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UK set to benefit from holiday spend this year – Nationwide

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Nearly half of Brits have abandoned thoughts of a holiday in 2020 but a third will staycation instead, bringing a major boost to the UK economy.

There has been a 46% drop in holiday spend compared to this time last year, according to Nationwide’s customer data.

The number of transactions is also down 64%, its latest spending report data revealed.

Four in 10 members polled (44%) said they have abandoned travel plans due to the coronavirus pandemic but for a third, they plan to take a break in the UK.

Staying in a caravan (18%) and camping (14%) are popular ways to take a break this year, it said.

Its survey of 2,000 members found that despite air corridors in place to many countries, the UK is set to be the biggest beneficiary for holiday spend this year.

Staycationers are estimated to spend £480 on items in the UK, ranging from travel, meals, entertainment and essentials, on top of spending on accommodation and travel.

But for 20% who do plan to head overseas, Nationwide said they’re showing caution amid the health pandemic with more paying for transactions on credit card rather than debit card. This is presumably to protect themselves from issues such as cancellations. For 13%, they’re planning a road trip rather than flying.

Mark Nalder, Nationwide’s head of payments, said: “Although it’s clear there remains some trepidation about taking a holiday this year, our data clearly shows that a large number of people are ready to escape their homes to enjoy a change of scenery. And, even though it’s a month on from the opening of the air bridges, Brits are choosing to stay at home to explore what’s on their own doorstep.

“While the annual break remains as much of our national identity as Christmas and the Royal Family, financial concerns as a result of the pandemic are clearly playing their part with how much people are prepared to spend. According to analysis of our data, Nationwide members are spending less on holidays this year compared to last, although whether that becomes a long-term trend is far too early to say.”