IN a piece of news which will be received with mixed feelings in the Yorkshire Dales, the Caravan Club has reported a record year in membership and nights spent on camp sites, despite the awful summer.
Caravans are not always welcome to some Dales residents for the road congestion they cause but, to the tourist trade, they represent an important source of income - not just for site operators but also for pubs, shops and restaurants.
The Caravan Club Director General, Trevor Watson, comments, "There has been an increase of 30,000 nights booked on UK sites this year and European bookings are up by 10%.
"Over the last five years we have recruited 50,000 new members which means we have some 334,000 member households. In total the club represents over 850,000 caravanners, motor caravanners and trailer-tenters."
The club claims to be unique insofar as additional revenue from increased membership and sites occupancy is ploughed directly back into the sites network. This equates to an annual investment of £101 per member - and provides valuable jobs in some of the most remote rural areas in the country.