'Cottage holidays in the Cotswolds remain attractive': StayCotswold experience record trading - Business Leader News

‘Cottage holidays in the Cotswolds remain attractive’: StayCotswold experience record trading

Mat Faraday, Commercial Director of StayCotswold.

Holiday home rentals business StayCotswold has hailed the impact of its ‘agile’ pricing strategy as booking levels soar amid a rapid expansion of its portfolio.

StayCotswold is experiencing record trading, with year-on-year letting income for the final quarter of 2022 doubling to £1.7m.

Forward letting income stands at over £1.7m and the business is on track to achieve a gross booking value of around six million pounds for the 12 months to the end of March, up from £3.2m. Forward booking numbers per property are up 38% compared with the same period last year.

StayCotswold’s portfolio has doubled in the past 12 months to 140 and it is on track to reach 160 by the end of January as more properties are added. The portfolio includes cottages, houses, luxury converted barns, manor houses and farmhouses as well as a collection of shepherd’s huts and cabins.

Commercial Director Mat Faraday said the company’s growth is being fuelled by increasing its market share alongside the expansion of its portfolio.

    He said StayCotswold’s pricing strategy has formed an important part of its business model and is also driving bookings.

    Mat said: “It means we can be completely agile. The algorithms we use enable us to adjust pricing where necessary and ensure a continuous balance between the requirements and expectations of owners and guests alike.

    “We review the performance of each property at least twice a month, so we are able to quickly match supply and demand for holiday home rentals across our portfolio.

    “The cost-of-living crisis and rising energy costs and interest rates mean owners have financial pressures, but guests are experiencing these pressures too and have less disposable income.”

    The team comprises Mat, Tom Burdett, and Tracy Archer. Mat Co-Founded Character Cottages, which was sold to Pure Cottages Group in 2018. Tom is a former Managing Director of Character Cottages and Tracy was previously Sales and Marketing Director at Pure Cottages Group.

    Mat added: “The Cotswolds are within pretty easy reach of major cities such as London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, and Leeds, and the region has enduring appeal with lovely walks, nice cosy pubs, and properties with roaring log fires.

    “Due to the pandemic, the last two years have introduced more people to the idea of a staycation, particularly for holiday lets that can compete with hotels on quality, but are typically better value. 

    “While many people headed back abroad again in 2022, our booking numbers continue to increase, giving us confidence that cottage holidays in the Cotswolds remain attractive, as there is so much going for the region.”