More than 8,000 caravan and camping sites across the UK enjoyed the warm summer, with the two largest caravan and motorhome clubs reporting increased bookings compared to last year.
Over one million leisure vehicles are currently owned in the UK according to the National Caravan Council (NCC), the event arm of which runs the UK’s largest leisure vehicle event, the Motorhome and Caravan Show 2018 in October.
The Caravan and Motorhome Club, with nearly a million members and 2,700 locations, saw a 12% uplift in 2018 summer bookings.
There was also a 17% year-on-year increase over the May bank holiday across its sites network and a 5% growth in August bank holiday bookings.
The August bank holiday produced record bookings for the club.
The Camping and Caravanning Club, which is celebrating record membership with approximately 720,000 members, started the summer season with a particularly strong 22% increase in pitch night sales over 2017 for the Early May Bank Holiday across its 106 UK Club Sites.
The Club, which offers members more than 1,400 Certificated Sites and operates a joint venture with the Forestry Commission to run 15 Camping in the Forest sites, has also recorded a significant 9% increase in three-night breaks.
Ready Camp, the Club’s safari-style glamping network that features on 45 campsites nationwide, has seen a record number of bookings this year,
Nick Page, Swift Group commercial director, said: “We know that potential owners want to test the experience when considering a leisure vehicle purchase.”
“There is such a broad range of leisure vehicle ownership options, from tourers, through to compact campervans and palatial motorhomes as well as caravan holiday home; everybody is individual so it’s important to find out what works for you.
“We see people who may have started off camping now looking to purchase a leisure vehicle; they still want the freedom to head off on multiple short trips away as well as longer holidays but want a bit more comfort and facilities.”
Both clubs’ bookings reflect a trend for multiple, short vacations amongst leisure vehicle owners and campers.
Caravan and Motorhome Club members reported travelling 100 miles or less for three-night stays but are more likely to travel further for stays of four nights or more.
Although few members reported travelling more than 400 miles to a UK site, Britons are increasingly making trips overseas too: by spring 2014 20% of Caravan and Motorhome Club members had ventured abroad, while by autumn 2017 this figure had risen to 23%.
There has also been an increase in rental schemes, giving potential leisure vehicle owners the opportunity to ‘try before you buy’.
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