Holidays: James Cleverly quizzed on UK tourism
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Camping holidays are no longer simply a case of pitching a tent in a field. Instead, the UK’s domestic travel industry has found many innovative new ways to transform the traditional camping and caravan stay into something with a little more glamour.
Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, self-catered holidays can go ahead from April 12, sparking an uptick in bookings.
Yet, for many first-timers, the idea of an alfresco vacation in the UK may seem daunting.
Luckily, James Warner Smith, an expert from camping booking platform Cool Camping, shared some insights into how holidaymakers can transform their stay into something with a little added luxury.
“People are really looking for those kinds of extra touches and in a way, I think that’s kind of indicative of the fact that people are maybe replacing a holiday they might have ordinarily taken abroad, and they’re staying here in the UK,” he told Express.co.uk.
Mr Warner Smith says booking trends on the website indicate people are “willing to spend a bit more money”, which is why many sites are now beginning to offer special touches.
Some of the most popular include hot tubs.
“Hot tub glamping for the last three or four months has been one of the most popular searches on our entire website,” he explained.
Hot tubs aren’t the only amenity that has been incorporated into the world of camping.
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“We’re seeing more people booking accommodation with private facilities such as glamping where you’ve got your own private bathrooms with private toilets,” continued Mr Warner Smith.
“It obviously feels like a much more secure environment and actually that’s something that some smaller campsites have cottoned on to.
“We’ve got quite a few campsites that are now offering private toilets so there is a little cabin that you have near your pitch which is your toilet.
“I think is probably a reaction to last year and it is great for people to get their own little private space and that’s definitely something that’s happening.”
There is also the matter of food; with glamping options meaning campers need no longer fear trying to whip up a storm using only their camping stove.
“Lots of farms now offer camping pitches, and are selling their own produce at the farm such as meat hampers for the barbecue, or some of their fresh produce,” said Mr Warner Smith.
“Even glamping sites that aren’t on a farm will often sell luxury hampers of Prosecco and chocolate for you to enjoy in the hot tub.
“There are lots of extra packages that you can, that you can often add to your to your bookings.”
As Mr Warner Smith explains, these add-ons can even benefit the local community.
“More sites now have onsite link-up options as well so even quite small pop up sites which may only be around this summer will often have a link up with a local kind of pizza person perhaps that will come and have a wood-fired pizza oven on the site.
“There are lots of opportunities to eat good food on the campsite.
“I think it is a really great thing about having a busy summer of tourism in the UK if that’s what happens.
“It filters out into the wider economy and a good way of boosting your own holiday is buying food from the farm shop next to the campsite rather than the big supermarket.
“That’s a really nice way of experiencing a lot more of the area is to support some of the local businesses which now really need people’s support kind of more than ever really.”
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