Sizzling Europe Boosts ‘Staycations’

Irish holidaymakers are staying at home this summer because of soaring summer temperatures across mainland Europe, allied to climate concerns, according to research commissioned by Hastings Hotels.

The survey of 1,731 respondents from the Republic and Northern Ireland reveals that regular 40ºC+ temperatures across many parts of Europe have impacted overseas holiday plans, making 27% more reluctant to travel to hotter destinations. 

However, the unpredictable Irish climate is a deciding factor for 6 in 10 respondents when considering vacations abroad versus breaks at home, while the remainder are undeterred by Ireland’s changeable weather.

Environmental considerations are increasingly shaping holiday decisions, reflecting a growing awareness and concern for climate change among holidaymakers. The survey from the hotel group, which also co-owns the Merrion Hotel in Dublin, found that 21% of respondents avoid air travel due to its environmental impact and 41% take a provider’s sustainability policy into account when choosing accommodation. 

Meanwhile, opinions on the value for money offered by Irish holidays are mixed, with half of respondents believing Ireland provides good value and almost one in four disagreeing.

Financial considerations also influence spending patterns, with 37% of participants forced to spend more on their holidays compared to last year, due to rising costs. A total of 11% intend to cut back on spending due to budget constraints, and an additional 18% are willing to spend more out of choice.

Convenience is the main reason for opting for a staycation, followed by a desire to explore local attractions and limited travel time. 

Relaxation and rejuvenation are a primary motivation, with many also using these breaks to celebrate special occasions.

When selecting a hotel, the most important amenities for respondents are spa facilities, followed closely by pools and recreational offerings and gourmet dining options.

Regular short trips are favoured, with 48% of those surveyed planning three or more staycations this year, averaging less than a week, and another 35% planning two. 

"We are encouraged to see so many holidaymakers opting for staycations this year," said James McGinn, managing director of Hastings Hotels. 

"With a portfolio of six hotels, the great thing is that our hotels are easily accessible and involve no air travel. With Belfast’s new Grand Central Station, guests can take the train and be within a five-minute walk from two of our city centre hotels."