Sharp rise in holidaymakers booking online: camping and caravan site owners need to be on board
Oct. 24 2011 Publicat per Lewis Shields
Camping and caravan site owners not offering the option to book online are missing out on business, as online booking is now the most popular way for holidaymakers to arrange domestic accommodation.
60% of advance bookings for domestic holidays in England were made online in 2010, according to recent VisitEngland research. In just four years, the number of domestic holiday trips booked online in England has grown by 65% (from 10.4m to 17.1m), and by a further 14% in the first five months of 2011.*
A survey for VisitEngland** has found that online booking was available for 79% of hotels but only 36% of guest houses and B&Bs, and an even lower proportion – 28% - of camping and caravan sites.
Daniel Yates, managing director of Pitchup.com, says, “The share of holidays booked online is even greater for the growing short break market, reflecting spontaneous decisions to travel. In 2011, 44% of bookings on Pitchup.com were for within one week of departure, with an average stay of 3 nights***. Online booking meets the need for instant confirmation when booking a last-minute short break in the UK.”
Kate Nichols, Owner, Hillcrest Park, says, "From the moment we signed up with Pitchup.com we started generating bookings. In the first three weeks we had been with them, I estimate about 80% of our pod customers had come through its website - bookings we were unlikely to have got otherwise.”
Owners of camping and caravan sites can join Pitchup.com at www.pitchup.com/about/upgrade-promotion/ and benefit from tools to take bookings, both short-notice and early-bird. More than 200 sites have already signed up to take bookings - ranging from small independent campsites to three of the four largest holiday park groups.
"As we head into autumn we’re already receiving bookings for next summer near Olympic events, and also seeing a huge increase in bookings for last-minute 'glamping' breaks," says Yates.
"Site owners are responding to the demand for alternative accommodation types. Last year 249 of our listed sites in the UK and Ireland offered glamping accommodation, and that number has now grown by 50%***. Domestic tourism is really benefiting from the appetite for alternative short breaks that are easily facilitated by quick, simple and secure online booking options."
To recognise its trailblazing success, Pitchup.com was recently named a ‘Future 50’ winner in the inaugural Red Bull / Real Business awards for the UK’s 50 most creative, innovative and visionary young businesses.
* statistics from VisitEngland report Trip Booking Patterns in Domestic Tourism (June 2011)
** statistics from VisitEngland 2010 Business Confidence Monitor (Wave 3 - April and May)
*** internal Pitchup.com statistics
Winner of Best Travel Information Site at the 2010 Travolution awards, Pitchup.com is the most comprehensive website in the camping and caravanning sector. Launched in July 2009, the site features 5,000 campsites and holiday parks in the UK and Ireland, including many in hard-to-find locations. The website enables users to search and book using more than 80 search criteria to fine-tune their holiday requirements, and features mapping technology to make getting there simple too. The site also lists accommodation near nine National Parks, hundreds of beaches, 17 World Heritage Sites and the main UK festivals and can view nearby Good Pub Guide pubs, National Trust properties and National Cycle Network routes. Website owners can also add custom Pitchup.com listings to their site.
Issued by Flagship Consulting
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