Staycation trend tipped to continue in 2019 due to a glamping boom

Whitemead Forest Park in Forest of Dean reports increase in occupancy levels

A self-catering family holiday resort in the Forest of Dean is predicting 2019 will be another bumper year for staycations after reporting increased bookings.

The trend for holidaying in the UK took off in 2018 thanks to a range of influences – from a summer heatwave to nervousness over Brexit and a poor exchange rate for the pound.

Now Whitemead Forest Park, owned by Boundless, has released figures which show the phenomenon is boosting tourism not just in coastal resorts but also in countryside locations.

The figures show:

  • Over the past five years Whitemead has seen an increase in room nights across all units by 5,000.
  • Glamping has seen an 8 per cent increase in occupancy levels in 2018 compared to 2017

Mandy Watkins, General Manager at Whitemead Forest Park said: “When you read stories about an increase in staycations the reports often focus on seaside destinations and coastal resorts, such as Cornwall or Bournemouth.

“We’re finding the demand for forest parks and countryside resorts is on the up too. It looks like 2019 will be another positive year, partly driven by an increased popularity in glamping.

“At Whitemead we have invested in new glamping pods to meet demand and also added new activities such as zorbing and water scooters.”

The trend to stay ‘home’ for a family holiday was recently confirmed by VisitEngland. Results released in October 2018 showed more than half of accommodation providers said their bookings would be up on 2017 while domestic holiday trips in the first half of the year, before the summer boom, were the highest for more than nine years at 16.2 million.[1]

The stats from 2017 showed Brits are taking almost six million more short-breaks in England than they were a decade ago – and the overall figures for 2018 are expected to show another rise.

“These are encouraging statistics and we certainly feel the market for self-catering family breaks is strong,” added Mandy.

“There’s no doubt that a summer heatwave helped in 2018 but the wonderful thing about a forest or countryside break is that whether it’s a summer visit, a magical autumn getaway or a cosy winter stay the woodland setting makes it a special holiday regardless.”

In addition to glamping pods, Whitemead also offers cabins, lodges and apartments for up to eight people as well as kids’ activities on site and free live evening entertainment.

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