Bosses at Willerby predicted that the current spike in popularity of the staycation is here to stay as they revealed that the company’s order book is full well into 2023.
Willerby, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, also surveyed 584 of its owners club members, of which 118 bought their first holiday home after the first lockdown in March 2020.
The survey highlighted a definite shift towards younger consumers, with those aged under 50 doubling from 9% pre-COVID to 18% today.
A spokesman said: “A total of 43% of newer owners said they are enjoying long weekends in their holiday homes, compared to 30% of those who bought before March 2020.”
The spokesman confirmed that Willerby opened a new production line at its Hull site and has taken on well over 200 additional staff within the past year.
Peter Munk, the CEO of Willerby, said: “There’s no doubt about it – the staycation is definitely here to stay.
“We’ve taken on a record number of staff and opened a new production line with great confidence, as all the evidence tells us this is much more than just a short-term reaction to the restrictions imposed on people due to the pandemic.
“More and more people have had their eyes opened to the health and wellbeing, social and community benefits of owning their own holiday home. They’ve experienced it, loved it and now they want more and long may that continue.”
GP and television personality Dr Hilary Jones, who worked with Willerby on The Great British Break Off, a major research project in 2020 which emphasised the significant mental
health and wellbeing benefits of taking short breaks over a longer holiday, said he was not surprised by the findings.
Dr Jones said: “The pandemic has changed our lives in many ways and people now realise the numerous advantages of staying on our own shores. They are very happy to have a staycation because it’s more convenient and less stressful."
The business was founded in 1946 when Walter Allen, a resident of Willerby, on the outskirts of Hull, decided to switch from making beehives to building touring caravans for the growing post-war holiday park industry.
Willerby has also introduced a fleet of electric “bio-bikes”, used by staff to cycle between its Hull sites, instead of making journeys by car