Campsites reopen: VAT slash sees surge in bookings across UK holiday parks

UK campsites, caravan parks and BnBs received welcome news yesterday after Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak revealed that he would be slashing VAT to just five percent from July 15 until January 2021. The move sent shock waves up and down the country as the government announced further plans to boost industries that have been hugely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Twitter users took to the social media platform today and yesterday to express their thoughts on the move.


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One user said: “Fantastic to see the VAT cut to five percent for the leisure industry.

“I hope customers don’t expect the campsites to reduce their prices.

“They’re already fully booked. Had no income for months.

“Huge expenses on being Covid secure. Facilities still shut which would have generated income.

“These campsites need the money, otherwise they might not be here next year. Then no one wins.”

Another said: “Great news VAT has been cut on campsites from 20 percent to five percent from next Wednesday until January.”

Martin Smith of said that this was great news for campsites.

He said: “Just over half of our bookable campsites are VAT registered, so this is great news for them.

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“Either they’ll make more profit from every booking (about £18 on a typical booking worth £150 or so) to put towards lost earnings and extra costs this summer – or they’ll have a bit of wiggle room to bring prices down to help fill available capacity.”

He added: “Traffic to the website is at record levels – 150 percent up on this time last year.”

The past two announcements with regard to travel in the UK have been pivotal for the hospitality and tourism sectors.

Indie Campers, a recreational van rental company which operates in the online travel sector, is already seeing an increase in travel interest from the UK.

International Booking data for the first seven days of July has multiplied by 500 percent, in comparison to the oversea bookings made by Britons during the first week of June, this in effect to the opening of “travel corridors”.

Hugo Oliveira, CEO and founder of Indie Campers said: “With the chancellor’s recent announcement of the VAT cut on accommodations and campsites, we are anticipating an extensive demand for campervan holidays this July, as we believe travel will be making a comeback through road trips and camping, for its nature to limits human contact to its lowest and permits secluding oneself from the stress and crowds of bigger cities.”

Even though holidays abroad in some countries have been given the green light, UK holidays are still garnering a surprising amount of popularity.

VisitBritain/VisitEngland director Patricia Yates said that holidays in the UK are more convenient and allow people to stay closer to home.

She said: “The certainty of budgeting for a holiday at home along with the ease and convenience and the fantastic destinations and attractions within easy reach make Britain a top holiday spot whether for a mini-break or longer holiday.”

Harvey Alexander, director of marketing at the Caravan and Motorhome Club added that more than anything, caravan, campervan and motorhome holidays are more affordable.

He said: “Caravan, campervan and motorhome holidays are great fun and very affordable.

“You can buy a second-hand caravan for around the cost of a family package holiday and then take regular breaks throughout the year.”

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