Rise of the Triathlon Holiday

A growing number of holidaymakers are looking for challenging activity getaways.

Rise of the Triathlon Holiday

Boosted by the Brownlee brothers’ success in the 2012 Olympics, the triathlon has seen its popularity soar recently.

Combining swimming, cycling and running, British Triathlon says it’s the fastest-growing sport in the UK. But it’s not just the events that are on the up. Triathlon holidays are also taking off too.

For some, the thought of early starts, swimming in cold lakes and cycling up mountains would be enough to make them want to cancel the trip and stay at home. But the combination of sports, beautiful landscapes and meeting new people is proving to be an alluring prospect for an increasing number of British holidaymakers.

Research by the Triathlon Industry Association (TIA) found one in five triathletes travelled overseas to compete last year, with almost three quarters saying they would consider doing so in the future. Some combined an event with a triathlon holiday.

Now many holiday operators are offering tailored triathlon packages to meet people’s demand. Training Escapes, which promotes cycling and triathlon training holidays, says there has been a 35% increase in triathlon holiday providers over the past three years, with holiday makers up by 30-35%.

HOLIDAY HOT TUBS

HOLIDAY HOT TUBS

Hot tubs can add value to holiday lets but operators need to look before they leap.

Hot tubs now regularly feature on the wish list of holiday makers looking to book a range of holiday accommodation from cabins, lodges and chalets to some of the more luxurious ‘glamping’ packages at holiday sites throughout the UK and Eire.

For holiday park operators, the addition of a hot tub is a tempting prospect. It makes a lodge stand apart from a comparable cabin at a competing location, while creating the option for a premium price level for ‘superior accommodation’ with hot tubs. It also adds to the kudos of the site generally as a ‘five star’ holiday venue.

A handful of the bigger holiday park operators have invested in ‘adapted’ portable tubs with remote commercial filtration and chemical dosing for their luxury lodges. These are generally much larger than the average portable spa with bigger and better filtration and sanitation systems along with other features that suit much heavier use in theme parks and health spas.

But, over the past ten years, a vast majority of smaller holiday park operators and holiday let owners, have just purchased and operate what are in fact domestic hot tubs only designed for home, and not intended for commercial use.

WELCOME BOOST

While holiday park operators rush to meet the demands of prospective customers and a welcome boost to sales – hot tub suppliers should make clear about the health and safety considerations that come with every holiday hot tub installation – advising customers appropriately and not succumbing to lower standards for the lure of quick or bulk sale.

“Any pool of water being used by a paying customer would bring it under the category of commercial use. It is the case for hot tubs installed into a holiday lodge. They are there for commercial use,” advises Jimmy Lamb, UK Bayrol product manager for the Pollet Pool Group, and a leading expert in hot tub care.

“It’s not as straight forward to simply plonk a hot tub into any log cabin, chalet or holiday lodge and expect the hirer to get on with it. If the water is not maintained properly things can quickly go wrong,” warns Lamb.

“One risk is the fast dissipation of the disinfection residual as the holiday maker, his family and all of their friends embark on the inevitable hot tub party.

“Once the disinfectant is allowed to diminish, bacteria are allowed to multiply exposing the risk of cross contamination between bathers. Rashes and skin complaints will result in an unhappy holiday maker seeking some form of compensation but, we all know that other waterborne diseases can develop in poorly treated pools that can become a lot more serious than just a rash.”

And he stresses: “A legally-required risk assessment should highlight the requirement for operating procedures of such an installation to include regular draining, disinfecting of the tub, pipework and filter after each letting.”

The HPA (Health Protection Agency) has produced a booklet called ‘Management of Spa Pools’. This booklet offers advice on the installation of what is generally a product designed for domestic use being installed into a commercial facility. It states that if there are a number of premises sharing the pool then a commercial spa is required. The British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association also offer member fact sheets about these installations and have further advice within their standards.

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Cosgrove Reap Pool Rewards

The Cosgrove Park swimming pool has been turned into a major attraction following a complete refurbishment.

Cosgrove Reap Pool Rewards

Located on the picturesque South Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire border and set in 180 acres of beautiful parkland, featuring 12 lakes and two rivers, Cosgrove Park is one of Britain’s finest holiday parks.

The family-owned resort operates a continual enhancement policy that has seen the introduction of over 30,000 shrubs, 1,000 trees, new roads and pathways, as well as numerous other upgrades.

As part of those on-going improvements, Northamptonbased Lifestyle Pool and Leisure, a member of the National Leisure group of companies, completed the transformation of Cosgrove’s outdoor swimming pool in just eight weeks.

The Lifestyle Group had carried out some heating and filtration upgrades on the outdoor swimming pool area some five years earlier, but last spring were called back in to breathe new life into the tired, circa 1960s concrete painted pool.

The Lifestyle team sprayed a new shell, remodelled a new children’s pool, created a raising viewing area to improve adult supervision, reduced the pool depth and added a water feature.

The team opted for an Alkorplan on-site lining system, supplied by Aquaflex, for the pool tanks with a toadstool design water feature from Country Leisure with coping stones supplied by Cranbourne Stone.

Vauxhall Park Strengthens Team

Amy Woodyatt, Marketing Manager with Vauxhall Holiday Park resident mascot Louie the Lion

Vauxhall Park Strengthens Team

Vauxhall Holiday Park in Great Yarmouth has strengthened its marketing and events team by appointing Amy Woodyatt as marketing manager.

Amy has eight years experience in PR and marketing and her new role will enhance how the five star park engages with its existing customers and reach out to new customers. She will be involved with advertising, social media, newsletter and PR campaigns, marketing short breaks and holidays to families and couples while also promoting the music weekend events held out of season.

Amy comments: “Vauxhall is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year so it is a very exciting time to join and as its school holidays at the moment we are extremely busy.

‘While we can keep holiday makers entertained whatever the weather due to our indoor facilities and all inclusive entertainment the heat wave this summer has prompted a surge of last minute breaks.

“We have also just launched two new music weekender events - Rock Stock in December and a Folk event in March, so busy times ahead’’.

Attracting a whopping 70,000 visitors a year to its 430 plus holiday homes including 48 chalets, Vauxhall Holiday Park is a five star holiday site that has been providing holidays and short breaks to families and couples since 1964.

The Indoor Water World, Splash Zone, Kids Clubs, Hideout Teenage Club, Louie’s Adventure Treehouse, Sports World, and all evening entertainment consisting of top cabaret acts, entertainment team shows, comedians and vocalists, is all included in the holiday price. Plus there is a separate adult only V-Lounge.

Tasty Breaks

Butlins offers a total of 58 eating and drinking outlets and venues at their three seaside locations.

Tasty Breaks

WITH millions of British holidaymakers heading for holiday parks in the UK this year, one of the major attractions for most visitors was that the cooking would be done for them.

Catering is the vital ingredient of the holiday park business menu. From high-class restaurants to family-friendly pizza cafes, the choice on offer at many locations is vast.

Quality food and good surroundings are key to the restaurant enjoyment factor with staff service and excellent menus par for the course in these competitive times.

In May Jeremy Marks was appointed food and beverage retail manager for Center Parcs’ Woburn Forest, which will open in spring next year.

Jeremy has more than 25 years’ experience and will be responsible for the F&B and Retail offering available to short break guests at the Village.

Jeremy worked for Wagamama for more than eight years, then Giraffe for six years and was instrumental in creating the Giraffe burgers and cocktails brand which was launched in 2012, introducing funky burgers, music and cocktails across the UK.

With a wide range of restaurants, cafes and shops, Center Parcs’ Woburn Forest will offer a variety of cuisines ideal for families on a short break. Jeremy will be responsible for food and drink development, menus, food and drink products, restaurant and café staff, F&B operations - as well as health and safety.

Says Jeremy: “At Woburn Forest, like the other Center Parcs, the cafes will offer a relaxing, cosy space to enjoy a beverage and a light bite with family or friends.

“There will also be a wide variety of restaurants, with delicious food to try including Italian, American, British, Indian and Dutch (by this we mean our much-loved Pancake House) and a modern, fun, exciting environment.

“There will also be a brand new restaurant - The Shearing House. This restaurant will be a relaxed, contemporary restaurant serving classic British cuisine. This restaurant has a very local link as it gets its name from Woburn’s history as an area famous for sheep shearing.”