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Holidaying in the UK has never felt more appealing in the face of a global pandemic. Holidays abroad in the Mediterranean will never be replaced, but this year has made a lot of Britons more aware of the UK’s own beauty and charm. For many, the concept of a UK holiday means camping in the rain, hiking in the mud and attempting to take a cold dip in the sea.
But this year has proven that the UK can offer Britons a plethora of unique options that are just as luxurious and decadent as a holiday in the Med.
Purchasing a holiday home in the UK may seem like a daunting prospect, but this year could be the best time to take the plunge.
Express.co.uk spoke to CEO of Park Leisure Richard Bates about why people are purchasing more holiday homes and how they are such a great option for Britons.
Bates has garnered over 30 years of industry experience which includes 16 years at Haven Holidays.
Park Leisure has recently seen a 47 percent year-on-year increase in holiday home sales this summer across its locations, with the trend expected to continue throughout autumn and winter.
Bates didn’t seem surprised by the figures and explained that for many, the prospect of travelling abroad is “stressful” at the moment.
“I have been involved in the industry for a long time so the fact more people are buying holiday homes in the UK is not a surprise to me,” he began.
He continued: “This is a segment of tourism that has been growing quietly for many years.
“But right now, this year in particular, I think the prospect of travelling abroad is too stressful for a lot of people.
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“It’s difficult to keep up with quarantine restrictions. In some cases they’re not there when you leave and then they’re there when you come back.”
Google searches for holiday homes across the UK have increased by 141 percent in the past year, according to research by Martin & Co.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) also show that growth has been driven by increased use of accommodation such as campsites, cottages and caravan parks.
According to the site, activity in July was at a similar level to July 2019 because of a large increase in staycations.
YouGov data also shows that over three quarters of Britons have no intention of travelling abroad this year with 43 percent saying they intend to make more or the same number of UK trips than they usually would.
Instead of jetting overseas, Britons are investing in their own staycation spaces ahead of the winter months.
“I recognise that it’s likely to be a while before the world gets back to normal and we can start travelling again,” he added.
Bates explained that the pandemic is not the only reason why people should choose a holiday home in the UK.
He continued: “They’re going to be pleasantly reminded of how beautiful and diverse a country this is.
“Some of the best beaches and most beautiful countryside in Europe is here.
“I think a lot of people have forgotten that and then they get back in touch with the UK and think why did I miss it.”
However, he did agree that despite UK holidays making a comeback, Britons’ love for Mediterranean breaks to favourites such as Spain and Portugal will always remain popular.
“I”m not saying they’ll never go to Spain again – of course they will, we’ve always done that,” he added.
Park Leisure has 11 parks across the UK in a wide variety of scenic destinations.
“Three in Yorkshire, three in Cornwall, one in Lancashire, two in North Wales, one in Herefordshire and one on the beautiful and rugged coast of Northumberland.”
Looking to the future, the company CEO revealed that he would like to expand Park Leisure’s locations to other areas in the UK such as Devon.
But, he admitted, that he is keen to have more of a presence on the northeast coast.
He added: “As long as it’s beautiful.”
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