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Blackpool is top choice of staycation as Inverness residents ditch holidays abroad

By Alasdair Fraser

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Blackpool was rated as a top choice for Inverness respondents to the Travelodge survey.
Blackpool was rated as a top choice for Inverness respondents to the Travelodge survey.

A UK hotel chain claims a vast majority of Inverness folk will ditch foreign holidays for a trip to the British seaside this summer – with Blackpool the top destination.

The 2021 Travelodge Holiday Index surveyed 2000 residents in the Highland capital and found the north-west England town was the favourite choice of ‘staycation’ destination.

With seven and five-day breaks the most popular, 70 per cent of Inverness people planned to take some kind of summer holiday, with 84 per cent of those planning to remain on British shores.

On average, Inverness people were tipped to spend £1000 per household on breaks within the British Isles, with Scots collectively forking out £3 billion this year.

The tourism industry in Scotland is pinning hopes on the staycations boom off-setting the loss of many foreign visitors this year.

Travelodge’s findings showed that 89 per cent of residents in Inverness were too scared to travel abroad given the international impact of Covid-19 and the concern that sudden changes in Government restrictions could be enforced.

Some 43 per cent of Inverness folk have not had a holiday since the first lockdown started in March 2020, the survey suggested.

Many said they wanted certainty that their money would not be wasted and viewed holidaying at home as the safest option.

Over a third in Inverness reported that lockdown had left them more inspired to get out and explore what the UK had to offer.

Just over a third of locals are taking a week-long summer holiday while a fifth are taking a five-day break.

A further 16 per cent planned a long weekend mini-break this summer and less than one in 10 were taking a traditional two-week summer holiday.

With 46 per cent of respondents mentioning it, Blackpool was the top coastal destination for residents in Inverness this year, while Whitby was second and West Sands beach in St Andrews was third.

Donkeys at a beach resort in UK
Donkeys at a beach resort in UK

Escaping to the Scottish countryside was the second most popular type of summer holiday planned, with just under a quarter of Inverness folk seeking an idyllic country retreat.

The Scottish Highlands, Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland were the top rural destinations for Scots as a whole this year.

A fifth of Inverness respondents favoured a UK city break with Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh topping the list of destinations.

Almost half of all holidaymakers from the city planned to stay in multiple destinations on their break, some mixing city, seaside and rural destinations to varying degrees.

Travelodge spokeswoman Shakila Ahmed said: “The results from our 2021 Holiday Index report are certainly encouraging news for the UK hospitality sector and for Scottish tourism, with more residents in Inverness holidaying at home.

“We are delighted to re-open all of our Travelodge hotels today with 47 hotels across Scotland, including three in Inverness.

“We are getting geared up for a busy summer season.”

The research also asked what Scots were most looking forward to doing on their summer break.

Topping the top 10 list of holiday activities was eating fish and chips at the seaside, going for a walk on the beach at sunset and having a traditional pub lunch.

The report also revealed that nearly a quarter of Inverness people were planning on combining their break with a visit to family and friends this year.

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