Looking for an upswing? Cash in on the companies set to benefit from the looming Staycation Summer

With severe restrictions still hanging over holidays abroad, the UK faces a staycation summer.  Whether you're planning picnics with lashings of ginger beer, lazy days in pub beer gardens or a DIY bonanza, there will be both business winners and losers from our changed spending habits within the next few months. Fund managers and individual investors are searching out companies that will benefit from the 'new normal' over the summer, and beyond.  The difficulty, of course, is predicting how well lockdown easing goes in the next few weeks. 'There are a lot of variables, above and beyond the vagaries of the notoriously fickle British weather,' warns Russ Mould, investment director at wealth manager AJ Bell.  Load Error 'Much will depend upon Government policy and how lockdown is eased, particularly with regard to the two-metre social distancing rule.' Joe Healey, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, says: 'As the inevitability of a summer with fewer people flying and willing to travel overseas looms, there may be opportunities for companies more exposed to domestic tourism as consumers look to stay within the UK.' He says national pub chain JD Wetherspoon has used wisely various business support schemes introduced by the Government to keep costs under control.  The company also has the advantage of larger-than-average pub sites, which often have gardens, and already has an app to allow customers to order from their seats in accordance with social distancing. The pub chain's shares took a beating when the nation locked down, but have come off lows of £5.59 to stand at more than £11 this week – down from more than £17 in December last year. Wetherspoons can continue to provide a value offer to its customers in a safe environment and maintain the investment in its estate.' When we're allowed inside for leisure activities again, some may be easier to carry out than others – and if the summer is wet, these may prove popular. She adds: 'This put them on the front foot in managing the situation when the UK introduced distancing measures in mid-March.' Martin Cholwill, manager of Royal London UK Equity Income, owns Cineworld within the £1.9billion fund and believes that social distancing in cinemas will not be as disruptive as some people think because many are usually only at between 20 and 30 per cent occupancy anyway. Royal London UK Equity Income has generated a return over three months of 24.5 per cent, losses of 11.2 per cent over a year and gains of 14.4 per cent over five years.  Meanwhile, if the reopening of theme parks excites you, funds Baillie Gifford High Yield Bond and Baillie Gifford Strategic Bond both hold corporate bonds issued by Merlin Entertainments, owner of Alton Towers and Chessington World of Adventures. It owns the Premier Inn hotel chain which has been shut to all but essential workers through the pandemic. He says: 'If the worst comes to the worst and its hotels must remain shut, the company has just raised £1billion to copper-bottom its balance sheet and enable it to tough out a long period of either limited levels of occupancy or little or no business at all,' A prolonged lockdown could knock the shares, especially as the company has a lot of debt, although management insists the company has sufficient cash to trade through a lengthy period of low visitor levels. Bowman also likes Halfords, which has reported bumper trade through the lockdown in response to rising demand for bicycles. Alasdair McKinnon, manager of Scottish Investment Trust, says he expects Tesco to keep doing well in the coming months. Alasdair McKinnon, manager of Scottish Investment trust, says: 'History tells us that most people tend to go back to doing what they used to do surprisingly quickly after a shock.'