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Rural domestic trips drives travel recovery

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Hipcamp, dubbed as the ‘Airbnb of the outdoors’, recently closed USD 57 million for its Series C funding and raising its valuation to USD300 million, which is more than double its value in 2019. This signals a shift in how we travel. Domestic trips in rural locations are driving leisure demand recovery, according to GlobalData.

Ralph Hollister, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Many leisure travellers holidayed domestically instead of internationally in 2020. The fact that 11% more consumers stated they would travel less internationally post-COVID-19 (39%) than would travel less domestically (28%) in a survey by GlobalData* suggests that, for the short-term at least, Hipcamp and other companies offering outdoor accommodation typically more popular with domestic tourists will be in a strong position to capture returning demand in 2021.”

According to the same GlobalData survey, 79% of global respondents are still either ‘quite’ or ‘extremely’ concerned about the global outbreak of COVID-19, which means that demand for city breaks or trips to urban areas will remain low for the foreseeable future.

Hollister continues: “Fear of contracting the virus has created a surge in demand for private and secluded trips away from urban areas, further playing into Hipcamp’s hands during the summer of 2020 as many of its novel types of outdoor accommodation are located in rural areas.

“Due to the uncertainty around when city centres will fully open back up to mass tourism, Hipcamp may continue to benefit and witness rapid growth – just like the company it is now being compared to Airbnb. However, Hipcamp needs to be careful when embarking upon expansion during a pandemic. The external environment can change extremely quickly and caution has to remain of paramount importance.”

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