From city rooftop tent pitches to country nudist glamping – Pitchup.com predicts the future of UK holidays in the great outdoors
Feb 1 2010 Posted by Lewis Shields
Now holidaying in the UK is firmly on the travel agenda for 2010, leading camping and caravanning site Pitchup.com has looked into its crystal beach ball to make its top five predictions about what the future may hold for camping and caravanning, especially as it attracts a whole new crowd.
“The number of joiners and the number of pitch nights sold significantly surpassed expectations in 2009. People took their holidays in the UK or at the very least took one of their holidays in the UK,” says Matthew Eastlake, Marketing & Communications Director of the Camping and Caravanning Club.
So people are on to a good thing. But it can only get better. Let Pitchup.com guide you as to what the future of holidaying in the great outdoors has in store for travellers…
1. Extreme glamping
Now glamping’s gone mainstream, high-end holidaymakers will look for ultimate luxury during their break. Recent VisitBriain statistics on camping and caravanning trips have shown that the AB category has grown from the smallest to the second-largest social grade represented.* Campers can already enjoy a spa experience at sites such as Waterside Holiday Park, and hot tubs and saunas at sites such as Pinelodge Holidays, and this niche will continue to grow. Camp Kerala, designed by the Maharaja of Jodhpur and costing from £8,000 for five nights, gives us a bit of a flavour of things to come. But flash forward ten years and we will see on-site concierges, celebrity chefs and finely landscaped pitches with flowerbeds there for the taking. Fashion will also take the limelight, with camping collections becoming the new cruise collections, which can already be seen by Zandra Rhodes’ new range of camping goodies for Millets.
2. Urban camping
As demand for camping and caravanning continues to grow we’ll see a flurry of a new pitches popping up. Inevitably, cities will continue to develop outwards, so rural space will become more constricted, meaning we’ll have to be a bit more creative with where we choose to pitch up. As London 2012 approaches, the great urban outdoors will become increasingly en vogue as an alternative to expensive city centre hotels, as demonstrated by Tentstation in Berlin. Camping and caravanning does, and will continue to, offer good value. Spend per trip is currently at an average of £143 vs the market average of £209 (VisitBritain). If pop-up camping in Hyde Park doesn’t sound that adventurous, urban camping will also take to the roofs – finding new and unique spaces in well served roof gardens – offering amazing views, green surroundings and shopping on your doorstep.
3. Remote, not deprived
Being in the great outdoors isn’t all about cold beans and stream water – sometimes people expect service. The spontaneous nature of running off into the wild means sometimes we forget to pack a few bits and bobs, such as food. Not to worry, campsites of the future will have delivery services from pizzas to organic food boxes, all orderable from your smartphone or laptop - using the free wifi, of course. We love the great outdoors during the day, but things can get a little bit dull after the sun goes down. ‘Camp-in-movies’ will be all the rage – similar to the outdoor screenings at places such as Somerset House. New technology will enable campers to project movies directly on to tent walls, meaning they can snuggle up in their sleeping bags while watching the latest blockbusters.
4. Even wider range of accommodation choices
Camping and caravanning accommodation keeps getting better and better. Spaceships offer the ‘Swiss army knife’ of UK motorhomes and Airstream offers a range of very stylish retro caravans. Microlodges are sweeping the nation and are a perfect example of the UK’s desire to stay in unique places. Quirky is desirable, so the zanier the accommodation, the more attention it is going to attract. As much as sleek futuristic all-mod-cons tents and caravans will become popular, fashion is cyclical - and remember, camping is fashion - so there will be a return to the pegged canvas and boxy trailer behinds of the ’70s, albeit with some pretty cool features inside.
5. Niche sites
With more demand for camping and caravanning pitches, there will be increased potential for sites to specialise. We already see sites accommodating specific groups such as adults only, motorcyclists or campfire lovers – but this will go further. In ten years’ time Pitchup.com’s search functionality will be immense, and as well as proximity and family-friendly searches, you’ll be able to search for all the nudist campsites, 18-30, ornithology lovers’ havens, anti-pollen and even really authentic back to basics, no technology, great outdoor sites.
Jon Boston, spokesman at The British Holiday & Home Parks Association agrees that the future looks bright for caravanning and camping. He says: "We will see an increase in high-quality accommodation, and the introduction of even more luxury spas and leisure facilities as sites invest to broaden the park experience. Camping continues to be the "new cool" for people from all backgrounds, and parks offer the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in a well-cared-for environment whilst keeping creature comforts - such as a hot shower and a decent cappuccino - within easy reach."
*VisitBritain - The AB category has grown from the smallest social grade to the second largest, from 20.8% to 24.1% of trips between 2006 and 2009
http://www.pitchup.com is the most comprehensive website in its sector, with 5,000 UK and Ireland campsites and holiday parks featured including hundreds of hard-to-find sites. The website has an easy-to-use search facility and contains information on accommodation near nine National Parks, hundreds of beaches, 17 World Heritage Sites, and the main UK festivals.
Issued by Flagship Consulting
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