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Cornish Cottage Holidays Market Insights Report _ Summer 2023

2023 was another fabulous year at Cornish Cottages Holidays, despite the current economic climate. We saw an incredible average occupancy of 89% throughout the peak summer period. With booking occupancy now back to our impressive pre-Covid level, it’s a positive picture for holiday home owners in Cornwall. 

In the past 12 months, we have seen some notable changes in how customers are booking, their intentions, and what they desire from their holidays. We are delighted to present this insightful guide, using our own data and statistics from our parent company Sykes Holiday Cottages. We hope that it will provide useful information on booking trends from both a local and national perspective.

For a full printed copy of the report, please email us on, call 01326 336773 or visit the Let Your Cottage page on our website.

Use the quick links below to learn more about a specific area of the holiday letting market, or read on for an overall summary of our Market Insights Report:

An overview of the holiday let market with Cornish Cottages Holidays

Here is an overview of how Cornish Cottage Holidays performed and the agency’s key achievements for 2023:

  • We now market and manage 755 properties in Cornwall. This is an increase of 6.8% when compared to the same point last year.
  • Bookings have now returned to pre-Covid levels, with an average occupancy of 89% throughout the peak summer holiday period.
  • Last-minute bookings were key. 31% of our bookings taken were made within 4 weeks of the holiday start date.
  • 20% of our bookings were for short breaks. This is a 3% increase from 2022.
  • Bookings were made up of 40% couples, 31% families, 27% adult groups, and 2% solo travellers.
  • We are now part of a B Corp certified organisation.

Top Performing Properties

holiday let Location

Here are some of our top performing properties in 2023. Figures are correct as of 24/01/2024.

Sea View
St Buryan
78 bookings in 2023, 14 already booked for 2024

Lantern Cottage
60 bookings in 2023, 25 already booked for 2024

The Granary at Boskensoe Barns
Mawnan Smith
52 bookings in 2023, 32 already booked for 2024

Gull Rock
Trebarwith Strand
50 bookings in 2023, 17 already booked for 2024

Breeze Cottage
48 bookings in 2023, 31 already booked for 2024

Optimising your property’s booking and earning potential

Optimise your pricing

Cornish Cottages Holidays offers dynamic pricing tools, giving owners the ability to maximise their income as well as booking numbers. We will automatically adjust prices in line with demand by analysing searches, booking trends, and individual property performance.

In 2023, owners who took our advice and utilised these pricing tools saw 5 additional bookings and 20% more revenue on average, compared to owners who did not. 

Those who took our advice on where their base price should sit also earned on average 13 more bookings and 34% more revenue compared to owners who set their own pricing.

Accept short breaks

Short breaks

We are seeing demand for short stays consistently grow year on year. 20% of our bookings in 2023 came from short breaks. This is a rise from 16% in 2022. 

Our annual survey showed that 53% of Brits plan to go on multiple UK holidays and short breaks in 2024.

Did you know?

By accepting multiple bookings in a week, you could achieve an average of 6 more bookings than those that restrict their properties to just one booking a week. Being flexible with the duration of a customer’s stay and accepting bookings right up to the departure date will ensure more bookings in the long run.

Be flexible with last minute bookings

Last minute bookings

Last minute bookings are no longer the exception, they’re now the rule. At Cornish Cottage Holidays, 31% of our bookings taken in 2023 were made within four weeks of the holiday start date. 

Google searches for ‘last minute holidays’ have also experienced a year-on-year growth of around 130%. Searches for ‘last minute holidays Cornwall’ have also increased by 23% year on year. Popular locations such as St Ives, Newquay, and Bude all received increased searches relating to last minute breaks.

Ensure your property accepts last minute bookings and enlist the help of an agency or caretaker if you require support.

Accept pets

Dog friendly holiday lets

Since 2019, we have seen a 60% increase in searches for pet-friendly holidays. Properties accepting pets earn an average of 3 more bookings and 17% more revenue than those that don’t. 

We have also seen an increase in more specific property searches, such as ‘dog friendly cottages with enclosed gardens in Cornwall’, ‘pet friendly holidays in Cornwall with sea view’, and ‘glamping Cornwall dog friendly’.

Value adding property features

Garden/outdoor space

holiday let with garden

When booking a holiday, 32% of guests consider a property’s garden or outdoor space. It’s also a good idea to provide outdoor seating so that guests can dine al fresco in the famous Cornish sunshine should they wish.


27% of guests consider good Wi-Fi or technology when booking a property. Having Wi-Fi can earn owners 26% more per year. It’s also worth considering a good television so guests can relax after a long day of exploring.

Hot tubs

hot tub properties

Luxury amenities continue to be popular. Bookings for properties with hot tubs are up 104% compared to 2022 and 167% compared to 2019. Properties with hot tubs can earn an average of 37% more per year than properties without them. 

Consider sustainability

holiday let with EV charger

As well as reducing your running costs and future proofing your business, considering your environmental impact can be a great way to accelerate your bookings. 

74% of the UK public say they want travel companies to offer more sustainable choices. 56% would prefer to stay in accommodation that has a sustainable certification and 43% would be willing to pay more for sustainable options. 

We have also seen an increased demand for properties with EV charge points. Holiday cottages with EV charge points receive around 170 searches per month on Google. With only 5% of our current properties having an EV charger, this is a great chance for owners to make their accommodation stand out from the crowd.

Marketing your holiday home

Domestic tourism in the UK boosts the economy by roughly £28 billion each year, with over £7 billion of this spentd in the South West. In 2021, short term letting tourism supported over 124,000 jobs in the South West. 

Whilst the industry is clearly fundamental to the region and consumer demand is high, how do you ensure your holiday home stands out from the crowd in a competitive landscape?

As part of the Sykes Holiday Cottages family, our brands have access to national, industry-leading marketing exposure. Here are some of the marketing insights for 2023, and ways we have secured bookings for our owners:

  • We have spent £24 million on marketing in 2023.
  • We continuously dominate in Google search results, with 43.7% market share amongst the four largest competitors in the industry.
  • In 2023, we had over 46 million website visitors to our Sykes Holiday Cottages website, which features all of our Cornish Cottage Holidays properties.
  • The Sykes Cottages brand is growing with over 3.3 million searches in the last 12 months. 
  • We have run several successful booking initiatives in the last year, such as our low deposit payment and flexible cancellation scheme. 
  • We are continuously expanding our wide network of partner sites, like Airbnb, and Snaptrip!, giving owners more opportunities to be seen across multiple websites and platforms.

How Cornish Cottage Holidays can help

The Cornish Cottage Holidays logo

Do you own a holiday home in Cornwall, or are you thinking of letting your second home?

Our 2024 Market Insights Report is an essential resource, filled with useful statistics and pointers for letting your holiday property, whether you’re an experienced owner or just thinking of buying. For a full copy of the report please contact us on, call 01326 330915 or visit the Let Your Cottage page on our website.

If you’d like to find out more about whether we’re a good fit for you and your holiday home, one of our New Property Consultants would love to visit your property and give an honest appraisal of its rental potential. Or, if you are thinking of investing in a property and would like some free advice, we can help with that too!

If you’re looking for more useful owner blogs, read our owner advice guides for everything you need to know about holiday letting with Cornish Cottage holidays. Unsure of where to start with holiday property management? Read our blog on choosing a holiday letting agency in Cornwall.