Wigan set for a strong summer as holiday let occupancy rises by a fifth

With the best will in the world, not many people would regard our beloved Wigan as a holiday destination.
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But experts said today that the borough is set for a bumper summer and economic boost this year with a big hike in stop-over visitors.

Latest analysis from vacation rental data specialist Key Data indicates what could be a strong few months for Wigan with occupancy levels already 21.9 per cent higher in July and August compared to the same point last year.

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Average nightly rates, meanwhile, have slumped — falling 12.8 per cent year-on-year, from £108 to £94 making stays even more attractive.

The rise in demand could be down to a number of factors, include a further upsurge in popularity to Haigh Woodland Park, word spreading of the lovely walks that can be taken through the borough’s nature reserves including Wigan flashes and its improving town centre night life.

Wigan’s occupancy levels among lodging providers including hotels and Airbnbs, are faring well when compared to England as a whole, which has only seen a 16 per centy rise in occupancy for this summer compared to the same point in the 2022 booking season. Nightly rates across England have risen 9.2 per cent, from £176 to £192.

The summer holiday is often seen as something to be protected at all costs, no matter the economic headwinds. One explanation for the increased interest in those areas featured in the research is that the cost of living crisis is forcing travellers to take trips that represent better value.

Liverpool is a major outlier in the research. Occupancy there has risen 41.6 per cent while nightly rates are up 36.2 per cent — a clear example of the impact that can be felt when a destination is showcased by a large event, such as Eurovision.

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Sally Henry, VP of Business Development at Key Data, said: “Wigan looks set for a bumper tourist season over the summer holidays, with interest in stays for July and August surging compared with a year ago.

“The jump in occupancy levels not only signals a stronger season ahead, but the numbers highlight the growing appeal of Wigan as a UK tourist destination. A rise in demand could be due to the staycation trend in the UK, with the cost of living crisis potentially encouraging travellers to swap prime tourist destinations for better value alternatives.”

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