Pitchup.com, the largest outdoor hospitality booking site in Europe, is launching
in the United States, the largest camping market in the world
What hospitality booking engine is growing faster than Expedia Group and Bookings.com Holdings?
Who wants to bring the world together through camping?
The outdoor hospitality industry in the U.S., the largest camping market in the world with 587 million camping nights per year and 77 million camping households, is the final hospitality frontier to be made easily accessible and bookable online. All that is about to change.
Enter United Kingdom-based Pitchup.com, the largest outdoor accommodations booking site in Europe. Pitchup.com founder Dan Yates wants to help Americans get outdoors and into tents, RVs, yurts and cabins faster and easier with Pitchup.com’s easy-to-use technology that allows campers to browse and book outdoor overnight sites. “The nicest hotels can’t compete with the beauty of nature,” said Yates, who has already changed the way Europeans access and book campsites. Now he has his sights set on America, with Pitchup.com launching a U.S. website and marketing campaign since travelers here spend 144 percent more nights camping than Europeans do.
Intuitive Booking Website
“Pitchup.com is all about the ease of booking outdoor sites that previously were not available online. With our technology users can plan vacations and book campsites straight from their computers and mobile devices in under three minutes,” said Yates. “Now we are bringing this technology to American outdoor enthusiasts, so they have more choices, more places to go and more time to unplug in nature.”
The Pitchup.com website removes the guesswork from the camping booking process and allows campers to search by accommodation type, campsite rules (no pets, etc.), amenities (electricity, pool, etc.), themes (luxury, hikers’ paradise, etc.), languages spoken, nearby towns, points of interest and more. Each campsite’s page also includes user-generated content such as reviews and photos. All outdoor sites can be instantly booked, so there is no waiting to be approved by the host.
The Outdoor Hospitality Market is Growing
The number of camping households in America has grown 20 percent since 2014 and is expected to keep growing. Among these outdoor-loving households, 45 percent expect to spend more nights under the stars. The number of avid campers (those camping more than three times per year) has increased by 64 percent since 2014. Add to this buoyant enthusiasm the fact that baby-boomers are retiring, millennials are the fastest-growing market for camping, and 93 percent of Gen Xers want to try camping, and the future bodes well for outdoor hospitality.
In comparison, the bed & breakfast market in the U.S. is eight percent the size of the outdoor hospitality market, with 50 million nights spent in B&Bs per year and an exceptional 587 million nights spent on campgrounds and RV parks per year.
Pitchup.com’s Impressive Array of Campsites
With over 3,700 campgrounds and RV parks in 53 countries in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Australia, Pitchup.com provides travelers accommodation experiences to fit every lifestyle, from primitive tent camping under the stars to luxury glamping. National sites range from the off-the-grid Log Cabin Wilderness Lodge in mountainous Alaska, where fishing and hiking abound to the Wild West-themed Grand Canyon Western Ranch.
It’s not just Americans Yates wants to fill U.S. campsites. Making it easier to find, shop and book U.S. campgrounds means more Europeans and world travelers will camp in America. There is already strong growth in international travel to the U.S. Nearly 26 million international visitors took a U.S. vacation in 2016, up 65 percent since 2009. “We want to help the world experience more of the great American outdoors. Tents and RVs can go where hotels cannot,” said Yates.
Yates also wants Americans to see more of Europe and the world via camping in places such as the Cornwall in Britain, Brazil’s rainforests and the East Cape of South Africa. International spots include an exotic clothing-optional campsite in Portugal, a one-of-a-kind restored boat in Crete and design-centric eco yurts in Slovenia. “Camping is a wonderful way to see a country, learn its culture and meet people,” said Yates.
Pitchup.com, named one of the Financial Times’ 2018 1,000 fastest-growing companies in Europe, is growing at a rapid pace, with a 32 percent increase in website visits (up to 18 million) from last year and 76 percent more bookings for 2019 compared to this time last year. Since launching in the U.K. in 2010, the site has made $100MM in bookings. Of all international outdoor accommodation booking sites, it continually tops the list in monthly visits and unique visitors. Based on room-night growth, Pitchup.com grew 35 percent in Q2 2018 over Q2 2017 compared to Expedia Group and Booking.com Holdings, each of which grew 12 percent in room nights during the same period.
“It’s a good time to be entering the U.S. camping market,” noted Yates. “My goal is to bring the world together through camping by creating the first global outdoor hospitality booking site in the world.”
North American Camping Report: https://koa.com/north-american-camping-report/
Expediagroup.com (pg.12): http://ir.expediagroup.com/static-files/b6762b9b-2d5c-4da6-986a-e881debc633d
Bookingholdings.com (pg.10): http://ir.bookingholdings.com/static-files/c63b9479-1de4-49e6-b505-22cf9f14fb99