British holiday camp owners have seen bookings at their resorts flourish this summer as budget-conscious families look to holiday closer to home.
Butlins and Pontin`s, overlooked in recent years for package holidays abroad, are reportedly back in favour with families who are struggling with increased food and fuel bills and faced with the strong Euro.
Ocean Parcs, Pontin`s owner since March, said bookings at its seven resorts this summer were up 10 per cent year on year and future bookings were also looking healthy.
Executive Chairman Graham Parr said: "The increase in bookings has been tremendous for us after such a short period of owning the Pontin’s business. It is pleasing to note how many regular customers are coming back to our sites year on year and how many new customers are visiting us and planning to visit us to join in the great British summer party.
"They (British families) want to make their money go further and when you consider how strong the Euro is against the pound, the value of the Pontin’s pound takes a lot of beating.”
Richard Bates, Managing Director at Butlins, said staff are expecting 150,000 guests at their resorts in Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness this summer, a 15 per cent rise on last summer.
“People are choosing to boycott the continent for many reasons such as the strong Euro and the fuel surcharges that are significantly affecting air and sea travel," he added.
"Why would a family subject themselves to what is typically an awful experience at our airports with long queues, delays and excess luggage charges, when they can simply fill up the car with everything they need for a family break and arrive feeling relaxed and ready for a fun holiday?
"Holidaying in the UK can offer an irresistible combination of convenience, value for money and flexibility.”
British holiday camp owners have worked hard in recent years to improve the appeal of their resorts to families: Butlins recently opened a sushi bar at its Shoreline hotel in Bognor Regis to appeal to more exotic tastes.
A new wave of TV talent shows such as Britain`s Got Talent and X-Factor has also helped bring added interest to entertainment traditionally associated with holiday camps with many of the stars of the show making appearances at resorts over the summer.
Butlins hotel gets sushi bar