Highlands now ranks among the top stay-cation destinations in the UK
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Almost a fifth of UK holidaymakers surveyed rated the Highlands as their top holiday destination this year.
The findings by hospitality software developers Hop saw the region come third, just behind the Lake District and Cornwall.
Hop Software asked over 2000 people to rank their favoured getaway destinations, with the Highlands out-scoring popular British destinations including London, the Yorkshire Dales and Devon’s Jurassic Coast.
Amid ongoing uncertainty on overseas travel, over half of respondents (55%) said they would holiday in the UK this year.
Asked what they most look for in a UK holiday, 34 per cent of people cited good food and restaurants as the main pull, followed by good beaches (32%) and interesting history (22%). A combined 38 per cent of people also quoted access to National Trust properties and hiking opportunities as key priorities.
The survey showed Britons are prioritising quality time with loved ones and relaxation over sunshine and hedonism on their holidays.
When asked why they wanted to take a UK stay-cation, over half said it was to spend more time with friends and family.
One in five sought a break in order to “restore a sense of purpose” and 19 per cent to switch off from work.
Richard Drummond, chief operating officer of Hop, said: “After enduring multiple lockdowns this past year, and with overseas travel restrictions continuing, Britons are keen to holiday in the UK.
“That is fantastic news for hoteliers, hospitality business and local economies alike.
“Indeed, almost a quarter of people we surveyed said one of the most positive aspects of taking a UK holiday was being able to put money back into the country’s economy.
“It’s also interesting to see what Britons are looking for in a holiday, with many prioritising quality time with loved ones and time in nature to switch off, rather than blow-outs in the sunshine.
“It’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues once overseas travel restrictions ease, but whatever happens, 2021 is on track to be a bumper year for UK holidays.”