Self-catering analysis: 2016 in review

2016 was an eventful year. The UK voted to leave the European Union back in June, the value of the pound dropped, and terrorist attacks worldwide affected holidaymakers’ destination choices. In the UK, the year ended with an expectation that in addition to staycations remaining popular, inbound tourism would continue to increase due to overseas visitors getting good value for money .

We can certainly give you an insight in to how the self-catering industry¹ fared in the past 12 months.

A total of 545,636 bookings came through SuperControl in 2016, that’s one booking every minute.

Our 2015 review recognised a change in buyer behaviour, with fewer people leaving it until last minute to book; guests were taking shorter breaks and planning ahead. That pattern continued in 2016.

Guests want flexibility

Self-catering guests want to be able to stay for the number of nights that suit them, and to start their holiday on the day they choose.

Length of stay

Short breaks continue to be popular, with an average length of stay of 5.6 nights (a slight increase from 5.5 nights in 2015).

length-of-stayStart day

While almost half of online bookings were for a Saturday start (48%), Friday was also significant with 37% of the share. This left 15% of bookings that started on other days of the week.


Booking leadtimes

The number of bookings with a leadtime of 181-365 days increased again this year, as self-catering guests continued to plan ahead. This gives people the option to pay in installments, and budget carefully – useful during times of austerity. The caution indicated is reinforced by the fact that very last minute bookings (0-7 days leadtime) has dropped again this year.


What’s next?

Travel commentators are predicting that the low value of the pound will lead to holidaymakers prioritising value destinations in the coming year. This doesn’t mean cheapening your holiday rental by discounting everything. It could be rewarding loyalty or adding incentives, it’s about making sure that you are providing an experience where your guest are getting the most value for their money.

Despite the economic uncertainty, the number of bookings didn’t decrease in 2015 or 2016. So we’d expect to see similar in 2017, providing self-catering accommodation owners are flexible about the length of stay and start days, and they make it easy for people to book and pay .


¹ All bookings placed through SuperControl in 2016