Book and review 7,753 holiday parks and campsites in the UK, Europe and the Americas

Pitchup.com confirms 2011 as the year of the camping and caravan staycation

May 10 2011 Posted by Lewis Shields

Traffic to Pitchup.com has more than doubled year-on-year to 1m unique page views of camping and caravan sites across the UK in the first four months of 2011, indicating a continued surge in popularity of domestic tourism.

According to search statistics on Pitchup.com, South West England and North West England remain the most popular destinations, up by 191% and 114% respectively. Devon is standing out as the location of choice, with traffic to camping and caravan sites in the county up by a staggering 251%.

The staycation trend remains strong - domestic holidays are up by 11% over the last two years, whilst outbound holidays have dropped by 21%*.

Daniel Yates, Managing Director of Pitchup.com, says, "A growing thirst for the outdoors, investment in ‘alternative camping’ options, and Met Office predictions of a hot summer are all contributing to higher camping and caravan bookings this season, against a background of increasing reluctance to travel abroad, higher exchange rates and persistent economic uncertainty. Domestic tourism is also benefiting from the growing appetite for short breaks among ever more spontaneous and deal-hungry customers, with a quarter of Pitchup.com’s bookings for within a 14-day period."

Awareness of the environment is also contributing to the ongoing shift from foreign to domestic holidays. Pitchup.com estimates that, compared to a holiday in the Med, travel to a typical camping or caravan site generates 95% less CO2 and takes 62% less time, with 92% lower transport costs**.

Remote, no-frills campsites as well as more developed caravan sites are well positioned to capitalise on these domestic travel trends: Pitchup.com’s two fastest-growing accommodation categories are tents – up 200% compared to last year – and static caravans, which grew by 153%.

"The proliferation of sites catering for niches, such as adult-only, motorcycle friendly and naturist, continue to draw in new customers," says Yates. "The website saw growth of 115% on last year for dog-friendly camping and caravan sites, and 251% for naturist sites."

Innovation – from tree-houses and domes to pods and lodges with spas – is also rejuvenating the sector, with the growth of ‘glamping’ taking the sector upmarket, fuelled by outdoor trends. Pitchup.com has seen a marked increase in the number of ‘glamping’ sites listed: over 300 UK and Ireland sites with tipis, yurts, wig-wams, pods or bell tents can now be found on Pitchup.com – a 30% increase on last year – and customers from the ‘AB’ social category have grown from the smallest category (at 20.8% of domestic camping and caravanning trips) to the second-largest (24.1%) between 2006 and 2009***.

Londoners have previously been the least likely to camp or caravan, but now make up 26% of Pitchup.com’s visitors over the last year, reflecting the spread of popularity of camping and caravanning beyond its traditional customer base.

"As these trends take hold, spend per night should grow and the holiday season will continue to extend. These figures demonstrate the thriving trend for camping and caravanning breaks across the UK, not only during the summer season but continuing year round," says Yates. 

- ends -

Pitchup.com traffic figures based on 1st January – 25th April 2011 and 2010

* statistics from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) and the UK Tourism Survey (UKTS)

** statistics from Pitchup.com research and JPMorgan ClimateCare

*** statistics from the UK Tourism Survey (UKTS) (based on January – September)

About Pitchup.com

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

For further media information please contact:

Casey Mead     020 7886 8450 casey.mead@flagshipconsulting.co.uk

Lewis Shields   020 7886 8449 lewis.shields@flagshipconsulting.co.uk

Laetitia Redbond 020 7886 8457 laetitia.redbond@flagshipconsulting.co.uk