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More than 50 Lyme Bay Holidays owners and visitors gathered for a fully-booked holiday let insights event in January, centered on Dorset holiday letting and featured a retrospective and future forecasts.

Attendees enjoyed an engaging evening featuring guest speakers and gained insights into holiday letting trends from 2023, as well as projections for 2024. Last year, Lyme Bay Holidays alone welcomed 20,000 guests to Dorset for vacations, including some furry companions, boasting an impressive summer occupancy rate of 88%.

A snapshot of the Dorset holiday letting landscape

View of Lyme Regis from sea

Both Dorset-based brands, Lyme Bay Holidays and Dream Cottages, celebrated a significant milestone in 2023, gaining a combined portfolio of 815 properties, marking an 8% surge from the previous year.

The teams shared how last-minute bookings are key. In 2023, properties offering flexible short breaks observed higher booking rates compared to those without such flexibility.

Notably, 80% of bookings in the past year were made within four weeks of the holiday start date.

Additionally, in 2023, 39% of bookings comprised short breaks, indicating a 2% uplift from the previous year, primarily during off-peak seasons. Bookings in 2023 comprised 40% couples, 31% families, 27% adult groups, and 2% solo travelers.

Most Sought-after Destinations for Staycations in Dorset

People sat on Monmouth Beach

The Lyme Bay Holidays team disclosed that the most popular properties for Dorset holiday letting in 2023 were situated in the Lyme Regis area and Charmouth.

Notable mentions included:

  1. The Little Rose in Lyme Regis who achieved 50 bookings in 2023
  2. Yarrow in Charmouth who achieved 49 bookings in 2023

Review and Predictions for Bookings

Over the past year, Lyme Bay Holidays has observed significant shifts in booking patterns, customer preferences, and holiday expectations. Data from the holiday let agency (part of Sykes Cottages) revealed the top three features most desired by customers when considering a stay in Dorset and Devon:

  1. Sea Views: Although always in demand, properties featuring “sea views” experienced a 6% surge in website page views. Searches for “luxury sea views” spiked by 140% in 2023.
  2. Parking: Off-road parking remains one of the most sought-after amenities, evident by the 120 Google searches per month for “self-catering in Lyme Regis with Parking”.
  3. Proximity to Beach or Town: A recent study found that 34% of respondents consider the proximity to a beach when booking accommodation. Other considerations include proximity to a supermarket or shop (33%) and a pub (25%).

Dorset holiday letting made easy with Lyme Bay Holidays

Domestic tourism significantly contributes to the UK economy, with the South West region, particularly rural areas like Dorset, accounting for over £7 billion of the £28 billion annual spend.

To learn more about Lyme Bay Holidays, download your complimentary owner pack for a free pricing appraisal and book a no-obligation property visit.