U.K. Airbnb Trends Over Easter 2023 … And What They Tell Us

April 20, 2023
2 minute read

Easter break marks the reopening of many tourist-based businesses in the U.K. After being closed during the slower, winter months, short term rentals welcome travelers once again. The holiday is also the first of many national holidays the U.K. will celebrate this year, with the King’s Coronation on the horizon next month, and it sets the stage for the peak season ahead. 

With this in mind, we dove into the data to discover what this year’s Easter break can tell us about traveler behavior, upcoming short term rental/Airbnb trends, and market performance

Top Booked Easter Break Destinations in the U.K. This Year 

Based on scraped data of the highest number of nights sold from March 27, 2023, the top five U.K. destinations for the Easter holiday (April 1 to April 14) were: 

  1. London, England
  2. Cornwall, England
  3. Devon, England
  4. Cumbria, England
  5. North Yorkshire, England

airbnb in london, england

Both City and Rural Destinations Are Thriving 

Unsurprisingly, London — England’s capital — takes the top spot for the most visited destination in the U.K. this Easter, shortly followed by the country’s favorite rural, beachside retreat — Cornwall. These findings support our recent research into rural versus city stays which shows demand growth for both types of vacations. 

Average Daily Rates (ADR) and Revenue Per Available Rental (RevPAR)

We’ve compared 2022’s short term rental performance to this year’s bookings based on scraped data as of March 27 each year for stays between April 1 and April 14.

We found that ADR has risen across the board, especially in London — where prices rose by 22% year-over-year. While this could be reflective of inflation, increases have likely also been driven higher due to more guest demand. RevPAR data from these destinations supports this theory. In London, RevPAR saw a 62% year-over-year positive change. Cornwall, Devon, and North Yorkshire also gained a 32-38% increase, and Cumbria’s RevPAR rose by 19%.

How Are People Traveling? 

Data shows that the number of nights sold during the Easter break has risen year-over-year. London witnessed the largest increase of 30%, with 273,576 nights sold in 2023 vs. 210,780 in 2022. The rest of the top five U.K. destinations also outperformed the previous year by 15-19% in nights sold during the holiday. However,  there has been a slight decline in the average length of stay by around 1 day (from 6 days to 5 in London and Cornwall, 5 days to 4 in Cumbria, and little change in Devon and North Yorkshire). 

easter break in the UK

So, while more people seem to be traveling, bookings are shortening — could this be a reflection of tightening travel budgets caused by the rising cost of living? The Consumer Price Index in the U.K. was most recently recorded at +10.4% for the 12 months leading up to February 2023. What does this mean for the year ahead? It could be that property managers and hosts will have to rely on a steady stream of short stays to be successful as we approach summer and throughout the peak season. Those with minimum night stay restrictions may therefore wish to revise booking rules to avoid missing out and instead make the most of increased demand.

Are Booking Windows Shifting? 

Many property managers, hosts, and investors have been keeping a close eye on the booking window over recent years. Global events that began in 2020 affected how far in advance guests would make reservations. Due to ongoing shifts in travel restrictions, confidence in travel plummeted and cancellations from guests and hosts alike rose, leading to a dramatically shorter booking window. Even two years later, the short term rental industry continued to witness shorter booking windows in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019

Easter break data suggests that, at least in the U.K., shorter booking windows are still prevelant in the industry, as the number of days between rental bookings and the actual stays show further signs of decreasing. Four of the top five U.K. destinations recorded a shorter booking window for Easter breaks in 2023 versus the previous year. Cornwall saw the most significant drop of 18 days, with Devon, Cumbria, and North Yorkshire decreasing by 14, nine, and two days respectively. This could be a reflection of uncertainty now that rising prices are shrinking travel budgets. Guests may be holding out for last-minute deals or waiting until they have the funds for all the additional expenses involved in a trip before making a commitment. 

London, however, was the exception to this trend. England’s capital city saw the average booking window rise by 10 days for stays between April 1 and April 14. This upward trend could be attributed to the city’s high demand (more than triple that of Devon, Cumbria, and North Yorkshire, and double that of Cornwall,  according to nights sold), leading guests to book further in advance to secure their ideal short term rental for the holiday. 

What the U.K.’s Easter Market Performance Tells Us About the Coming Months

Overall, short term rental market data points towards a positive outlook for the future of the sector in the U.K. Rises in ADR and RevPAR show demand remains strong despite tighter travel budgets, and the shortening booking window indicates a slow but steady return to ‘normality’. Just as Spring Break data suggested a promising trajectory for the U.S., Easter data in the U.K. points towards this year’s peak season being a successful one. 

Wondering how you could utilize short term rental market data like this for your property management business strategy or investment plans? Read our blog on 5 ways short term rental data helps you grow your business, or jump straight in and request a demo of our data dashboard here

key data dashboard for vacation rentals in UK

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