A big rise in online searches for camping gear and sites suggests a boom in the number of holidaymakers planning a break under canvas.
Searches made through the thomsonlocal.com website and the company’s mobile apps reveal that during April 2012, searches for camping equipment suppliers increased 50% on the previous month and were up a third on last year.
Year on year searches for campsites have increased by a massive 156%.
Meanwhile leading shopping website, VoucherCodes.co.uk saw a huge increase in the number of consumers looking for outdoor and camping gear ahead of the Jubilee weekend.
Searches for outdoor gear through the site were up 116% on the previous week, indicating Brits were gearing up to make the most of the extra-long weekend and the start of National Camping & Caravanning Week.
The most searched for items from bargain hungry shoppers include tents, camping furniture and waterproof clothing.
Jill Pringle, marketing director of thomsonlocal.com, said: “We have a unique insight into local business and the types of companies that are in demand. 2012 looks like it will be a year for braving the British weather, packing rucksack, mallet, and tent and heading for the countryside.
“The perception of camping has changed with the technology and equipment now available helping make for a very comfortable trip. The figures will bring a much needed boost for the leisure sector, in what has been a challenging few years.”
Duncan Jennings, co-founder of VoucherCodes.co.uk added : “The wet start to the year has meant times have been pretty tough for specialist outdoor retailers. However the recent warm spell and the prospect of the extra-long Jubilee weekend seemed to be all the encouragement camping fans needed to get themselves back out there. One thing’s for certain, with summer finally under way, camping is well and truly back on the nation’s agenda.”
The findings were echoed by VisitEngland, the English tourist board, who said that the trend to holiday at home was holding strong.
Chief executive James Berresford said: “UK residents took 46 million overnight holiday trips in England last year, and our research indicates that 2012 will be broadly similar.
“This can be attributed not only to England’s diversity as a holiday destination, but also its quality and value for money."