West’s awake as staycation interest soars

Property website shows searches for holiday home rentals climbing by over 100 per cent

While the tourism sector continues to reel from the crushing impact of the pandemic, a slight sliver of a silver lining can be found in a surge in demand for holiday homes for enforced staycations.

Searches for holiday homes on property website myhome.ie climbed by 112 per cent last month when compared to last year with Kerry, Sligo and Galway likely to see the largest number of Irish visitors in the weeks ahead.

With more and more people confident about being able to travel around the country and less confident about being able to travel outside of it, June was a bumper month for holiday home searches but it was a different story earlier in the crisis.

The figures from The Irish Times-owned website show that in March and April - when Covid-19 cases escalated and lockdown restrictions were at their height - there was a marked decline in Irish holiday home searches.

March saw a 48 per cent year-on-year decline, while April saw a 41 per cent decline over the same period in 2019.

Things started to look up for the sector in May with a 28 per cent increase in holiday home searches.

The staycation trend looks set to benefit the west coast with Clare and Donegal joining Kerry, Sligo and Donegal in recording significant rises.

The news in the capital is not, however, so good with Dublin recording a miserly 6 per cent increase in holiday home searches last month compared with the same period in 2019.

"These findings reflect the huge pent-up demand that exists among people after three months of lockdown, which will have a much-needed knock-on effect for a hospitality sector that has suffered badly as a result of Covid-19 restrictions," said the myhome managing directo Angela Keegan.

“People need a holiday to look forward to after a tough year, and it looks like the domestic economy will benefit from the Government’s continued guidance to avoid non-essential foreign travel.”

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast