Staycations are proving to be more than a year-long lockdown miracle as the holiday economy enjoys a record recovery despite a surge in the number of people taking breaks abroad.
One in three Irish families now intends to spend both a stay and a holiday abroad this summer.
While young people are determined to travel abroad – 94 per cent of 18-24 year olds plan to go abroad – older Irish holidaymakers are more attracted to a domestic holiday, with 49 per cent admitting they have concerns about traveling abroad in the current environment to have.
More than 50 per cent of Irish adults have not taken a holiday since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey by Aviva Travel. However, more than 75 percent intend to make up for lost time.
But despite the strong recovery in outbound travel, Irish holidaymakers have not lost their rediscovered taste for domestic holidays.
The famous seaside town of Youghal in Cork is a classic example of the ongoing staycation renaissance. Red Store restaurant owner Karen Sharkey said business has been brisk locally.
“It was very good. We had strong trading and good bookings. If there were a limiting factor, it would be staffing levels. But we are not alone in that in Ireland,” said Ms Sharkey.
Typical of the venues that have proved a hit with holidaymakers, Red Store combines modern Irish cuisine with an impressive historic location next to the 15th-century Tynte’s Castle. Manager John Phillips said a good season could now be turned into a great one if the spell of fine weather is extended.
We are blessed with one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and there are so many things to do. There are many positive things to report.
Boardwalk Coffee’s Ger Flanagan said the staycation business is booming, with the only limiting factor being limited local hotel bed capacity.
“We founded Boardwalk Coffee in March 2021 and then opened a new store in The Mall,” he said. “What changed Youghal was the boardwalk. We have day trippers coming here from Tipperary, West Cork and Limerick.”
In June 2021, the Community Development Secretary, Heather Humphreys, officially opened the 7km promenade, which stretches from the town center to Redbarn Strand.
The project now offers an accessible facility for all as part of the development of the National Coastal Walking Route.
Youghal Chamber of Commerce President Padraig Hennessy, who runs the popular Clancy’s Bar opposite Youghal Strand, said he believed the future was bright for the east Cork city.
“We are blessed with one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and there is so much to do around Youghal and East Cork. There’s a lot of positive things to report,” he said.
However, he said the government and local authorities must address infrastructure issues if domestic tourism is to realize its true potential. Sunbathers have been voting with their feet in recent weeks and Youghal expects record numbers in the coming days as temperatures soar to nearly 30C.
Holidaymakers Debbie O’Sullivan, Breda Kelleher and Joy Kelleher chose Youghal for their short break for the new promenade and beautiful beach.
“It’s fantastic. You have everything you could want in terms of food, coffee and toilets within walking distance. And the boardwalk is just amazing,” said Joy.
Future Youghal developments, including an exciting project to link the Cork and Waterford greenways, are currently under study by Waterford and Cork County Councils.
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/staycations/we-are-blessed-why-home-is-where-the-heart-is-as-popularity-of-staycations-outlasts-lockdowns-41844109.html ‘We Are Blessed’ – why home is where the heart is as staycations popularity outlasts lockdowns