Sunderland sees rise in staycations as Airbnb and Vrbo bookings on the up

New data suggests that the number of staycations in Sunderland has risen after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions on April 12.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 3:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 4:36 pm
Data suggests The Seaburn Inn has helped with a rise in staycations across Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID

Research has revealed that staycations across Wearside have been on the rise following the easing of lockdown restrictions on April 12, which allowed UK holidaymakers to visit staycation hotspots such as seaside resorts and rural getaways.

Airbnb and Vrbo hosts in the city saw a 13.8 per cent rise in bookings during April 2021 compared with the same period in 2019, according to data from AirDNA, which tracks bookings on both of the accommodation platforms.

And occupancy rates for April soared by 47 per cent compared to March.

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Stack reopened on Monday, April 12 following England's national lockdown.

The data also showed that – of the 193 property listings across the city – seven of the 10 most popular properties over the past 12 months were within walking distance of Sunderland’s seaside resorts of Roker and Seaburn.

During April this year, a total of 1,215 nights were booked for stays city wide across Sunderland – compared to just 1,067 in April 2019.

The rising popularity of staycations and the easing of lockdown measures is said to have provided a major boost to Sunderland’s visitor economy.

It is welcome news after recently released Government data showed that the city’s tourism sector shrank by 54% during 2020 resulting in a fall in tourist spend by a staggering £219m.

Sunseekers have been enjoying the sunny weather at Seaburn since lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

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Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’ve invested heavily in improving the city’s leisure and tourist offer along our coastline and riverside over recent years and are delighted to see our city’s ambition really starting to bear fruit.

“From improvements to the seafront to the transformation of the Cultural Quarter in the city centre, Sunderland is fast-establishing itself as a destination of choice for visitors not only from across the UK, but also overseas, and hopefully this momentum will continue to build as we re-emerge from the pandemic.”

Developments across Sunderland including the STACK Seaburn container village, the arrival of The Seaburn Inn - a 40-bedroom development overlooking Seaburn beach - and the regeneration of Pier Point at Roker are helping to ‘buck the trend’.

Cllr Miller added: “Seaburn and Roker were once renowned for being thriving seaside tourism resorts and it’s fantastic to see them gradually returning to their former glory.”

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