UK Staycations Rise by 23.8% in 2017*

Estimated Reading Time 7 minutes

More people than ever are looking at Staycations as their holiday option in 2017 throughout the UK.

This may consist of anything from camping, city breaks, day trips out, campervan hire, through to takeaway delivery and pamper days, to mention just a few.

The estimated value of UK domestic holidays was up in April 2017 by 3.3% on April 2016 for trips, and up 4.2% for the same period for domestic bed night bookings (source:GBTS Feb 2012 update). This suggests that not only are more people taking Staycations but they are also wanting to book accommodation as well as just trips or outings.

This makes the user journey a little more complex to understand.

Often the final purchase is influenced by a combination of family members each trying to choose something they are interested in. Each user journey will take into account interests, peer influences, search results, online reviews as well as recommendations and comparison of cost.

This makes for some interesting analysis, and when it comes to planning your advertising strategy, there are several approaches which need to be taken into account.

Which persona are you targeting?

There is a complex mix of audiences. In 2014 Visit England conducted a survey to distinguish the varied audiences and different times of life that may influence their perspectives. This broke the core down to 3 key audiences:

  • Younger consumers – pent up demand and frustration with the holidays/breaks they’d been taking. Planning big for the year ahead and beyond
  • Families – all about breaking out of the routine and family time. Value in both home and abroad, but short breaks in England can be the best way to fill the gap
  • Empty Nesters – biggest priority is to take the hassle out of holidays. Short breaks in England (often close to home) are the most convenient

It is therefore important for advertisers to distinguish between these audiences and send each individual the right message at the right time to engage with them and convert them to sale.

Step one

Build out those persona’s and understand the following for each:

  • Time of day – when are they likely to be searching?
  • Device – e.g. if they are searching during commute time then they are likely on a mobile/tablet rather than desktop


Females are more likely to use smartphones or tablets over males, whereas 88% of males use a computer when doing research for hotels for leisure. (source:Google consumer barometer)

females use smartphones

  • Interest – what common interests might they have which ties in with your product or services?
  • Location – who is currently buying? What can you learn from your current audience in order to target the lowest hanging fruit?
  • Demographic – do your male audience interact differently to the females?If so use this to your advantage to communicate the right messages


discount promotion male v female

11% of males were influenced by a discount or promotion for a hotel online booking compared to just 4% of females. (source:Google consumer barometer)


Step two

 Once you have established the above information, you can set up campaigns and channels by your target audience. This gives you control to target them at the right time, on the relevant device and even more importantly with the relevant message to that user.

Campaign planning

Step three

Track, analyse and report on the results and understand what is working and what isn’t. Identify new opportunities, audiences, keywords and markets. Re-apply your learnings to enhance and improve.

The table below is available from Google Analytics and shows affinity categories associated with your audience. This offers great ways of targeting interests which you may not already be doing


Demographic reports can demonstrate if your campaigns are driving the right users and what they are doing when they arrive at the site.  


male v female analytics


Geo reports can show where sessions, or conversions are coming from. Segmenting the data can give some really useful insight to the results from each channel, by campaign, by demographic and by location.

geolocation report uk

To digest and recap on the key takeaways for engaging your staycation audiences:

  1. Build out personas for your audience
  2. Use the persona details to setup highly targeted and relevant advertising campaigns across multiple channels
  3. Track, report and analyse; by channel, campaign, demographic, device, location and time of day. Use these results to adjust your marketing strategy and budgets in the most effective way to drive results.

*Stats from Travel marketing group Sojern

Rachel Mepham
With over 15 years’ experience in Digital Marketing, Rachel heads up the team at Digital Clarity. With a deep skill set in the Paid Search, Social Media and Analytics, Rachel is regarded by both clients and peers as one of the most experienced and prolific women in the UK digital space. Her approach and application to digital strategy planning has been used by some of the biggest brands as well as leading advertising and marketing agencies.