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Holidaymakers prefer pools to a dip in the ocean

Team Hoo
2nd August 2021

Our latest research has found that while the beach is a firm favourite for UK holidaymakers, we would actually prefer access to a pool over the beach when it comes to taking a dip.

Oceans vs Pools infographic

We asked whether people preferred to swim in a swimming pool or the sea when on holiday. For 63% of the respondents, the swimming pool was the firm favourite with just 37% opting for the sea when looking to cool off.

When it comes to why, the predominant reason was a dislike for the sand or pebbles once we’ve actually taken a swim. 

A fear of open water also ranked high, no doubt influenced by the ‘70s classic Jaws, along with being closer to the amenities a swimming pool offers. 

Some had a dislike for saltwater, while the danger of strong currents was a worry for others. A fear of sea life was the least biggest deterrent. 

Question: why do you prefer to swim in a swimming pool over in the sea when you're on holiday?

  • I don’t like the sand/pebbles after swimming: 24%
  • I don’t like being in open water: 18%
  • I like to be close to amenities/my accommodation: 18%
  • I don’t like salt water: 14%
  • I’m afraid of being swept away by the tide: 14%
  • I’m afraid of sea life: 11%

The good news is that for those planning a summer holiday, there’s a better chance of securing a hotel with a pool when compared to those by the beach.

hoo analysed hotels across the UK that offer a swimming pool, alongside those that are located on the beachfront or close to the beach. 

Of all the hotels that provided some form of aquatic access, 56% offered the preferred option of a swimming pool. 27% were located close to a beach, while just 16% boasted a beachfront location.

hoo Co-founder, Adrian Murdock, commented:

“There’s nothing quite like being beside the sea, weather permitting of course. But it seems that for the majority of UK holidaymakers, the prospect of swimming in saltwater and getting sand in their sandwiches makes the swimming pool a more inviting prospect. 

The good news is that the chances of securing a place to stay with a swimming pool are fairly good but with hotels across the UK booking up at an extraordinary rate this summer, you will have to be quick to reserve a room, let alone a sun lounger.”   

The good news is that whether you prefer the pool or a swim in the sea, hoo has got you covered with the launch of our limited edition swimmers, complete with custom-made storage solutions so you can go hands-free when taking a dip. 

A world first, JUNX are stylish, lightweight swimming trunks that provide a one-stop storage solution for  personal possessions such as  suncream, keys, phone,  book, wallet, cocktail…and  balls. 😉

(Data from survey of 1,449 UK population carried out by hoo via consumer research platform Find Out Now (30th July 2021).

Table shows the number of hotels with a pool or close to the beach and what percentage of all stock they account for (Beach and pool hotel stock levels sourced from hoo and Booking.com):

Beach and pool properties in the UK - data


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