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UK caravan sales boom as staycations rise

·3-min read
A caravan sales site in Holt Heath, Worcestershire, UK. Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
A caravan sales site in Holt Heath, Worcestershire, UK. Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The number of new people buying caravans in the UK has increased by around a fifth as Brits are encouraged to holiday within the UK to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to caravan trader Robinsons Caravans, which has been operating in the industry for over 54 years, it saw a 20% increase in people buying their first caravans, which now accounts for around 35% of company sales. It also saw a 10% increase in customers aged 40 and under.

Robinsons, which is owned by investment holding company MBH Corporations (M8H.DE), revealed new caravans sales rose 47% in total in the year to 4 June, compared with the same period the year before, while used caravan sales jumped 65%.

The company said first-time buyers were purchasing caravans at the high-end of the market, spending on average more than £30,000 thanks to the growing trend for UK staycations - holidays spent in a home country rather than abroad.

Research conducted by Frankfurt-listed MBH earlier this year showed that nearly one in 10 people (9%) planned to take a caravan holiday in the UK for the first time this year as potential holidaymakers worried about potential COVID-19 risks.

This was three times the number of people who took a UK caravan holiday for the first-time last year. A total of 1,019 people were surveyed.

Read more: Call for clarity over travel insurance as holiday bookings surge

“We are enjoying record growth, and it is very encouraging to see so many people buying caravans for the first time,” said Jarrod Clay, managing director of Robinsons Caravans.

“Our industry’s largest customer group is those people aged 55 and over – they are at a time in their lives where the children have grown up and they have more disposable income available.

“Whilst this still remains the largest age group, we are seeing a huge increase in people aged under 40 buying their first caravans.”

Last month, Tui chief executive Friedrich Joussen warned that staycation resorts would be unable to keep up with demand.

“Even if you took all national destinations together, it would meet a small fraction of the demand,” he said. “When you think about how many Brits travel abroad. If just a fraction would do the vacation at home, everything would be occupied. And the interesting thing is that in summer the local destinations are full anyway.

“If you don’t open the borders there will be no additional holidays at home because things will be booked.”

Earlier this month, UK ministers removed Portugal from its green travel list amid concern of rising coronavirus cases.

The holiday destination is now on the amber list, meaning that travellers have to quarantine for 10 days on their return, as well as pay for two PCR tests.

Watch: Should I book a holiday in 2021?

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