Strong increase in searches for staycation hotels in Herne Bay, Ramsgate and Broadstairs

A coastal town in Kent saw a massive 140% increase in hotel searches on Google in April and May.

But despite reports of a boom in stays expected this summer, some hosts aren’t convinced it’s going to be their busiest.

There has been a massive increase in searches for hotels in Herne Bay

Herne Bay saw the second biggest increase in interest at UK seaside resorts, according to a new study.

Clacton-on-Sea tops the list with a 175% increase, according to analysis of Google search data by Salesfire.

Two other towns in Kent are also in the top 10.

Ramsgate saw a 131.58% increase in interest, while Broadstairs saw a 127.59% increase.

However, county hosts are reporting fewer bookings than expected as Britons brace for stays amid uncertainty over Covid travel rules.

View of Tania Hoser from her penthouse in central Canterbury.  Photo: Tania Hoser
View of Tania Hoser from her penthouse in central Canterbury. Photo: Tania Hoser

Tania Hoser, who rents a penthouse in central Canterbury, said she hasn’t had a rush of restaurateurs.

“I have friends who are particularly busy, but I’m not. I’m probably less busy than usual, ”she said.

“Most of my Airbnb guests come for conferences and weddings.

“They don’t stay on vacation, but if they do, it’s international tourists who do if they travel alone.”

Whitstable advisor and Airbnb host Chris Cornell said more people are on shorter stays than in previous years.

Gorrell's advisor Chris Cornell isn't convinced it's going to be his busiest summer.  Photo: Chris Cornell
Gorrell’s advisor Chris Cornell isn’t convinced it’s going to be his busiest summer. Photo: Chris Cornell

“It will be a very busy summer and most vacation rental owners I’ve spoken to are busier mid-week than they would expect in a typical year.

“I would expect this to continue into the summer months, but a lot of people have also raised their prices.”

However, he said the year would be “pretty bad” overall.

“I’m not sure it will be the busiest summer, but it will be better than we expected,” he added.

Blair Hart, who runs Ellenden Farm Glamping near Whitstable, said he believes demand will be higher this year.

Ellenden Farm Glamping near Whitstable.  Image: Blair Hart
Ellenden Farm Glamping near Whitstable. Image: Blair Hart

“Even though we opened at the end of last year because of Covid, we were busy,” he said.

“We find that this year the weekends are all busy with a lot of loyal customers but I think people are still a little unsure.”

Belvidere Place manager in Broadstairs, Peter Manners, said: “We have been the busiest we have ever been, so far. But unlike probably most hotels in the area, we are not on the most reservation systems.

“Belvidere Place had its busiest June but there is still availability in July and August.

“Midweek bookings are much higher than in previous years and hopefully this will continue into August and September.

“It’s a small shop so we don’t have families, kids or pets here so it’s more of ‘Down from Londoners’.”

Salesfire, an e-commerce and travel retail specialist, saw a 46% drop in online revenue from travel sites when restrictions were changed on June 3 – with Portugal being orange-listed and many others on the red list.

This has been compared to a massive increase in revenue on travel sites with spending increasing by over 120% when the original Green List was introduced on May 7.

Rich Himsworth, CEO of Salesfire, said: “The trend for holidaymakers to book flights and hotels online is not new, although historically this traffic has mostly gone to destinations in Europe and around the world. .

“Persistent travel uncertainty and changing restrictions have reversed this trend and hotels, as well as tourist destinations, bars and restaurants, across the country are now enjoying enormous interest in a coastal city break. and UK seaside resorts.

“It’s not just the most famous seaside destinations such as Blackpool and Brighton that are seeing an increase in searches. Many smaller towns are experiencing unprecedented demand for housing, which is great news for UK seaside towns!

Meanwhile, owners of second homes in Kent have been urged to rent their properties on Airbnb in preparation for a tourist scramble – with figures showing 17,000 are empty across the county.

Bosses of property management company Houst have identified Kent as an area that expects one of the biggest increases in tourism as stays rush to book a UK beach holiday this year.

But they say the county faces a shortage of hotels and traditional accommodation.

Kent County Council data released last year shows that there are 17,275 vacant properties and 8,755 second homes in Kent.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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