The current spike in “staycations” is here to stay, according to static caravan and holiday lodge manufacturer Willerby.
The Great British staycation is experiencing unprecedented popularity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many people, including new types of holiday caravan owners, embracing the lifestyle and wellbeing benefits of holidaying in the UK.
This summer Willerby opened a fifth production line at its Hull site and has taken on more than 200 extra staff, in response to increasing demand for static caravans, lodges and park homes, with its order book now full until well into 2023!
Willerby also surveyed 584 of its Owners Club members, of which 118 bought their first holiday home after the first UK lockdown in March 2020.
The survey highlighted a definite shift towards younger consumers, with those aged under 50 doubling from nine percent pre-COVID to 18 percent.
Newer owners also said they intended to use their holiday homes more often, with 96 percent planning to visit at least once a month, compared to 91 percent of more historical consumers.
A total of 43 percent of newer owners said they were enjoying long weekends in their holiday homes, compared to 30 percent of those who bought before March 2020. Fourteen percent of more recent buyers are also using their holiday homes for two or three-day midweek getaways, compared to 8 percent who bought their holiday homes before the pandemic struck.
GP and television personality Dr Hilary Jones said he was not surprised by the findings.
“The pandemic has changed our lives in many ways and people now realise the numerous advantages of staying on our own shores,” said Dr Jones. “They are very happy to have a staycation because it’s more convenient and less stressful.
“Holiday homes give people greater freedom and versatility to regularly get away from day-to-day life when it suits them, rather than have the pressure and expectation that often comes with planning a longer foreign holiday. I would certainly recommend staycations for positive mental health. The staycation is a great way to relax and unwind, away from life’s pressures, and I’m not at all surprised that all the indications point towards its continued popularity as people embrace this highly attractive lifestyle.”
Peter Munk, Chief Executive of Willerby, said: “There’s no doubt about it – the staycation is definitely here to stay.
“We’ve taken on a record number of staff and opened a new production line with great confidence, as all the evidence tells us this is much more than just a short-term reaction to the restrictions imposed on people due to the pandemic. More and more people have had their eyes opened to the health and wellbeing, social and community benefits of owning their own holiday home. They’ve experienced it, loved it and now they want more – and long may that continue.”
UK holiday specialist Hoseasons supports Willerby’s view that the staycation is here to stay after carrying out extensive customer research. In two separate surveys with a combined total of more than 3,000 respondents, Hoseasons found:
- 83 percent of those who’ve had a staycation this year are aiming to do so again
- 24 percent are already planning their next UK trip
- 52 percent are planning at least one staycation and one trip abroad in 2022
- 30 percent said a staycation was less stressful than going abroad
- 29 percent said they experienced an improvement in their mental health after a staycation
Hoseasons has witnessed significant growth in the number of new holiday park and lodge resorts entering the market, with an 85 percent increase in the number of sites joining its portfolio in 2021 compared to the same period before the pandemic in 2019.
Bookings for summer 2022 are also up 82 percent compared to where they were at this point in 2019 for summer 2020 holidays. Bookings are also up 62 percent for the whole of 2022.
Over to you
Are you a newcomer to static caravanning or lodge ownership, and if so, are you enjoying the mental health benefits? Do you think the staycation is here to stay? We’d love to hear your thoughts on these survey results.