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Pitchup.com reveals UK traveller habits

Jul 15 2014 Posted by Samantha Marsh

Midlanders go mad

Glaswegians most spontaneous

Rise of the solo camper

Holiday booking habits released today by outdoor accommodation specialist Pitchup.com show that those living in the Midlands are keenest of all to embrace the Great Outdoors this summer and that more people are going camping and caravanning alone. Figures suggest that those living in the East Midlands are the least spontaneous - booking up to two months in advance  - whilst the residents of Glasgow, London, Edinburgh and Cardiff are among those most likely to make a last moment decision to book a few days away.

Pitchup.com’s sales of camping, caravanning and other outdoor holidays more than doubled year on year (based on January to June figures), but the site saw bookings by those living in Leicester boom with a 158% increase; Nottingham followed with 147% growth and Coventry saw 142% more bookings than in January to June 2013.

Dan Yates, founder of Pitchup.com, said: “The people of the East and West Midlands are showing an insatiable appetite for outdoor holidays this year, perhaps because their central location means they can reach the majority of our English and Welsh sites within two or three hours.”

When it comes to getting away from it all on a whim, the most spontaneous travellers hail from Glasgow, whose citizens book a getaway on average 26 days prior to travel, with residents of the UK capital cities of Cardiff (34 days ahead), Edinburgh (33 days), and London (32 days) proving their busy capital lives inspire more impulsive travel.

Those living in Northampton and Hull plan the furthest ahead, booking 59 and 56 days in advance respectively, whilst the national average is booking 42 days prior to travel, up from 38 days in 2013 which Yates attributes to the Great British weather: “Last year we had a very hot and sunny spring and early summer which encouraged outdoor holidays, and I believe this year people are booking sooner to ensure they get the site they want.”

Yates added: “Many of our sites actually offer availability right up until the evening of the stay, so for those seeking an impromptu getaway to the countryside camping and caravanning are ideal.”

Whilst 37% of Pitchup.com customers travel with school-age children, 50% of bookings are adult-only and in the past 12 months there has been a 115% growth in solo travellers. Yates explained: “Many of our solo travellers enjoy rural pastimes such as bird watching or rambling, but feedback from our suppliers suggests that quite often friends will gather at a site from around the country, each having made their own booking. So while we may be seeing a boost for those seeking solace from their urban lives on a solo break, many of the single adult bookings may in fact be people joining friends and extended family.”

Highlighting the affordability of domestic tourism, Yates said: “Government figures show that foreign holiday trips in 2013 were down 17% from their 2008 peak*. With an average holiday price on Pitchup.com of only £90 for three nights for three people, it’s clear to see the attraction of holidaying closer to home.”

-ends-

* Figure 15: UK residents’ visits abroad by purpose. Source: National Statistics (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ott/travel-trends/2013/rpt-travel-trends--2013.html#tab-Commentary--UK-residents--visits-abroad)

For media information

Cass Helstrip, Samantha Marsh or Rob Bates at White Tiger PR

Cass.helstrip@whitetigerpr.com 07968 255464

Samantha.marsh@whitetigerpr.com 07711 265666

rob.bates@whitetigerpr.com 07957 316491

Notes to editors

About Pitchup.com

Founded in 2009 by former lastminute.com man, Dan Yates, multi-award winning Pitchup.com is a free guide to all types of outdoor accommodation in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland and Switzerland. Pitchup.com, which currently lists over 5,800 sites, provides users with a simple platform in which they can search and book an outdoor holiday with total ease: the customer experience from landing on the homepage through to booking a holiday can be completed in as little as four pages. The site also goes beyond traditional searches by allowing users to search for accommodation based on more than 80 criteria, such as adults only and campfires allowed, and view nearby events, Good Pub Guide pubs and VisitBritain attractions. It’s also possible to check out water bathing water quality in the surrounding area with data provided by the European Environment Agency. Users can also search on the offers page to find the best deals available.

In 2013 Pitchup.com became the first business of its type to launch a bookable mobile site and app, making the site easily accessible to users of iPhones and other mobile and tablet devices. The mobile site, m.pitchup.com, now accounts for 15% of bookings.

Pitchup.com enables users to search for all types of parks and sites from the major brands right through to one-off campsites and unique outdoor accommodation options, which may not have previously had a web presence.

Awards include Best UK Travel Website of the Year at the British Travel Press Awards 2011, and most recently best Travel / Leisure / Sports / Mobile Strategy / Campaign at the Marketing on Mobile Awards 2014.