After acquiring yet another UK holiday firm in Forest Holidays, Sykes Cottages has positioned itself well to capitalize on the booming staycation market in the UK, observes GlobalData.
The leading data and analytics company’s projections show that the UK should expect approximately 123 million overnight domestic trips this year. This statistic is a 23% Year-on-Year (YoY) increase on 2021 levels and a slight increase on 2019 figures which eclipsed 122 million. As such, the timing of Sykes Cottages’ expansion could not be better.
Craig Bradley, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “With confidence in international travel still somewhat precarious, the summer of 2022 is going to be a huge year for UK domestic tourism so this is a really timely move from Sykes. The success of staycations over the past 12 months has already provided a much-needed confidence boost for the UK domestic tourism sector. Sykes Cottages has taken advantage of this trend by investing heavily in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity to boost its product portfolio and attract a wider range of travelers.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, Sykes Cottages has acquired four holiday brands: Forest Holidays, LHH Scotland, Lyme Bay and Best of Suffolk, according to GlobalData’s M&A Database. These acquisitions have enabled the company to offer a broader range of accommodation types, making it more competitive with some of the industry’s biggest players.
Bradley added: “Strong M&A activity strengthens the company’s position to compete with sharing economy providers, such as Airbnb and Vrbo. Like these two companies, Sykes Cottages offers a range of accommodation types for different traveler needs.”
Given the current economic climate, its rapid expansion could be risky, but its strategic focus on the staycation market could not come at a better time. As such, this piece of M&A activity acts as an exciting phase of Sykes’ evolution, as we move into a pivotal summer for the UK travel industry.