Millions will be rushing to take holidays in the UK once travel restrictions are lifted, say experts.
They believe many Britons have abandoned hope of overseas travel this year. Instead, industry bosses hope to rescue the summer with a surge in demand for domestic breaks.
But it could be a case of “hello, campers” for millions as hotels and B&Bs are likely to stay shut for longer with restrictions staying on Airbnbs.
Nick Lomas, director-general of the Caravan and Motorhome Club, said: “Our pitches are separated by at least six metres. We think lots [will] think of giving camping a go.”
The proposed 14-day quarantine on return to the UK will further hit the practicality of overseas travel.
Under the plans, set to be brought in within weeks, all arriving at airports and ports will have to give an address where they must self-isolate.
The quarantine is believed to be part of measures aimed at avoiding a second peak of the pandemic.
Mike Bevens, managing director of Bristol-based Sawday’s said: “In the last week, we have seen a significant increase in people searching for UK breaks.
“The most popular months for bookings are July and August. There is optimism we’ll be able to travel in the UK soon.”
Cornwall and Scotland are among the most sought locations with Wales, Devon and Yorkshire are also attracting more interest.
Scotland has overtaken the South-West for campsite bookings, according to Daniel Yates, founder of booking platform Pitchup.
He added: “Our figures show intent to book is significantly up. It may be that one of the key issues once lockdown is lifted is overcrowding at UK seaside resorts.
“Scotland reacted quickly to the virus, which means it has been less affected, and it offers wilderness.”
Malcolm Bell, of Visit Cornwall, admitted summer visitors may not return to the county until late July. Along with popular destinations like Cumbria, and the Isle of Wight, Cornwall may take its own decision on when visitors can make bookings.
Cornwall tourist bosses say the economy is down ￡270milion after the loss of Easter visitors.
Holiday park owner Patrick Langmaid urged the Government to give a clear message. He said from his Padstow base: "I would like to see certainty and science led certainty."
Although the South-West of England is the most popular region for staycations, attracting more than 19million tourists annually, Jersey, is hoping to lure visitors from mainland Britain once travel is allowed.
But Keith Beecham, head of Visit Jersey said: “We are very open and spacious, with very clean beaches, and have very strong public services.
“I think these are the sorts of things that people will be looking for post-crisis, rather than going for a break in a crowded city.”
The pandemic could also curtail the holiday plans of the over-60s - after travel insurers changed the wording of policies. Many firms stopped selling travel insurance in March.
The policies are now being reintroduced, but exclude claims relating to Covid-19 as it is now a “known event”.
Any trips booked now are also unlikely to be covered by insurance if the holidaymaker changes their mind.
And this would be a problem for OAPs most at risk from the virus and most likely to decide to cancel if there was a second wave.
Paul Charles, of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “Anyone over 60 will be reluctant to travel until a vaccine is in mass production, [that is] at least one year away.”
Any insurance which does cover the virus is likely to be very expensive.
The hope of a staycation “boom” comes with the travel industry in crisis. Hotels have closed amid fears many may not reopen.
By the end of this year the industry is forecast to lose between 850 million and 1.1 billion tourists.
The worldwide lockdown has left up to 120million jobs at risk and a global loss of up to ￡970billion in revenues from tourism.
And yet it had promised to be a bumper year. Bookings in January were booming. Travel giant Tui was up 14% on the previous January.
Ampersand, which specialises in “tailor-made” holidays to Asia and Africa, said bookings costing ￡50,000 or more had risen by 27%.
Scott Dunn, which promises “exceptional” holidays under its slogan “Time to dream”, claimed a 31 per cent rise in early booking.
But the virus triggered the cancellation of millions of holidays.
Those who put down ￡7billion of deposits or payments in full should in theory be entitled to swift refunds.
Under EU laws those forced to abandon their plans due to government actions must be refunded within 14 days of cancellation. Instead, firms are offering a wide range of alternatives to refunds including vouchers, credit notes for future travel, or deferred refunds.