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Business is booming for hot tubs sales and rental companies as families and couples across Tayside and Fife prepare for a summer at home.

David Torrance, sales manager for Hydropool Scotland, based in Dundee and Glasgow, says sales of hot tubs are up at least 200% in the last year. Another local operator reported selling more than 60 tubs a week in March.

David says: “There are a number of reasons we as an industry have benefitted over the last year. People have disposable income as they’re not going on holiday but still want that holiday feeling.

“Instead of going to hotels with hot tubs in them they can get that hot tub feeling in their own back garden. The world has changed. People want to have that luxury garden.

“I think the fact more people are buying and using hot tubs means the trend will continue – more and more people know somebody who has a hot tub – and I believe that productivity is going to continue for the hot tub industry.

“At the moment we’re doing appointment-only in Dundee so we can observe all the protocols with regards Covid. We’re a high-end hot tub company and we’ve been so busy because we have stock available and we offer a high level of aftercare service. Hot tubs are like cars – you can buy cheap models but you get what you buy!

“Many people buy from us for therapeutic reasons, health benefits too. And we also take great pleasure in giving the NHS discount when they buy from us because of all the hard work they do.”

Alan Colbert, owner of Hot Tub Hire Scotland in Dunfermline, says his business has also had bookings from NHS staff.He is stunned at how high demand has been overall. Alan says he could have rented his hot tubs four times over during the last year.

“During the first lockdown we stopped. After checking with the council’s health and safety department and getting recommendations from them after a Covid risk assessment, we started up again.

“We were inundated with requests. More so than any time since we started in 2012. At one stage I even had to put up a message on social media saying we’d had unprecedented demand as I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.

“We are a small company so I had to spend time working out who could get what in which space and on what day! People were saying ‘I’ll take any tub, any date’. It was crazy.”

Alan, who runs the business with his wife Jackie, plans to start hiring again in May. He said: “Christmas and New Year were busy for us. We had a waiting list of people hoping for a cancellation. We had NHS workers who just needed a break. We had families who said ‘well we can’t go on holiday’ so they’d take a tub instead.

“People wanting to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries at home, while there’s such a limited choice of activities to do just now, have also hired from us.

“We’ve had people say they need it for the sake of their minds during lockdown. They want to relax and shut it all out in the safety of their own homes.

Hot tub sales and hires soar as Tayside families ease away lockdown stress and plan for summer in the garden

“We were lucky we were in a business we could largely keep going, working outside away from people and using the PPE. We just needed to always wait for a date when it was safe to start up again.”

Though hot tubs are seen as an expensive purchase, there are more affordable options available.

Aldi is set to re-release its inflatable spa pool. Equipped with auto-heating, water conditioning and 135 air jets, it sold out instantly last year during an Instagram spa-craze amongst celebrities.

Aldi’s pool costs £349.99 and can be bought online.The Range, Argos and Homebase have also introduced low-cost garden hot tubs for those looking for a bargain.

For those searching for a more permanent hot tub in their home there is a huge range of choices. Prices begin around £4800 for a small (176cm x 201cm x 82cm) tub moving up to around £15,000 for a six-seater. An elite performance swim spa (586cm x 239cm x 153cm) will set you back a whopping £47,000.

If you are investing in a hot tub make sure to insure it. Insurance giants Aviva said claims for hot tubs increased 188% last year. These included birds pecking holes in hot tub covers, a strimmer bursting an inflatable spa and lots of claims for gadgets taking a plunge!

Instagram is full of pictures of glamorous celebrities like Amanda Holden hanging out in their hot tubs. But aside from being a luxury prop to show off on social media, what are the health benefits of taking a regular dip in a warm spa pool?

Hot water and the massaging action of the jets in a hot tub can relax muscles, relieve stiffness and inflammation in joints and may ease pain in conditions such as arthritis.

Using a hot tub can raise your heart rate and lower blood pressure – helpful for people who find it difficult to exercise because of limited mobility.

It is also great for mental health as warm water brings a calming effect which can relieve emotional stress and tension.

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UK trade association for the hot tub industry, BISHTA (British and Irish Spa and HotTub Association), said many of their members continue to report sales growth despite the pandemic.

BISHTA says there has been a surge in demand for hard shell acrylic hot tubs with some of their members reporting a 400% increase in sales during the pandemic.

“Lockdown led to searches for hot tubs in 2020 increasing by more than 650% as we looked for fun ways to fill our time at home and find alternatives to the usual family summer holiday. And due to travel restrictions still being in place in the UK, the surge is continuing,” said a spokeswoman.

“Brexit and Covid-19 had a positive effect on the hot tub industry as people invest more in their home lifestyles. People are now focused on creating beautiful gardens and staycation-style improvements to create an ‘everydaycation experience’.”

The hot tub industry looks set to continue to benefit from post-lockdown life as much as those buyers lounging in their new garden spas.

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