Credit crunch leads families to take ‘cycling holidays’ in the UK; Center Parcs among the tourist businesses benefiting

‘Staycations’ help to grow UK cycling

The recession and an unfavourable exchange rate have provided a welcome boost for cycling through a rise in the number of families staying in the UK to cut back on holiday costs.

The United Kingdom Tourism Survey, created by Visit England, revealed that holidays made by UK residents in England were up 13 per cent in the first four months of 2009 compared to 2008, boosting the numbers of tourists heading to cycle-friendly destinations on these shores, including Center Parcs – which has seen its best-ever results.

“Our last financial year (which ended in April) was a record one for Center Parcs in the UK, with average annual occupancy of over 95 per cent across our four sites,” Center Parcs PR manager Simon Kay told BikeBiz.

“There are very encouraging signs this year too, with forward bookings showing an increase of ten per cent compared with this time last year, and this summer period a greater proportion of our guests are opting for stays of seven nights or more, rather than the traditional short breaks.

“Our experience supports the notion that people are indeed choosing to stay in the UK for their holidays this year.”

Center Parcs’ cycling-centric offering remains vital for the holiday firm: “Cycling is at the very heart of the Center Parcs experience, as the majority of our guests’ favourite mode of transport during their break. Ensuring the best environmental practice is our passion, as guests park their car at the start of their break to mount their bikes or set off by foot around the forest.

“Cycling is an enjoyable activity where natural forest surroundings can be enjoyed at a leisurely pace or prove an exciting setting for an active bike ride. We have a wide variety of bikes to choose from to ensure that the whole family can enjoy a cycle together and it is also a fun way for family and friends to navigate around the village.”

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