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We found a business sector that is doing better now than in the Celtic Tiger

We’re all going on a summer holiday….

Image: Camping via Shutterstock

DID YOU KNOW the official caravan and camping season of 2014 kicked off this week?

Well, it did… 21 May signals the time when families start packing up the caravan and heading for camps and parks.

And, according to the sector, caravan and camping holidays are “back in vogue” with Irish people.

Figures from the CSO prove the claims.

In the data available from  2013, the number of nights generated by domestic tourists increased by 30 per cent from 2012.

In fact, it was one industry that was impacted negatively by the Celtic Tiger boom years.

The 2013 numbers showed what the Irish Caravan and Camping Council described as a “welcome return to growth following a number of challenging years”.

It’s not just the fall in disposable income thought that has prompted people’s return to the outdoors.

Some fine weather last year also drove visitors to campsites, said chairperson Con Quill. But there is also a wish to get back some family values.

More than one in four campers said they wanted a “family-orientated” experience for their summer holiday. Another quarter said they wanted an outdoor experience.

Value for money was also mentioned as a reason to camp.

He says that almost two thirds of those who camped last year were “trying it out for the first time”.

“Last year especially, we experienced an uptake of families arriving with their car and tent and a significant percentage camping on the recommendation of friends or family.”

The majority of those who holidayed at caravan and camping parks last year stayed for between one and seven nights, visiting up to three parks during their trip.

Quill is optimistic about the season ahead, saying he expects lots of return visits from last year’s families.

“Camping is ideal for bigger families as it’s so much easier than packing a typical Irish family abroad,” he concludes.

Have you ever been on a camping holiday? How was it? Give us some feedback in the comments section (we need to plan our summer holidays). 

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