Holiday at home

According to a recently published report – UK Staycations 2021: A Year of Opportunities – from commercial property specialist, Colliers, lockdown-weary Britons unable to holiday abroad are treating themselves with luxury ‘staycations’ that could bring a £22 billion boost to domestic tourism.

Marc Finney, head of Hotels & Resorts Consulting at Colliers, said: “Our research shows that UK citizens spent £54.8 billion in 2019 on overseas leisure travel, and we estimate that if just 40 per cent of that is instead spent in the UK this year it would represent an additional £22 billion for domestic tourism.”

He continues: “UK hoteliers have a once in a lifetime opportunity this summer to attract people who would previously have chosen to travel abroad for holidays and weekend breaks, and if they get it right by giving guests an exceptional experience, they will benefit from future bookings and transform the domestic tourism industry instead of just experiencing a one-off bounce.”

The report predicts that the top UK locations for continued domestic holiday demand in 2021 include Brighton and Eastbourne, which will no doubt have a knock-on effect across the south east, including Kent and East Sussex, where many of our clients are based.

We have a number of clients who own holiday lets and we’ve heard that they’ve been busy with bookings this year.

The tax implications of holiday let ownership can be complex. For instance, there are certain allowable expenses including on heating and insurances and we can advise clients on those. We can also work with clients who are looking for their business to qualify as a Furnished Holiday Let (FHL). For this, the property must be available to let for at least 30 weeks a year and actually be let for 15 weeks. Also, it cannot be let to the same person for more than 31 consecutive days.

If your holiday let meets the criteria to be a FHL, HMRC will potentially allow you additional tax benefits compared with traditional residential landlords. Again, we can talk you through these benefits, as well as VAT implications and what sort of business the holiday let should sit within – sole trader, limited company etc.

We also offer accountancy support to some independent travel agents and, while they’ve been quiet with overseas travel bookings, they have been helping clients with enjoying what we have to offer in the UK. Again, our experience in this area means we are well positioned to advise clients who own this type of business.

Of course, with a boom in holidays in the UK this year, the hospitality sector is also benefitting. If you’re in the pub or restaurant trade, in the middle of juggling all of this, you’ll need an accountant by your side who understands your business and can help you navigate this ‘new normal’.

At Lewis & Co, we’ve been working with hospitality businesses – including restaurants, pubs, holiday lets and guest houses – for 35 years and we’d love to talk to you about how we can support you, particularly at this time.

If you’ve got any questions at all, then please do contact us on 01892 513515 or