Booking.com survey reveals an increasing demand for self-catering and domestic tourism; strengthens its Villas.com portfolio with cottages4you partnership.

 

· 82% of UK travellers planning a ‘staycation’ in 2014

· Almost one in four sees a swimming pool as a ‘must-have’ despite UK weather

· One in ten respondents requires pet-friendly accommodation so the dog can have a break too

· The Great British countryside seen as a prime destination for holidaymakers from the UK and abroad, particularly with Chinese and Australian visitors

Booking.com has announced the expansion of its Villas.com portfolio with the introduction of cottages4you, adding more than 10,000 self-catering holiday cottages to its accommodation offering. The decision to expand comes off the back of a 'huge' increase in demand experienced by the company from domestic and international travellers for self-catering accommodation in the UK.

It has seen demand for its UK villa bookings almost triple during 2012/2013 and expects similar growth this year, consolidating industry predictions1 that domestic tourism will remain strong throughout 2014.

A recent survey conducted by the company shows that UK travellers are actively choosing to holiday at home this summer, while an ever-increasing number of international visitors – from as far afield as China and Australia – look to the British countryside, with self-catering accommodation seen as the perfect way to experience our outstanding rural areas.

“With more than three quarters of us planning a domestic break this year, the UK ‘staycation’ is definitely here to stay,” said Megan Anderson, global director of Villas.com “The flexibility and choice that self-catering accommodation brings to a holiday seems to be incredibly attractive, and in response to the trends we’ve been seeing, we’re extremely happy to announce our partnership with cottages4you this summer. It brings a diverse range of more than 10,000 beautiful cottages, perfect for couples, families and groups of travellers looking to personalise their holiday.”

The customer data shows self-catering accommodations appeal to holidaymakers because of the freedom and flexibility that they offer. More than half of UK travellers (63%) reported that they like staying in self-catering accommodation because it provides freedom of choice, access to some of the most beautiful parts of the UK and, moreover, to live like a local.

Having the space to accommodate the whole family or a large group is incredibly important to more than a third of those surveyed (37%) and being able to take the dog on holiday is also another driving force behind the popularity of self-catering accommodation, with more than one in ten (12.3%) stating they love self-catering accommodation because they like to take their four-legged family members on holiday too.

Outdoor space is not just key for our pets either. Over half of us (52%) said that the most important facility for summer travel is a garden or balcony/terrace. British weather doesn’t seem to be a deterrent as nearly 1 in 4 (24%) respondents state their UK self-catering accommodation must have a swimming pool.

When it comes to types of self-catering accommodation, cottages rank as the most favoured option for UK travellers – chosen by just under half (40%) of those surveyed – closely followed by apartments (21%) and villas (20%).

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