‘High demand’ drives up prices for stays in Devon

Families planning an Easter stay after the lockdown in Devon are facing a price spike as the cost of some holiday accommodation is three times higher than a fortnight earlier in the season – the companies claim that it is due to “high demand”.

Price increases from companies like Haven, Butlin’s, Airbnb and Center Parcs come amid fears the nationwide lockdown will still be in place in March.

Easter Sunday is April 4 and the price of a standard three-bed caravan more than doubles at Haven Devon Cliffs Holiday Park in East Devon.

It will cost £ 801 for seven days from Saturday 3 April – a 152% increase from a fortnight earlier, while the same public holiday would cost £ 317 per week.

At the height of the holiday season, the same standard three-bed caravan for a family of six will cost £ 1,564 during the summer – assuming Covid restrictions are lifted.

Police patrol the beaches of North Devon

Sandy Bay Park is one of the largest in the region and employs 500 people. Last year, she had to make layoffs due to the impact of Covid-19 on tourism.

Haven, which also operates the Perran Sands and Riviere Sands holiday parks in Cornwall, said it has seen particularly high holiday demand for the upcoming May, July, August and October semester, with demand for visits to Devon and the Cornwall higher. than elsewhere in the UK.

It has sold 40,000 more holidays than one would normally expect at this point in the year, with Devon and Cornwall proving particularly popular for those looking to get away from it all at a time when it is hoped that coronavirus vaccines will bring the pandemic under control and a path back to normalcy.

On Airbnb, many properties are already almost fully booked, but in North Devon a cottage on the coast at Buck’s Mill costs £ 684 for a week in late March, rising to £ 853 for Easter week.

Meanwhile, an apartment in Woolacombe for four costs £ 1,462 a week over Easter.

In South Devon a bungalow in Salcombe costs £ 1,146 at Easter and in Okehampton town center a renovated cottage costs £ 996 for Easter week.

In North Devon, in Clovelly, a Grade II listed barn costs £ 931.

Even the traditionally cheaper Butlin holiday has increased significantly for Easter 2021.

Some of the prices for Butlin’s stays across the UK have tripled as people start to consider booking a national holiday in 2021.

Butlin's dramatically increased prices for the Easter holidays in 2021
Butlin’s dramatically increased prices for the Easter holidays in 2021

Butlin’s said its decision to increase prices was the result of “high demand,” but that it would refund the difference on any stay booked where the price drops after booking.

Resorts and tourism businesses often raise prices during holidays and peak periods, and the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic has left many businesses financially damaged.

Prices at Butlin resorts across the country, including the Minehead site in Somerset, have been similarly increased this year, but in some cases have been increased more than expected in previous years.

On the resort chain’s website this morning (January 28), a three-day stay in a standard apartment at Butlin’s in Minehead for two adults and two children starts from £ 170 when the break begins on March 19, during the school period.

However, just two weeks later, the same package starting on April 2 – the day after schools broke down and covering the Easter weekend – the price starts at £ 581, more than three times the price for the school term .

On the same dates, people can stay in a Gold Apartment in Minehead from £ 207 during school term, but on April 2 that price jumps to a minimum of £ 611.

A spokesperson for Haven confirmed the sudden rush to bookings, saying: “We are seeing Devon and Cornwall outperforming other areas right now and it looks like at this point it will continue to be a destination of popular vacation in 2021 with many people still opting for stays. “

A Center Parcs spokesperson said: “We have recently seen a significant increase in reservations and interest in Center Parcs stays.

“Our bookings for 2021, particularly from May onwards, are very strong and ahead of the same period last year. While we expect demand for a UK break to remain high, it is clear that people want reassurance about the flexibility to cancel or change Appointments.

“Our Book with Confidence guarantee allows our guests to book their stay now, knowing they can change their date at no cost or receive a full refund with no fuss if they are unable or uncomfortable. to do so. go ahead with their break when the time is right. “

She added that the five British villages of Center Parcs were closed until at least February 18, but that was not a confirmed reopening date.

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