Holiday warning as UK prices skyrocket and tourists attempt ‘gazumping’ but ‘don’t panic’

Tonight: Firm owner reveals people trying to ‘gazump’ customers

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Experts have issued a warning to Britons during these uncertain times. Some holidaymakers may be at risk of being taken advantage of. Patricia Yates from the national tourism agency, VisitBritain, told ITV’s Tonight programme Summer Holidays: What’s the Truth?” that “what you don’t want is people coming and holidaying at home and feeling they’re being taken advantage of”.

The tourism executive says she is seeing realistic pricing “for the most part”, but that the industry is on its knees after months of closure.

In fact, some tourists are getting very cunning indeed in their attempts to bag a break.

Rowena Owen who runs a holiday letting firm in Kent said: “We’ve been approached by guests asking to pay double the value of the property in order to get in on the property, to gazump the guests we’ve already got – which I’ve never heard of in all my years in holiday letting”.

Her agency has created a waiting list that now extends to 200 people and she says she could rent her holiday accommodation three times over.

There’s no denying some will be paying more for their summer holidays in 2021.

This year’s surge in summer demand has affected prices, with the average cost of U.K. holiday accommodation increasing 41 percent on last year and 23 percent more than pre-pandemic levels in 2019 according to property management software Guesty.

An average peak season reservation will now be £209 per night, compared with £170 before the virus hit.

Greg Munford, who runs Richardson’s Boating Holidays in Norfolk says “the level of bookings for this season coming will be unprecedented. We have put the prices up on some of our boats for the first time”.

Nevertheless, experts are cautioning Britons to avoid panicking.

Patricia Yates of VisitBritain said: “There are always places to find – it’s a question of looking at areas and perhaps compromising about not going to the honeypots.”

As for those still looking for travel inspiration, new data compiled by experts at has uncovered which of Britons beaches are most popular with those seeking views of the ocean and the feeling of sand between their toes.

By compiling Instagram hashtag data, the experts found that Brighton Beach comes out on top as the “most popular beach” in the UK based on the number of photographs snapped by visitors.

Brighton Beach is known for its vast pebbled coastline, as well as its colourful beach huts and kitschy selection of local businesses.

The Palace Pier section of the beach has been awarded blue flag status for its standards for quality, safety and environmental education.

The seafront is also home to a number of unique bars and restaurants.

Of the top five “most popular” seaside destinations, four of them were located in the south of England, proving the region to be a beach hotspot.

Brighton Beach was followed by Dorset’s Durdle Door beach, which was found to be the second “most popular beach”.

Bournemouth Beach, also in Dorset, came in third place and Dungeness Beach in Kent took fifth place.

However, one northern beauty also made its way into the top five.

Squeezing its way into fourth place was is Scarborough Beach, located in Scarborough.

The rest of the top 10 was made up by Fistral Beach in Cornwall, Botany Bay in Kent, Camber Sands in East Sussex, Hengistbury Head Beach in Bournemouth and Porthcurno Beach in Cornwall.

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