Jens Mahnke

Pitchup.com bookings indicate a buoyant staycation market

According to the booking platform Pitchup.com, it recorded the highest number of bookings in a day when more than 8,200 British holidaymakers booked accommodations within the next 24 hours, after the British prime minister announced some easing of lockdown restrictions.

Of all the places searched by the British travellers, the top 50 destinations were within the UK and more than 98% of bookings were for holidays in the UK.

Last year Pitchup sent almost 800,000 UK holidaymakers on a staycation in July and August, while this year, more than 2,903 bookings related to 8,291 holidaymakers, have been registered in England over a day.

The interest of British travellers has shifted towards domestic holidays with less than 2% of Pitchup's bookings being made for sites abroad, since May 1; compared to more than 10% for the same period last year.  It is likely that camping and caravanning will see a longer season this year, as those who have taken a half term holiday abroad, may look closer home for better options. Cornwall tops the list among the most popular destinations, with 14% of all bookings, closely followed by Devon on 9% and Pembrokeshire, East Sussex and Norfolk with 2% of bookings each. The current health and safety measures have led to the rise in the demand of secluded holiday destinations, such as the Scottish highlands, West Devon and remote parts of the Suffolk coast. More than 50% of bookings are scheduled for July, with 40% made by couples or families, while 58% of bookings were by a group three or more adults.

This reflects the results of Future of Travel survey, conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners between May 20 and June 3, 2020, from the US, the UK, Germany, France, and the Netherlands, which found that 34% expected to travel more domestically and 62% were keen to avoid international locations after the pandemic. However, hotels, holiday parks and camping sites need to win back customer confidence by updating safety protocols, allowing contactless transactions, and allowing  flexibility in booking.

“We believe that hygiene and social-distancing measures are going to be crucial in providing the reassurance that holiday makers need, to book trips for this summer and beyond. Ahead of official guidance for England, which was Pitchup.com added nearly 50 COVID-19 optional features to its website, which hundreds of site owners have already selected to demonstrate their property's safety on their Pitchup listing,” said a spokesperson from Pitchup.com.

The VisitBritain kitemark scheme, which Pitchup,com is developing with Visit Britain, will provide guidance on cleaning, guest capacity and social distancing for campsite businesses. These businesses will need time to adapt and train staff so they can reopen safely.

Image credit: Jens Mahnke


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