It was the holiday of choice for families back in the 1990s, but today self-catering accommodation is experiencing a boom in the tourism industry.
Recently, there has been a continuous rise, year-on-year, in the number of families and couples opting for this flexible way of holidaying.
Last year, in Scotland, the self-catering sector experienced a six per cent growth as occupancy rates rose from 78.97% in September 2016 to 84.89% in September 2017, according to a VisitScotland report on self-catering accommodation in Scotland.
That’s because the self-catering industry has made many changes that have helped attract a new generation of holidaymakers.
We spoke to Jude Turnbull, manager of The Harbour House Hotel and Anglesea Self-Catering Apartments in Portpatrick about the reasons why self-catering holidays are on the rise…
Because self-catering offers a home-from-home environment, it is very popular with families with young children. At Harbour House apartments, we have family rooms, so there are two separate bedrooms. We also have a fitted kitchen, fridge, cooker and access to a large, enclosed garden at the rear.
Self-catering gives visitors the flexibility to come and go as they please. As well as enjoying quality time with loved ones in a self-contained apartment, residents who stay with us have the option to come in to the main hotel on their doorstep and enjoy breakfast (which is usually £8 per person, but we can do them a special deal). We can also provide evening meals for them, and they can take it through to their apartment. Families and couple are not restricted in any way if they go self-catering.
We also pride ourselves in being a pet-friendly hotel, and residents choosing to stay in our self-catering apartments can also bring their dogs. As well as having a back door leading out into the enclosed garden, they also have the option to leave the dog in the apartment for a short while, which they probably could not do in a hotel, so it’s better for them too.
It is also good value for money. At Harbour House it is around £600 for a fully-equipped apartment that sleeps four people for a week-long stay. While prices are quoted on a weekly basis, we are happy to tailor a shorter stay for guests wishing to spend a long weekend in Portpatrick (although there is a two-night minimum stay). We also have a great new food menu in the hotel which offers great quality and value for money.
By basing yourself in self-catering accommodation, you can keep your own schedule based on what you want to see and do. At The Harbour House Hotel, we are preparing to celebrate the Portpatrick Lifeboat Week (Sunday, July 30 – Saturday, August 5), which features entertainment, attractions and events that visitors to the area are sure to enjoy. There is a sand castle competition, talent show, pet show, fancy dress competition, race night, firework display and lots
The Visit Scotland-commissioned report on self-catering accommodation in Scotland also found that holidaymakers visiting seaside or coastal properties grew by more than 16% between September 2016 and 2017, with occupancy rates climbing from 56.35% to 72.58%.
Jude is hoping that this figure will continue to rise this year, as The Harbour House Hotel and Anglesea self-catering apartments are perfectly-placed on the coast in Portpatrick, just a short walk away from the harbour itself.