DIVERSIFICATION FEATURE BLOG – STAYCATION INSPIRATION: Touring the North Coast 500

Staycations are increasingly popular – these minibreaks give us a reason to get out into the fresh air with our nearest and dearest, and experience all the amazing countryside the UK has to offer, it’s probably the easiest and most enjoyable way to make the most of our leisure time throughout the year.

Since 2010, tourism has been the fastest growing sector in the UK in employment terms and Britain is forecast to have a tourism industry worth over £257 billion by 2025.

It comes as no surprise to us, as the vast majority of our colleagues enjoy at least one break a year in the UK countryside and therefore regularly invest in it, and we don’t think we are that unusual. Whether it be a glamping weekend with friends, a wedding celebration, a family holiday or simply a visit to the local petting farm with the children on a weekend. These are all profitable opportunities that our clients are investing in and offering.

Our colleagues will be reporting back on their own staycations to demonstrate the breadth of experiences available in the UK countryside and the significant popularity they enjoy.

LAURA: NORTH COAST 500, SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

We enjoy a ‘staycation’ holiday at least once a year – our favourites still being somewhere by the sea. Over the years we have chosen Cornwall, Anglesey and now the Highlands. The campsites we stayed at varied hugely in set up – some providing fully set up tents and yurts, some simply electric hook ups, astounding views and an honesty box! Some had restaurant facilities onsite or supported other local businesses due to their locality to pubs, shops and visitor attractions.

The interesting thing about this staycation is the enthusiastic support it has received from the various Scottish tourist marketing campaigns for the area. The ‘North Coast 500’ is a campaign created much like those in America, think Route 66 and Highway 1, and is a commercial marketing operation set up to benefit tourist attractions in the area; supporting them by providing a platform for their businesses and creating a ‘packaged up’ experience for holidaymakers. Those wishing to complete the route can buy specific guide books and maps, with local businesses being able to promote themselves as ‘places to visit or stay’ along the way. There are itineraries for those wanting to spend a week or more and a number of ways you can do it – by foot, by bike, by car or by campervan; with a choice of accommodations – camping, hotels, hostels – luxury or budget! It is an increasingly popular touring holiday and the operation is a great source of information for visitors who like to plan their itinerary in advance and be inspired by the choice of experiences to enjoy along the way.

Here are some examples of activities that we experienced and businesses we used for our trip…