Once upon a time, a holiday to the British coast or countryside was the main getaway for UK families. From Blackpool to Skegness, holiday makers would swarm for a stint in the sun and an ice cream in a deckchair.
You might think that the golden era for holiday parks and campsites is over as overseas travel booms, and yet a groundbreaking report has revealed that UK-wide parks and sites generate an impressive £9.3bn in visitor spending and supports over 170,000 jobs in the UK.
The independent report 'Pitching the Value' found that in England's holiday park and campsite sector makes a substantial contribution to England's tourism economy. £6.81bn is generated each year and over 126,000 jobs are supported across the sector which is great news for local areas.
This report, from the UK Caravan and Camping Alliance, is the first time the economic value of holiday parks and campsites across the UK have been analysed, and it includes parks and sites of all sizes and types, including glamping sites, lodges and chalets and caravan holiday homes.
In the East Midlands alone, there are a total of 39,000 pitches which includes caravan sites, glamping spots and cottages. Interestingly, 96% of visitors come from within the UK, while 4% come from outside the UK to enjoy a bit of British culture and heritage.
Newark alone brings in thousands of visitors each year thanks to the wide range of activities that the town hosts. According to Newark and Sherwood District Council, the tourist economy is worth an incredible £260m per year to the local area, with each visitor spending on average £24 when they visit. That's money into the pockets of independent retailers, larger businesses that keep local people in employment and historical and heritage sites to sustain key parts of Newark's past.
Many operators have lots of activities for the whole family to enjoy during their holiday, such as swimming pools, tennis courts and cycling tracks. If last year was anything to go by, we're set to have another scorcher this year - perfect for tourists and operators everywhere who have a solid business plan to support their operations year-round.
After all, if campsites and holiday parks are to continue to strengthen the local economy, they need to thrive - not just survive.
By their very nature, seasonal businesses have to work especially hard to take care of their finances. Unlike the majority of businesses who are able to draw in custom and make money throughout the year, seasonal operators only have a window of time - usually between March and September - to make a year's worth of revenue.
Maintenance and upkeep, staff wages and building additional activities onsite are just a few financial considerations that operators have to take into account. The British summer is predictably unpredictable too, which can make it hard to forecast how well the high season will do.
At Duncan & Toplis, we advise and support many caravan parks and campsite operators throughout Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire to help them future-proof their businesses and ensure they're prepared for the entire year - not just during their peak season.
For many operators, financial support and business advice is essential to their success and honing their ability to manage the irregularity of turnover, particularly over the winter months. With the right advice and a bit of preparation, caravan parks and campsites will continue to boost local economies like Newark, and provide exciting, affordable holiday options for families across the country… no matter what the weather is doing!
If you're a caravan park or campsite operator, find out how we can support your business and contact our team today