Holiday parks’ key UK economic role revealed

UK HOLIDAY parks and campsites generated a staggering £9.3 billion in visitor expenditure in 2018, a “groundbreaking” new study has found.

Published last week, the ‘Pitching The Value’ report was the first time an independent report has exclusively analysed the value of the holiday park sector to the nation’s economy. Commissioned by the UK Caravan and Camping Alliance (UKCCA), the study showed that the sector supported over 170,000 full-time equivalent jobs and that parks and campsites spent over £300 million per year in capital expenditure, wages and day-to-day operations.

Bob Hill, who led the UKCCA joint working group, said: “This is a groundbreaking report that clearly demonstrates the important benefits to the economy brought by the UK’s many holiday parks and campsites.

“Pitching the Value will help the industry attract more investment and ultimately improve opportunities for it to grow, develop and create new jobs. Our findings reinforce the importance of holiday parks and campsites to the country’s tourism economy. That will help us to improve holidaymakers’ on-site experiences and choice, which in turn will also attract more overseas visitors to these shores.”

Holiday parks and campsites engage with local communities through support for events such as fundraising activities, participate in recycling and environmental initiatives, and promote healthy active lifestyles in the great outdoors through pastimes such as walking and cycling, the report also found.

The UKCCA is an umbrella group comprising The National Caravan Council, The Camping and Caravanning Club, the Caravan and Motorhome Club, and the British Holiday & Home Parks Association. These four sponsoring organisations own or are affiliated to 6,243 holiday parks and campsites across the UK with a combined total of 438,076 pitches.

Those sites offer holidaymakers a diverse range of accommodation such as touring pitches for tents, caravans and motorhomes, rented holiday homes, lodges, and chalets, plus glamping units like tipis and yurts, together with a wide selection of on-site facilities.

Mr Hill added: “We want to use this compelling evidence to ensure key influencers and decision-makers support the development and growth of our industry at a national, regional and individual business level for the benefit of our economy and for holidaymakers themselves.”

The report also found:

  • Type of accommodation: 76% of visitors had stayed in a touring caravan, motorhome or tent over the course of the year. 16% per cent stayed in a rented or owner-occupied caravan holiday home, while 5% stayed in a rented or owner-occupied lodge/chalet/cottage.
  • Average group size: The average adult group size was 2.4, and 25% of all groups included children. Where parties were travelling with children, the average number of children in each group was 1.8. Thirty-five per cent of groups brought a pet.
  • Spending power: Visitors and their party who stayed in rented or touring accommodation spent, on average, £557 per visit (£101 per day), spending, on average, 4.5 days on a holiday park on each holiday. Visitors staying in owned accommodation spent, on average, £480 per visit (£89 per day) and stayed, on average 5.4 days. This is higher than the average daily spend by visitors to the UK at £63 and 3.1 days per holiday.
  • Health benefits: Health and wellbeing was improved, with visitors reporting doing more exercise and feeling more relaxed when staying on a holiday park or campsite. This is supported by park operators who provide easy access to a variety of sporting activities or support a range of health and wellbeing activities for their visitors.

For more information, take a look at a copy of the report summary here

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