Holiday park heavyweight Away Resorts has agreed to merge with UK rival Aria Resorts to forge a £600m staycation powerhouse, as pandemic restrictions continue to scupper foreign travel.
A staycation boom has been looming ever since domestic restrictions lifted in the UK, however, chatter of amber and amber plus lists have put off many from taking the leap overseas.
The deal comes just two months after private equity firm CVC snapped up a £250m stake in Away Resorts.
The newly formed resort group typically hosts around 750,000 holidaymakers a year, across more than 20 holiday park resorts and a luxury hotel.
Both resort company’s agreed that they have seen “unprecedented” demand in 2021 amid international travel restrictions, as travellers itching for a break decide to stick with domestic travel.
Away Resorts saw a 41 per cent surge in annual bookings, while holiday home sales have risen by some 32 per cent.
Beyond the pandemic sparking the desire for a staycation, the recent embrace of ‘retro’ has also brought a spring of demand for holiday parks.
British holidaymakers have been embracing retro holidays with spend on camps like Butlins and theme parks soaring this summer, according to data from Cardlytics.
UK holiday lets and cottages have begun to outperform pre-pandemic levels in the first half of this year, with holidaymakers spending 38 per cent more than in 2020 and up four per cent on 2019 levels.
The new spending data has revealed consumers are opting to stay closer to home for their holiday plans this year, amid ever-changing travel restrictions, driving a 16 per cent year-on-year increase in spend on holiday parks in the first half of the year.