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The great staycation age divide

Photo: Nick Fewings


Generation No-Xpense vs the frugal over-55s: New research reveals what opposing tribes want from their UK staycation.

Destinations keen to pocket the new staycation pound need to use pinpoint accuracy in their comms strategy to engage and excite differing age groups with alternative holiday needs and budgets.

A report by PR and marketing agency Democracy has found that the under 45s (Generation No-Xpense) are willing to spend £620 on a UK break, forking out more than £100 per person than the over 55s. 

Already disappointed to have to compromise on their traditional summer holiday, Generation No-Xpense are willing to pay more for an experience that will deliver luxury, escapism or adventure and are looking for new experiences that will meet their needs.

Yet, for the younger customer, born between the late 70s and mid 90s, many are still holding on to a last minute hope that changes will allow them to get away to warmer climes, with 34% still hopeful of some last summer sun.

Conversely, the frugal over 55s will spend less, with £510 per person ring fenced for a UK staycation, but they are far less likely to be dazzled by last minute changing legislation, with just 12% believing that they’ll leave the UK for a foreign holiday in the next 12 months.

Jennifer O’Grady, head of agency at Manchester-based Democracy, said: “Both audiences are looking for something very different from their staycation. The over 55s are looking for destinations that take them and their safety seriously before committing to venturing beyond their front door.

“And as a result destinations need to use advanced digital and social marketing to move away from a one size fits all marketing comms plan to a more personalised and tailored strategy.

“There are a raft of new opportunities for brands who can engage with all customers in the right way, in the right place and at the right time, ensuring their questions are answered and desires are met.”

Read the full report

These findings are taken from the Democracy Insights Report – The Home Front – The New Holiday Battleground which is free to download here

The in-depth study identifies the impact Covid-19 has had on the travel and destination industry and offers practical guidance to help destinations to convert a new wave of holidaymakers into lifelong customers.

Jennifer added: “Covid-19 has the potential to change how we holiday in the UK for a generation. Brits of all ages are open to considering experiences previously off the radar and destinations need to drive interest, provide reassurance and then lock in these behaviour changes to protect future income.

“After months of lockdown and restrictions, the need across the board for a getaway has never been greater. Communicating safe measures is essential, but different audiences have different needs.

“As families expand their bubble to include grandparents, destinations need to be able to meet the needs of the multigenerational family, dialing up messages around experiences that excite everyone.

“Operators within the staycation sector who recognise these different generational needs and pivot their communications approach quickly will be those who gain cut through with new audiences.”

Splashing the cash

To prepare for a UK break, as opposed to a fortnight round the pool in Spain, Brits have been splashing out on new gear, too, with two in five making a purchase. The Democracy research found that 13 per cent of those have bought a tent, 12 percent a caravan, nine per cent a motorhome and eight per cent a campervan.

The traditional summer season is also being extended this year after so many months on ‘pause’ with bookings for domestic breaks spreading far into autumn and up to and including the October half-term.

Download the full report HERE.


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