THE staycation boom is here to stay as holidaymakers will continue to flock to North Yorkshire this year, according to the owner of an award-winning holiday park.

Mark Goodson, who owns and runs Wayside Holiday Park near Pickering in the heart of the North York Moors, said: “The global pandemic has fuelled the UK staycation boom and it is highly likely that many people won’t be going abroad this year, because it is a logistical nightmare as well as a potential risk to health.

“Yorkshire is a most fabulous county and has flourished during the past 18 months, despite the problems faced by its main tourism body, Welcome to Yorkshire.

"Its beauty speaks for itself, from the glorious Dales, to the historic city of York and from the atmospheric North Yorkshire coastline to the stunning Moors.

"Our county has it all. There is every reason to believe that 2022 will be an exciting and successful year, Covid and lockdowns permitting."

Mr Goodson also owns the 10-acre £500,000 Wayside Lakes development in Wrelton between Kirkbymoorside and Pickering which is next to the holiday park.

As The Press reported at the time, Mr Goodson, whose family ran cinemas in Filey, Tadcaster and Sleaford, revealed last year he had sold seven up-market lodges at Wayside Lakes worth a total of £700,000.

In 2020, Wayside Holiday Park and Wayside Lakes had broken the £1 million turnover barrier for the first time in its 45-year history.

Wayside Lakes caters for up to 38 exclusive lodges. 37 lodges have now been sold, leaving only one pitch still available.

Looking to the year ahead Mr Goodson said that the picture facing the tourism industry in Yorkshire over the next 12 months is "nuanced and complex".

"On the one hand, the threat of Covid and the worrying new variant, combined with a chronic lack of capable staff and a fractured supply chain, is a real challenge for our sector.

"There’s no getting away from that," he said.

“Looking more specifically at the holiday park sector, our supply chain is a major worry. Because of the staycation boom, and the buying power of the grey pound, the demand for static caravans and holiday lodges is very strong.

“But the availability of both is erratic at best, despite strenuous efforts by the manufacturers. However, I am an optimist by nature and have invested £200,000 to upgrade our holiday park for the New Year.

"I am confident that this optimism isn’t misplaced.

“The staycation boom has meant we have had a successful 18 months. I don’t want to sound triumphalist, after the havoc that Covid has wrought, we have all been had, but I am pleased – and humbled – that we have been able to satisfy a demand which has helped people cope with the global pandemic.”