Holidays are back on for Britons, and though overseas travel to some countries has been given the green-light, the summer weather and a spotlight on safety means thousands of holidaymakers are opting for staycations instead. Though hotels, campsites and caravan parks are undoubtedly doing their bit to ensure customers remain safe amid the coronavirus pandemic, new data has highlighted some other factors that some hotspots are lacking in.
Using a specially designed staycation tool, outdoor brand Halti identified eight additional features that help make destinations eco-friendly spots in order to determine which provided the perfect holiday hotspot.
Factors analysed include green areas on offer, the air quality, amount of recycled materials, organic shops, dog-friendly amenities, countryside walks, public transport, and the level of peace and quiet.
What they found, however, came as quite a surprise.
Though some destinations come top of the list for popularity, thanks to stunning views and a number of tourist-friendly amenities, they didn’t rank as highly using Halti’s data.
UK holidays: Cornwall was found to be lacking in some eco-friendly elements according to Halti
Cornwall is one of the UK’s most loved holiday hotspots
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, a Halti spokesperson said: “One of the most common locations for a staycation in the UK is Cornwall, however, whilst considering the factors in the study we found that it was actually the 13th best location.”
Indeed, though Cornwall attracts campers and seaside lovers in their droves – making it one of the UK’s top holiday destinations – it didn’t take the crown based on Halti’s data.
Alas, though certainly a surfer’s paradise, Cornwall scored low in air quality.
However, holidaymakers need not panic about their overall health and safety, as the region has been working hard to ensure it is doing everything possible to keep tourists safe following the pandemic.
“Although Cornwall will be as wonderful as ever, you’ll notice some changes,” VisitCornwall explains on its website.
“This means that you’ll need to book your accommodation before you travel, similarly all of our leading attractions have introduced advance, pre-booked tickets, and most restaurants and eateries will require a reservation.
“Put simply, you will need to do more research, planning and pre-booking for your stay or day out.”
Everywhere from hotels and accommodation, to bars and restaurants have put in place special social distancing and heightened hygiene measures.
“Please keep to the guidelines, especially those on social distancing and hand washing, while having patience and respect for each other,” adds the tourism board.
“For everyone’s protection, tourism businesses have applied higher standards of cleaning and changed their procedures to comply with the new Government advice.”
Leicestershire surprised Halti, ranking number 3
Cornwall was not the only shocking result to come from the data, though.
The Halti spokesperson continued: “Apart from Cornwall not featuring in the top 10, the ranking of Lincolnshire definitely raised our eyebrows.”
The region nestled in the East Midlands scored came in third place, just behind Norfolk and Gloucestershire.
“Seems to be somewhat of a hidden gem for this year’s staycation patterns,” added the spokesperson.
They continued: “Most of the locations in the top five and ten have great access to green areas perfect for countryside walks and places to explore – the perfect remedy after spending so long in doors.
“The top three regions for staycations are also some of the most eco-conscious (good air quality, a high number of organic shops etc) as well – this is ever imperative in travel and day to day life now.”
Map of UK staycation hotspots
While there is plenty of focus on staying safe from the pandemic while holidaying, Halti highlighted some additional points which travellers should consider.
“Of course, there’s no getting away from the fact that the coronavirus will have a huge impact on holiday patterns due to the uncertainty that it has thrown upon pretty much every stage of going on abroad,” said the spokesperson.
“We have confidence that people will take more notice of the natural attractions around them which will make staycations a more attractive prospect for many years ahead.”
Though eco-friendly stays might not be the most important thing to all holidaymakers, for those looking to further boost health and do their bit for the planet, picking a green spot could be the way to go.
Halti’s spokesperson concluded: “We wanted to add an eco-friendly feel to the study to encourage every holidaymaker to do their bit and there’s no better way to drill this home than being out in the countryside seeing natural beauty for yourself.
“We believe that maintaining an eco-warrior stance to an outdoor staycation is the perfect holiday for 2020.”