Growth in UK 'staycations' pushes turnover for caravan, camping and holiday park companies past £2.67bn

Georgina Varley
Soaring UK Temperatures Reaching A Record High
The UK's tourism, leisure and hospitality industries flourish due to growth in 'staycations' (Source: Getty)

The UK’s top caravan, camping and holiday park companies grew their turnover to £2.67bn last year.

The total turnover of the UK’s 100 biggest caravan and holiday park companies is up 9 per cent from £2.46bn five years ago, according to research by Ortus Secured Finance.

The success of the sector can be attributed to the growing appeal of holidays or short breaks spent in the UK, otherwise known as 'staycations'.

Sterling depreciation since the Brexit vote is a key driver in this renewed interest in low-cost UK trips as holidays abroad are now even more expensive in comparison to UK stays.

Read more: Och aye: Brexit vote and TV locations lure Brits to Scottish staycations

Jon Salisbury, managing director at Ortus, said: “The recession and the ensuing trend for 'staycations' gave holiday parks, camping and caravan sites access to an even broader customer base, and they have been building on this ever since.”

Continued investment in facilities is vital for caravan, camping and holiday park operators to stay ahead. This can be especially challenging for seasonal businesses and small or medium-sized enterprises. These types of businesses often struggle to set money aside for renovations and other amenities due to peaks and troughs in their income.

“Like many other businesses in the tourism, leisure and hospitality industries, operators need to commit to continued capital investment in order to maintain competitiveness and stay ahead of the game,” Salisbury added.

This makes the sector particularly attractive to lenders and investors alike due to its predictable revenue streams and growing market.

Read more: Greater devolution could boost English tourism and encourage staycations

There have been numerous private equity deals completed in recent years within the sector.

The UK’s largest caravan park operator, Parkdean Resorts, was sold to Canadian private equity firm Onex Corporation for £1.35bn last December and Intermediate Capital Group bought Britain’s fourth largest caravan operator, Park Holidays, for £362m late last year.

Salisbury added that these alternative sources of funding enable caravan, camping and holiday park “businesses to access the capex they need to deliver the high-quality facilities that many guests have come to expect.”

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