A website specialising in booking campsites, “glamping” sites and caravan parks is expecting its biggest year yet in Scotland, where growth is outpacing that of the rest of its business as a whole.
Pitchup launched in 2009, tapping into a leap in demand for staycations in the wake of the financial crisis. To date it has taken more than £75 million in bookings and is on course for its millionth next month, while almost three million customers have taken one of its holidays, founder Dan Yates said.
The London-based firm has more than 4,000 locations in 62 countries, with 66 listings in Scotland currently live, including a gypsy caravan in the Highlands, yurts in Selkirk, and wigwams in Perthshire. Yates expects this figure to be “well over” 100 by the summer.
Pitchup was named one of the fastest growing firms in Europe last year, during which bookings for Scotland were up by two-thirds compared with 2017. Its top listings here are Dumfries & Galloway (23 per cent), Highlands & Islands (20 per cent) and Argyll (14 per cent), and its top seller north of the Border took 1,265 bookings last year.
The company, whose core team numbers 50, with translators accounting for a further 30, is also seeing a jump in customers in Scotland arranging trips, with an increase of 80 per cent year-on-year.
Staycations again made up the lion’s share of these, but France ranked third most popular destination at 5.4 per cent. Yates said the firm was looking to harness strong potential from China, the US and western Europe, and expand its farm business.
Pitchup is looking forward to Scotland being an even bigger part of its business in 2019, said Yates.