Camping gear sales soaring

A million-pound investment to refurbish Round Lake Park in Fivemiletown has come at the perfect time for Mid Ulster as camping equipment sales increase by 300%.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 3:28 pm

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, ‘Stay at Home’ rules dominated lives over the past year and a half, holidays at home became the norm, with Northern Ireland residents embracing the new normal, camping equipment sales increased by 60% between 2019 and 2021, well above the UK average of 40%.

Local outdoor store ‘Sperrin Outdoors’ stated that the increase was easy to observe “many people gave the outdoors a go during lockdown, with not much else to do”, they also highlighted that local landmarks in the Sperrin’s “became ram packed with people”.

With over 118 pitches available at six locations, it should come as no surprise to see Mid Ulster at the heart of this dramatic increase. The most popular items in Northern Ireland were sleeping mats, two person tents, and camping stoves, suggesting that couples were keen to go on a romantic getaway in the wilderness. Also evident is an increase in families taking camping staycations with sales of sleeping bags for children up by 110% compared to pre-pandemic figures.

The Gortin Glens Forest Park is a large forest with many attractions, including a deer enclosure and many areas of natural beauty, including waterfalls, lakes, etc.

The surge in camping equipment sales comes at the perfect time for the area, building on recent developments, Part funded by the Rural Development programme, round lake park in Fivemiletown recently underwent an extensive £1million refurbishment to improve its shower and changing facilities. Council Chair Paul McLean described the refurbishments as “significant” and stated that they “will benefit visitors from near and far alike”.

All figures have been provided by Cotswold:

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