With holidays abroad costing up to 70% more amid cost-of-living concerns, it’s no surprise that many more holidaymakers may be embracing stays a little closer to home this year.
Staycations became a feature of the coronavirus pandemic, with travel restrictions causing Britons to holiday at home as opposed to overseas.
Many people chose camping as a cheap means to take a break, with the flexibility that comes with it proving to be an advantage during uncertain times.
Domestic camping and caravanning trips surged by 71% in 2021 – and its popularity is set to continue into the 2023 season with holidaymakers likely demanding more from their accommodation than ever before.
Here, we outline what campsite owners can do to create the best possible experiences for guests and discuss the top five amenities to ensure happy campers all round.
While many may escape to the country for the peace and quiet, there’s no denying better technology and increased WiFi accessibility is a pivotal part of the modern camping experience.
In recent months, the government has pledged £100 million in connecting rural areas to high speed broadband which offers an opportunity for businesses. Whether it be for relaxing with during downtime in the evening, for looking up maps and activities or for posting holiday pictures to social media, modern campers want the connectivity that fast WiFi provides.
One of the first ports of call for many people setting up their caravan, motorhome or tent is to hitch their devices up to the mains. Most campsites should offer a standard 230V supply so guests can enjoy the comforts of home when out in the wilderness.
In a recent study, some 38% of campers who camped in the pandemic years ending in 2021 were first-timers. Campsites may need to change their approach and offer better amenities in the face of this changing market demographic.
In addition to this, campsites will need to provide off-grid energy options such as gas bottles and firewood supplies. For some campsites, spiralling energy costs have made it impossible to open amid cold snaps so businesses should consider alternative heating solutions. For campers, one of the joys of the great outdoors is sitting around the campfire or stove long into the night, making memories with family and friends.
Cooking and Eating
Flame-cooked favourites around the stove or barbecue can be one of the highlights of a camping trip.
Make sure to set up your central areas in which guests can cook and use other general facilities. Remember, gas bottles should be fitted with the correct regulator size. Propane regulators, for instance, will be different from butane regulators and are not interchangeable. Check the appliance itself or accompanying material for guidance.
Statistically, the UK throws away 9.52 million tonnes of food waste per year with new food waste legislation coming later in the year to ensure this is not consigned to landfill. One novel way campsites can deal with is to include a dedicated compost area where food waste can be decomposed naturally.
Toilets and showers
After a day’s hiking around the local surroundings, chances are campers are going to demand a freshen up before basking in the afterglow of their outdoor pursuits. Campsite owners should ensure outbuildings are well-appointed and replete with hot showers and regularly-cleaned flushing toilets. Consider installing more units to cope with extra demand in high seasons. Waiting in line, washbag in hand is never one of the highlights of the trip.
Fun and games
Campsites should reconsider their approach to activities in line with experiential millennial sensibilities. This could be a simple as offering board games and sports equipment to keep guests entertained or offering regular activities such as walking tours, morning yoga or nature swimming.
Another survey showed, meanwhile, that more than a third of campers preferred a site with live entertainment. Incorporating a wider leisure offering to your campsite could reposition your business as more of a destination venue which could boost guest satisfaction as well as your bottom line.