‘Airbnb of the outdoors’ – $300m Hipcamp valuation points to sustained demand for rural domestic trips, says GlobalData

Hipcamp’s closure of a $57m Series C funding round brings its internal value to more than $300m – more than double its value in 2019. This massive jump in the valuation of the outdoor bookings business reflects the recent global tourism trend whereby domestic trips in rural locations is driving leisure demand recovery, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Ralph Hollister, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Many leisure travelers 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 centers 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.”

* (Fieldwork undertaken 2-6 December 2020)

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