Surge in campsite bookings as holidaymakers opt for staycations
Campsites are experiencing a surge in bookings after health officials indicated they could be lower risk holiday destinations than hotels.
The incoming 14-day quarantine for people arriving in the UK means many people are considering a domestic break instead of a foreign trip this summer.
Campsite booking website Cool Camping told the PA news agency that Sunday was its strongest day for revenue since it began operating in 2006.
It also recorded a five-fold increase in the number of bookings during the week after Boris Johnson’s announcement about easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions on May 10 compared with the previous seven-day period.
The Prime Minister said July 4 is the earliest date for hospitality businesses reopening.
Deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said at a Downing Street press briefing that it is a “biological truism” that being outdoors is safer than being in an enclosed space with people potentially carrying coronavirus.
He promised to give “careful thought” to what steps would be needed to allow campsites and caravan parks to reopen.
Cool Camping marketing manager James Warner Smith said: “The demand for camping is clearly there, and with foreign holidays on the backburner for the time being, people appear to be looking closer to home for their holidays this year.
“We also expect to see a lot more first-time campers in 2020.
“City breaks may look very different if galleries, museums and leisure facilities face restrictions, and consumers are, naturally, looking to the countryside when they plan their breaks.
“With the usual holidays for some people seeming less accessible or appealing, we expect many will try camping for the very first time.”
Camping and other forms of holidays are still currently banned despite some travel restrictions being lifted in England.
The Camping and Caravanning Club has urged the Government to provide “greater clarity” on how campsites can be safely reopened “with additional measures in place”.