Camping specialist issues warning over online bookability

Online booking is the most popular way for holidaymakers to arrange domestic accommodation, according to new statistics.

Camping and caravan site owners not offering the option to book online are missing out on business, specialist website and winner of last year’s Travolution Award for best information site claimed.

It cited VisitEngland research which found that 60% of advance bookings for domestic holidays were made online last year.

In just four years, the number of domestic trips booked online in England has grown by 65% (from 10.4 million to 17.1 million), and by a further 14% in the first five months of 2011.

A separate survey for the tourism agency last year found that online booking was available for 79% of hotels but only 36% of guest houses and B&Bs, and 28% of camping and caravan sites. managing director Daniel Yates said: “The share of holidays booked online is even greater for the growing short break market, reflecting spontaneous decisions to travel.

“In 2011, 44% of bookings on were for within one week of departure, with an average stay of three nights. Online booking meets the need for instant confirmation when booking a last-minute short break in the UK.”

He added: “As we head into autumn we’re already receiving bookings for next summer near Olympic events, and also seeing a huge increase in bookings for last-minute ‘glamping’ breaks.

“Site owners are responding to the demand for alternative accommodation types. Last year 249 of our listed sites in the UK and Ireland offered ‘glamping’ accommodation, and that number has now grown by 50%.

“Domestic tourism is really benefiting from the appetite for ‘alternative’ short breaks that are easily facilitated by quick, simple and secure online booking options.”

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