all-time high, with forward bookings for 2019 up by 15% year on year, the highest figure it has ever been, a trend seen nationwide. Suffolk Secrets’ parent company, Reepham-based Original Cottages have seen similar growth across their national portfolio of over 4,000 properties.

Ongoing unfavourable exchange rates, increased business confidence and the understanding that the best properties – and best deal properties – get booked up fast could all be contributory factors, she added.

“Whilst there’s no guarantee that next summer will be a record-breaker, weather-wise, our business forecasts show that there’s no end in sight for holidaymakers ongoing love affair with the Suffolk staycation,” added Ms Owen.

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