RELIABLE BROADBAND TOP PRIORITY
Access to reliable broadband is now the top consideration for holidaymakers when looking for a caravan or holiday park to stay in, according to new figures. Market research recently undertaken by rural broadband specialists Voneus Broadband found 59% of visitors look for sites with suitable internet as a top priority when selecting a caravan or holiday park for trips away.
The survey of 3,000 holiday-goers, who have visited a caravan or holiday park in the UK within the last five years, named reliable broadband as more of a priority than site location (57%) and cost (49%). Additionally, 42% of those surveyed have opted for a certain site over another when booking a holiday purely because of the availability and access to the internet. Despite being on holiday, the data from trip-makers reveals working remotely, streaming TV and films, and gaming, are some of the main reasons people look to jump on the Wi-fi.
As a result, access to connections with strong download and upload speeds has become more important, with 91% of those surveyed considering broadband connections when looking for places to stay more than they did 15 years ago. However, it is not just adults who are considering their connections when planning a place to stay, with 43% of parents stating they have had requests from their children to stay at a park with a reliable broadband connection.
For caravan and holiday park owners, the demand for sufficient internet access on holidays could also translate to a boost in income, with 83% of guests stating they would pay additional costs to stay in a site with a strong connection. Figures revealed 61% of people would pay up to £10 per night on top for access. Francesca Lee, chief commercial officer at Voneus, which delivers full fibre and wireless broadband to rural and hard-to-reach communities across more than 25 counties in the UK, said: “This market research paints a fascinating picture into the mindset of the modern caravan and holiday park guest and where current priorities lie.
“By not having sufficient broadband capabilities in place, park operators could be significantly missing out on bringing visitors through the gates during the busiest parts of the year by failing to invest properly in this vital utility.” Paul Craven of My Holiday Caravan, says that WFHH – or “work from holiday home” - is helping to power the demand for holiday home ownership. “Many people are now realising the benefits of buying a bolt-hole which can be used both for leisure and as a substitute for the kitchen table or bedroom when working,” he said.
“Different surroundings can fire new inspiration, not least if you’ve chosen a loved location in the countryside or by the sea that your holiday home overlooks. “But rural life can also mean rural broadband, and with it the frustrations of a far slower internet speed than you might be used to at home. “If you choose your holiday park carefully, however, there are some with superb broadband coverage which will mean you can surf and stream in the fast-lane all day long.
“In particular we recommend to buyers the forty-plus parks operated by Park Holidays UK which has invested literally millions of pounds in new fibre technology. “This is in contrast to the many parks which transmit WiFi across their sites, and which is rarely successful as holiday homes generally resist the penetration of the signals. But Park Holidays UK connects each holiday home directly to fibre broadband, meaning owners can work or relax on-line without the irritation of constant buffering,” said Paul.