Why Are The Masses Buying Caravans
New caravan purchases have sky rocketed
Friday, 15, Dec 2017 10:17
By William Coleman
The industry is jumping up a gear and getting a lot of mainstream media attention. I have been covering the boom for the past few months. Now all the big channels are covering the boom. Last week there were features on both ITV North and The One Show highlighting the amazing things that can be done when touring round the UK in your leisure vehicle.
The appeal of using a motorhome or a caravan for your holidays, what is it? What drives you to make the choice between jet setting to an all inclusive resort or spending your time adventuring round the country to find its hidden gems? I would say it all boils down to freedom, the ultimate joy of touring.
2017 has been a massive year for the industry. Pretty much everyone from dealers to holiday parks have seen a massive increase in guests and ultimaltry revenue for their businesses.
There are thousands of leisure vehicles being sold in the UK each year, with 2017 seeing some all time highs is sales figures. Bailey of Bristol, who are the UK's oldest leisure vehicle maker, sell some 7,000 caravans a year gaining an annual revenue of £100m and have set their site to the 10,000 a year mark.
The company that has been in operation for over 70 years is aiming high following the massive influx of new buyers that have flocked to the leisure industry. There were just over 22,000 towing caravans sold in the UK during 2017 up until June, a 7% increase of the previous year. There was also an increase of 9% in sales of other types of leisure accommodation such as motorhomes and static caravans which equals almost 56,000 sales.
It is no secret that as a nation we love a caravan holiday. I have tons of memories from touring around Devon hunting for the Bodmin Beast and spending the October half term at Haven Holiday camps. The proof of our love for the industry are in the numbers. We are the largest market in Europe and second in the world, first being the USA.
So, we are an already huge market that has grown massively over a period of months. John Lally, head of the NCC, feels that the boom has been created from the change in holiday behaviour. With 'Staycationing' sweeping the nation, not to mention the rise of Glamping, we are going on shorter holidays on a more frequent basis. "Tourers, motorhomes and caravan holiday homes are perfect for this." says John.
Getting into the touring holiday lifestyle is now becoming something that's mainstream and popular, where previous it was sometimes snubbed by the masses. There is a cost involved with entering too. For first time buyers who want to buy new you're looking at between £15,000-£27,000. Combine the cost of your overseas trips and pretty soon you will be able to justify the expenditure and get a lot more out of your relaxation time too.
With a lot more recreational activities becoming popular like fishing, mountain biking and general exploring, leisure vehicles make the ideal mode of transport for action packed getaways.
Swift, the UK's largest manufacturer of caravans, make around 40% if the market with an annual revenue of approximately £200m, are destined to shake any apprehensions people may have about the caravan. For some reason there is still a lot of stigma towards the caravan holiday. They are seen as cold and bleak, by those who have never even stepped foot in one.
Swift's commercial director Nick Page is all about targeting the masses with a new generation of leisure homes, "They might be staying in a caravan, but they're not caravaners as such. We're promoting a lifestyle, rather than the product itself."
Pretty much every modern caravan comes with every home creature comfort you need. Warm central heating, large shower and toilet area, full size kitchen with hobs and grill ovens. If you have the budget you can get some caravans that you will never want to leave.
Swift have designed and built a new generation of caravan frames to suit the news of its ever growing customer. "They're more aerodynamic and stable on the road, while active trailer control systems, which is similar to ABS, makes them far easier to tow and more fuel efficient as well," explains Mr Page.
So its not only habits of the UK holiday maker that are changing, so are the manufacturers. They are meeting the needs of the new wave of customers as well as taking care of the current customer base.