Not so long ago we were all dreaming of our next holiday in sunnier foreign climes. But these days it's all about 'staycations' and the good old days of buckets and spades have returned to favour. With the recession cutting holidaymakers' budgets, British holiday favourites Butlins and Pontins are reaping the benefits.
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Both holiday companies have seen a 22 per cent increase in bookings as middle class families, who traditionally holiday abroad, are tempted by new luxury rooms and health spas. Pontins' January sales for summer breaks were up by 22 per cent on the same month last year, while Butlins' February half-term bookings have risen by 15 per cent.
Butlins has shed its image of seedy chalet rooms, spending in the region of £100 million since 2003 on upgraded accommodation, and extra facilities are enticing the holidaymakers back. Gone too is the reliance on traditional red coat entertainment, with the likes of X Factor contestants Stacey Soloman and Danyl Johnson, not to mention 1980s favourites Paul Young and Bucks Fizz, all gracing the beachside stages.
And, while package holiday companies regularly hike up their prices for school holidays, a one-week holiday for four at Butlins' Bognor Regis resort starts at just £764. Splash out at the resort's Ocean Hotel with a full dinner, bed and breakfast package and you'll still only be paying £1,496.
So get your buckets and spades at the ready, folks - the British holiday resort is back and it's bigger and better than ever. Have you recently enjoyed a Butlins holiday and will you be returning for more?