It’s hard to find an industry that has been hit harder than travel in the wake of the pandemic. The statistics speak for themselves: in October last year, the International Air Transport Association said that international traffic had “all but disappeared”, with airlines running at about 10% of normal levels, while the disruptions put more than 41 million jobs at risk across the travel and tourism sector.
As the public was asked to stay home for a large part of last year, we saw brands respond to the situation with varying degrees of success. The Faroe Islands’ tourism board was praised for its remote tourism initiative, which saw 700,000 people visit the island via a computer game-inspired virtual tour; by contrast, Ryanair came under fire for its Jab and Go campaign, which was subsequently banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.
While vaccination efforts are allowing the world to slowly reopen, IATA predicts that global travel will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. In the UK, it’s good news for the staycation market, which was already growing in popularity among demographics such as families in the wake of the 2016 Brexit vote. This movement has accelerated dramatically over the past year, with recent research by Barclays suggesting that 23 million Brits will be staycationing this summer.
Launched in 2019, membership-based booking platform Kip Hideaways has been tapping into the demand for staycations with its curated collection of boutique self-catering ‘hideaways’, which range from a luxury treehouse in the Scottish Highlands to a houseboat in Pembrokeshire. Its founders are Sarah de Vere-Drummond, who has spent the past decade working in boutique travel marketing, and Liz Simpson, the former editor of travel website i-escape.