Carry on camping: Cheaper staycations here to stay

campingWith foreign holidays not yet given the green light, brands should expect increased interest in staycation related purchases, such as sports and outdoor equipment, as Brits prepare for another active summer on home turf.

So says new research carried out by eBay Ads UK, which also indicates that the revival of the great British staycation will be here to stay, even after restrictions lift.

Having had very few options for holidaying anywhere else but near home, a third (33%) of UK consumers say they have rediscovered a love of going on holiday in the UK in the past year, while almost half (47%) say they see themselves holidaying in the UK more in the future.

The study finds that UK staycations encourage Brits to take more active breaks – with over a third (38%) of consumers reporting that they are more active when they holiday in the UK compared to going abroad. With the school holidays soon set to start, this means brands should prepare for a surge in interest in fitness paraphernalia over the coming weeks.

Indeed, supporting data from shows that on July 4 2020, when the tourism industry finally reopened across England, people were keen to get their hands on footwear appropriate for hiking or running in the British countryside – with searches for ‘trail shoes’ and ‘walking boots’ increasing 51% and 27% respectively compared to the previous day.

And, with many holidays abroad largely off the cards in July 2020, the data also reveals that more shoppers were in the market for beachside sports equipment compared to the year before. During July 2020, searches for ‘wetsuit’ were up 122% compared to July 2019 while searches for ‘paddleboard’ and ‘bodyboard’ also rose 94% and 75% respectively.

Moreover, over a third (37%) of consumers’ ideal staycation would involve spending lots of time outdoors – such as a camping trip or hiking holiday – and over half (56%) of respondents report that they are frustrated by how expensive UK holidays are becoming this summer. Therefore, brands should expect increased interest in camping and other outdoor pursuits in the coming weeks.

Analysis from eBay Ads UK also demonstrates how interest in camping ramped up last summer as lockdown lifted. On July 4 2020, searches for ‘camping bbq’ on shot up 67% compared to the day before, as did searches for ‘inflatable mattress’ and ‘inflatable tent’, rising 41% and 30% respectively.

Meanwhile, over the course of July 2020, searches for ‘camping stove’ were up 39% compared to July 2019, while searches for ‘camping chair’ rose 38% in the same timeframe.

And, with UK summertime being anything but predictable, brands should also plan for a coinciding rise in bad weather purchases as people prepare to embrace the wrath of the elements. During July 2020, searches for ‘waterproof’ and ‘thermal’ increased 43% and 36%, respectively, year on year.

eBay UK general manager of advertising Harmony Murphy said: “While brands will have ongoing opportunities to engage with people booking and preparing for UK holidays this summer – whether they need new sports gear or camping equipment – marketers should ensure they have the latest data insights at their disposal to ensure their campaigns hit the mark.

“After all, amid so much uncertainty, if there’s one thing we can predict, it’s that we’re going to be thrown some curveballs – and marketers will need to be prepared to react and pivot strategies as needed.

“Looking further ahead, it seems that the staycation revival is set to extend beyond this year, meaning that sports and outdoors category brands could see ongoing uplift in the years to come.”

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