Survey reveals views from caravanners on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic
Despite general positivity, 62% worry about the future of the industry as a whole
UK touring caravan sites alone could lose more than £89 million this year through one cancelled trip
More than seven in 10 caravanners remain hopeful that they will still be able to take a break during the upcoming season, according to new research.
The figures come from a survey by specialist caravan insurance provider, Ripe Insurance, which questioned 257 caravan owners about their views on the current coronavirus outbreak, lockdown measures imposed by the Government and the impact on their lives.
A further 84% of respondents also stated that they remain at least somewhat confident of taking a trip in their caravan or to their static home in the next 12 months.
However, despite this apparent optimism, the survey also revealed a general unease about the future of UK caravanning as a whole. More than six in 10 (62%) respondents stated that they are worried about the impact that coronavirus will have on the wider industry.
When asked about how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting them day-to-day, caravan owners highlighted concern over missing out on social occasions. Around a third (35%) said that they have already lost contact or had fewer interactions with family and/or friends due to the coronavirus travel restrictions. Another 37% said they are worried that they may lose contact in the near future.
Furthermore, the crisis may prove to have a negative impact on caravan owners’ overall mental wellbeing. Almost six in 10 (57%) of those questioned stated that taking a break in their caravan or static home is important for their general mental health. Extended lockdown measures are therefore likely to affect this. The statistic is particularly worrying given that 40% of people surveyed are aged over 65 and may already have fewer opportunities to socialise.
To further compound this anxiety, more than one in 10 (13%) of respondents said they are worried about theft and damage to their caravan this year because they are not able to use or visit it. A shocking 3% of those surveyed also said they have been a victim of theft in the past – equating to around 28,000 individual caravans*.
Encouragingly, however, figures pointed to the strength of the caravanning community, with 45% of respondents saying they are actively supporting site owners during this difficult time. This includes booking pitches for next year and sharing messages via social media.
And it is likely that this support will be much needed. The survey showed that an average of £23 is spent per pitch, per night at touring caravan sites alone, with an average trip taken by caravan owners lasting seven nights. Given that there are currently around 550,000 touring caravans in the UK, just one missed trip during the coronavirus lockdown could cost touring caravan sites alone just shy of £89 million. The financial impact across the wider industry could therefore be catastrophic.