UK holidays are increasing in popularity, what do you need to consider when offering such holidays?
UK based holidays
The appetite for UK based holidays has increased, through necessity, a rediscovery of our own beautiful country, a desire by consumers to lessen their carbon footprint and/or the affordability of flights. Activity based holidays such as long distance walking and cycling are proving increasingly popular for such holidays.
Is it a package?
It is important that operators of such holidays consider whether they are creating a package or not. The combination of accommodation, guiding and transfers is a package but what about a self-guided trip including accommodation only? This may not be a package depending upon exactly what you are doing, and if it is not, you are not required to financially protect the trip or to comply with the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 (PTR).
You would still be required to comply with other consumer legislation in relation to consumer contracts but this is not as prescriptive or restrictive as the PTR.
Make sure that you know what you are selling and that your booking conditions and other documentation properly reflect this.
What are the obstacles to providing UK based holidays?
Before venturing into this territory, it is important that you understand the market. You need to know who your customers are and to ensure that you can fulfil your obligations by having in place good suppliers who can deliver. Linked to this is supplier contracts, make sure that they reflect all that is agreed and properly protect you. For more information on supplier contracts see https://www.mb-law.co.uk/travel-articles/good-relations-should-be-backed-up-with-a-written-agreement/
Be aware that the supply of accommodation in key tourist destinations such as the Isle of Skye has led some operators to stop sales to those places. Staffing is also an issue so make sure that you have the staff in place to service the holidays you want to offer.
If your customers are coming from outside the UK and you are selling a package consider how you are marketing to them, if you are targeting EU consumers be aware of the different financial protection requirements applicable to package holidays for those countries.
Traditionally UK consumers have been more likely to arrange their own UK based holidays without using a tour operator. With the increase in activity based holidays this position is shifting, so think about what you can offer in this market.
With activity based holidays comes an increase in the risk of things going wrong, it is important that you know the risks and deal with them appropriately. Our article on adventure travel provides more information in relation to this. https://www.mb-law.co.uk/travel-articles/managing-risks-in-adventure-travel/
What are the benefits?
Having a UK offering diversifies the portfolio of the holidays you can offer.
It also appears to be a growing market. Some people remain unwilling to travel outside the UK or having rediscovered what the UK has to offer are adding in a UK based holiday to their year.
With continuing problems with flights, any holiday that doesn’t include international flights carries less operational risk to the tour operator.
If you have any queries about anything in this article please contact Claire Ingleby (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please note this information is for general guidance only and is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice.