Camping and caravan holidays are surging in popularity this year. A survey conducted by UK leisure vehicle brand, Swift Go, showed over 70 percent of participants have now considered a UK holiday after foreign travel plans were dashed. Just under a half now preferred to staycation in a caravan in a motorhome.
Nick Lomas, the chief executive of the Caravan Club told The Telegraph this year’s summer period was among the busiest the organisation had ever experienced.
He told the newspaper: “It’s a level of demand we haven’t had for many years. I would say in terms of the bookings on our site, we’ve never been as busy as we’ve been this year, for the main summer season and I’ve been involved for 15 years.”
The majority of campsite operators are said to be close to capacity as Britons choose to favour camping breaks amid coronavirus concerns.
The skyrocketing popularity of this holiday type has sparked concern that holidaymakers may turn to wild camping if they fail to book a campervan or reserve a tent pitch.
The National Trust recently observed a huge increase in “fly camping” which sees illegal campers leaving behind litter and even their tents – and is urgently warning Britons against this.
The competition to bag a UK break doesn’t just apply to this year.
Industry experts say it may well be a problem that lasts into next year, too.
Charles Millward, owner of Staycation Holidays, told The Times: “People should be worried about finding availability next year, a lot of dates are already taken because they will have been moved from this year – one of our properties only has three weekends free next year from March until September.”
However, it isn’t all doom and gloom for UK holidays this year.
Martin Smith, the founder of camping websites campsites.co.uk, told Express.co.uk that aiming for shorter breaks will boost your chances of nabbing a break.
What’s more, travelling in September and beyond will see holiday spots free up.
It’s also worth checking out the less obvious destinations away from the tourist crowds.
“Availability is certainly very tight for week-long August breaks in Devon, Cornwall and other tourism hotspots,” said Smith.
“But shorter breaks are still available and there are still options for September and beyond.
“Other areas have more availability for those happy to cast a wider net.”
While just a quarter of holiday parks and campsites have permission to be open all year round, the UK government has urged local councils to work with regional sites to extend the season in the wake of the pandemic.
Robert Jenrick, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said in a written statement concerning England on Tuesday: “The Government also recognises that the tourism industry will need to be able to adapt to secure its financial future.
“In response to COVID-19, the majority of UK businesses closed in March 2020, including caravan, campsites and holiday parks.
“Extending their operation beyond the usual summer season will be invaluable to parks as the sector begins to recover.”