UK: RV rental agency Goboony has reported a 30 per cent surge in UK summer bookings [July – September] for motorhomes, highlighting the growing interest for the segment during the pandemic.
The sharp spike comes after the recent announcements concerning vaccinations, hotel quarantine following overseas travel, and the easing of lockdown restrictions.
The motorhome rental specialist said that it had already seen year-on-year bookings increase by 30 per cent this year, compared to the same period last year. The positive surge follows Goboony’s most successful year to-date in its five-year history, when bookings rocketed by 300 per cent year-on-year, resulting in two and a half times more travellers booking with them.
Goboony CEO and co-founder, Mark de Vos, said: “Following the success of our biggest ever year in 2020, it’s amazing to see the increased appetite for UK motorhome holidays continue. Despite the nation being in the depths of lockdown it seems this is not stopping many of us from dreaming of brighter horizons on the open road – whether that is from taking your own motorhome out for a spin or hiring one.
“Staycations look set to be the trend of 2021: the pandemic has been a major contributing factor in reigniting the UK population’s love for the UK, a desire to rediscover and reconnect, and enjoy the physical and mental health benefits the great outdoors provides. Brexit has played its part too, with uncertainty around new rules and restrictions making many UK travellers hit the pause button on overseas travel.
“The motorhome vacation is an ideal, safe alternative option for staycationers, and is quickly carving itself a permanent position within the travel and tourism industry landscape,” he added.
With postponed bookings rolling over from last year combined with an uptick in early bookings for this summer, demand for UK holidays is skyrocketing. Last month, Goboony said it witnessed seven times more bookings compared to the previous year.
Booking habits also appear to be affected by the ways that everyday life has changed during the pandemic and are indicating growth patterns for the next seasons.
De Los said: “Early figures are providing some important insights into how the spring and summer seasons will pan out, with shorter weekend bookings looking stronger for spring, and longer getaways expected for summer. Naturally ‘socially-distanced’ by design, motorhomes are an inventive way for Brits to travel safely, which will continue to be a concern as lockdown restrictions hopefully ease – both here and abroad.
“My recommendation to anyone considering booking a staycation this summer is to book now to avoid any disappointment, as availability is going to only get tighter as demand could outstrip supply! As such, we’re seeing an opportunity for more motorhome owners to reap the benefits of hiring their vehicles through our platform.
“Many motorhomes just sit on the driveway for nine months of the year, but in fact, they could be helping people earn crucial extra income while giving families that all important chance to escape, reconnect, and recharge under the most difficult of circumstances,” he added.
The peer-to-peer RV rental industry has seen a sustained boom in recent years, driven by demographics such as millennials and baby boomers hitting the road to escape virus hotspots on domestic staycations.
Private equity firm KKR’s $100m+ investment in rental marketplace RVshare shows too that investors are taking notice of this profitable vertical, while the likes of Outdoorsy, Indie Campers, Cabana and Kibbo pare emerging as prominent players in an increasingly crowded marketplace.