Campsites reopen: Staycations anticipate ‘boom’ but ‘restrictions must be eased’

Having endured nine weeks of lockdown so far, many Britons are keen to get out and indulge in a UK holiday. Though international travel remains uncertain amid border lockdowns and airline disruption, the UK tourism industry thinks Britons taking domestic holidays could help them achieve a “boom” this summer.

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According to VisitBritain, the tourism industry has seen losses well into the billions.

However, many caravan and camping sites believe they will be able to open in Phase 3 of UK lockdown relaxation.

This is due to happen in July, though Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been quick to point out this will happen “if and only if the numbers support it”.

Workers in the industry say they have already seen an increase in interest, and believe that there is good news ahead.

However, this will only happen if the government allows Britons more freedoms and restarts the economy.

James Mason, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire told BBC News: “We’re expecting a boom to be honest.

“It’s a beautiful country that we are in today, it’s a beautiful country. Many people choose the UK as their holiday destination, so it’s on our doorstep.

“In the absence of international travel lets get out into the countryside, the coastline, and really cherish what’s on our doorstep.

“I think when it is safe and right to do so restrictions must be eased.”

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Similarly, founder of Jollyday Glamping Carolyn Van Outersterp told BBC News her business has already seen an increase in tentative bookings.

“We’ve already had bookings that have started to come in,” she said.

“We’ve got an awful lot of enquiries that are coming in as well.

“It’s particularly over the last couple of weeks as the weather gets nicer and people start to look ahead, so we are optimistic that things will start to pick up really quite quickly once we are able to open.”

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Likewise, online campsite guide and reservations site, Cool Camping, announced that it has actually seen an increase in people booking for July, August and September.

Many domestic holiday providers have also stressed their ability to create adequate social distancing measures.

Ms Van Outersterp added: “We would like to open now. Just because it’s a huge area, social distancing isn’t a problem.”

Speaking to Express.co.uk Rowland King, director of QualitySource, explained: “We think it will be possible for people to practise social distancing when travelling in the future. Of course, this will depend on where and how we plan to travel.”

Unsurprisingly, taking travel into your own hands rather than relying on public transport is one way to go about it.

“Travelling across the UK by car, for example, will be easier to practice social distancing rather than travelling abroad via plane,” Rowland said.

He added: “There are plenty of cheap and accessible camping parks to visit, and you can even go off-grid to save more money and ensure you practise social distancing more effectively.”

However, Dan Yates, Managing Director of Pitchup.com, told The Daily Telegraph that he thinks that “time will be tight” for camping businesses hoping to make money this summer.

He said: “In short, with a date of ‘no earlier’ than July 4, time will be tight to capitalise on this summer.

“Typically, the peak begins in the third week of July with the start of the school holidays and ends at August Bank Holiday.

“That said, we live in hope of an Indian summer.”

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