Caravan Club Spreads The Good Word About Caravanning to MPs Across The UK

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As the nights draw in, The Caravan Club is taking stock of its summer campaign to raise awareness of the importance of caravanning and domestic tourism to Members of Parliament, by highlighting the potential it has as a driver of economic recovery. With positive messages of thanks and support, and over twenty site visits which have either taken place or are planned over the next few weeks, the campaign has successfully struck a chord with MPs, new and existing alike.

Minister for Tourism, John Penrose MP (right) with Nick Lomas, Director General of The Caravan Club

This demonstrates how important caravanning is to the local economy and underlines the enormous significance of tourism in general. We have a wonderful location, and what better place to come as a caravanner than North Norfolk.

The Club’s Director General, Nick Lomas, has sent a personal letter to every MP revealing just how much The Caravan Club contributes each year to their constituency through its members. Across the whole of the UK, Caravan Club members spend over £400 million in local economies every year. The Caravan Club also identified its top ten caravanning holiday hot spots, from caravan parks in Cornwall to parks in the Highlands of Scotland, where caravanners are spending over £30 million annually in areas defined by parliamentary constituency boundaries. This is money staying in the UK – and with worldwide economic problems and tough budget measures at home, such as the forthcoming VAT increase having the potential to put off inbound tourists – investment in domestic tourism has seldom been more important. People taking caravan holidays, UK and European destinations combined can only increase in growth in 2011.

Minister for Tourism, John Penrose MP, was able to see first-hand how caravanning contributes to the local tourism economy when he visited a Caravan Club Certificated Location in his own constituency of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

John Penrose commented: “Caravanning has been a successful and distinctive part of the tourist economy in the UK for more than 100 years, with the freedom and sense of adventure they offer as potent today as when the first purpose-built caravan took to the road in 1885. Even as the caravans themselves become more and more sophisticated, they continue to provide good value for money, camaraderie and plain good fun for millions. Long may they run.”

Top of the holiday hot spots list, North Norfolk, benefits to the tune of over £4.5 million every year from the caravanners who stay on The Club’s three sites and 56 Certificated Locations (CLs) in this one constituency alone. Local MP Norman Lamb commented, “This demonstrates how important caravanning is to the local economy and underlines the enormous significance of tourism in general. We have a wonderful location, and what better place to come as a caravanner than North Norfolk.”

Nick Lomas, Director General of The Caravan Club comments: “Domestic tourism is increasingly recognised as being of vital economic importance, providing employment that can never be moved offshore, and as having huge potential for growth, even in these times of economic austerity. Caravanning plays a key role in the tourism mix and it’s the most popular ‘paid for’ holiday accommodation choice in the country, making our members true investors in the UK.”

With Caravan Club membership at an all time high, and steadily increasing, The Club’s campaign was designed to raise not only the profile of caravanning as mainstream, cheap caravan holidays choices, but also to stand alongside tourism businesses to promote the UK in a truly joined-up way. This will ensure people who opt to holiday in the UK have a memorable experience, and continue to support the domestic economy in years to come.

Further information for Editors

Now in its 103rd year, The Caravan Club is Europe’s premier touring organising, representing the interests of one million caravanners, motor caravanners and trailer tent owners. For more information visit The Club’s websites at The Caravan Club and Discover Touring.

Certificated Location or CL: A small, privately-owned site licensed by The Club to accommodate a maximum of five caravan outfits per night. Some of these sites have minimal facilities and can often be found on farms, adjacent to pubs, and frequently in very rural areas. They are open to Club members only and the pitch fee is retained by the site owner.

Club Site: A site owned or leased by The Caravan Club, and usually staffed by Club employees. Wholly owned sites are usually restricted to members of The Club, leased sites usually permit non-members. Sites often have extensive facilities including shower/laundry blocks, electric hook-ups, hard standings and play areas.

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