Turnover of Britain’s biggest holiday parks rose to £2.7bn in 2016 amid staycation boom

Redhill Park, Watton. Picture: IAN BURT

Redhill Park, Watton. Picture: IAN BURT - Credit: IAN BURT

Britain's biggest holiday parks raked in £2.7bn last year and are in line for a further boost as the Brexit-hit pound inspires a rise in staycations, a report said.

The UK's 100 largest caravan, camping and holiday parks saw turnover climb 9% to £2.67bn in 2016, up from £2.46bn five years ago, according to research by Ortus Secured Finance.

Staycations have taken on a broader appeal since the recession as a cheaper alternative to an overseas holiday.

Sterling's slump against the US dollar and the euro since the EU referendum vote has also made holidaying at home more attractive, as the pound's weakness bumps up the cost of foreign travel.

A survey of more than 330 tourism and leisure businesses in East Anglia by Larking Gowen showed 73% believed Brexit would increase the number of UK residents holidaying at home in 2017/18, a trend which 65% expected to continue past 2018.

John Salisbury, Ortus managing director, said: 'Caravan, camping and holiday parks are going from strength to strength, combining value for money with high standard facilities to maximise the guest experience.

'The recession and the ensuing trend for 'staycations' gave holiday parks, camping and caravan sites access to an even broader customer base, and they have been building on this ever since.'

Britain's holiday park firms have become the subject of a flurry of private equity deals, with robust growth and solid revenues catching the eye of investors.

Activity has included the £1.35 bn sale of Parkdean Resorts, the UK's largest caravan operator, to Canadian private equity firm Onex Corporation in December.

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Park Leisure was snapped up for £103m by a consortium led by Midlothian Capital Partners, while Intermediate Capital Group bought Park Holidays for £362m last year.