Woodovis Park

woodovis park

The team offer a great warm welcome to guests and the park has been named as a finalist for the Hoseasons' Diamond Award for customer care.

Woodovis Park

Proving that bigger isn’t always better, the multi award-winning Woodovis Park is a small, peaceful 5 star holiday park nestled on the edge of Devon’s Tamar Valley. Offering a mix of camping, glamping, touring and luxury caravan options, the park has scooped many top level awards in recent years for its excellent facilities and services.

Owner John Lewis comments: “We have over 21,000 bed nights per season. During the shoulder seasons we tend to attract either families with preschool children or retired folk, looking for a great value holiday in a particularly quiet time. During the school holidays our guests are made up of families who are looking for great facilities in a peaceful and safe setting. “We find that our glamping offerings attract young professional couples all year round – most of whom are looking for the outdoor experience with all the comforts that our pod and super pods provide.” Now in its fifteenth year of ownership by John and Dorothy Lewis, the park employs eight full-time staff and is a member of Best of British, a group of 50 independently owned 5 star holiday parks.

On-site facilities include an indoor solar-heated swimming pool, spa and infra-red therapy sauna, with weekly archery and ‘water walking’ in the pool. There’s also an indoor games room and outdoor table tennis. “With a return visitor rate in excess of 70% year on year undoubtedly the biggest marketing tool is word of mouth recommendation,” explains John. “This is closely followed by the internet and especially review sites such as Trip Advisor where Woodovis Park scores five stars and was recently a recipient of a Certificate of Excellence.” He adds: “The biggest challenge for us is the unpredictable English weather, which is why we have ensured that Woodovis Park is well placed to deal with this.

There is a vast range of indoor facilities to keep guests occupied during bad weather.” One of the park’s unique selling points is its commitment to being energy efficient and environmentally friendly; it was recently named the Best Holiday Park & Camping Site in Britain by the world’s leading sustainable tourism accreditation programme, the 2013 Green Tourism Goldstar Awards. It also received a gold David Bellamy Award last year and a gold in the Green Tourism Business Scheme. John explains: “Our mission is to provide exceptional facilities for our guests, whilst maintaining our green integrity. It’s easy to reel off green platitudes, but at Woodovis we try to make it a natural part of the way the business is run.

The beauty of our park and surrounding areas is one of the main reasons visitors come here and we want to sustain that for generations to come.” Maintaining their dedication to providing excellent facilities and services for their guests, the park owners will be implementing a number of improvements to the site during the year. John explains: “New for the 2014 season will be the dog exercise meadow where dogs can run off the lead. Also, following guest feedback, a new loo and chemical disposal point is being installed to serve the Tamar View Field. As part of a planned rolling replacement programme, a brand new Finch Holiday Home will join the hire fleet and dates are being added during the school holidays for performances from internationally acclaimed story tellers.”

Woodovis Park

Email : info@woodovis.com
www.woodovis.com

Pick Of The Bunch

The Thistle Holidays Parks initiative focuses on promoting the quality of Scotland’s best holiday and camping parks.

The Thistle Holidays Parks initiative focuses on promoting the quality of Scotland’s best holiday and camping parks.

Pick Of The Bunch

Recognising and promoting the very best holiday and caravan parks in Scotland is the core aim of the Thistle Holiday Park scheme.
By supporting its members with marketing initiatives throughout the year, the scheme provides holiday makers with above: The Thistle Holidays Parks initiative focuses on promoting the quality of Scotland’s best holiday and camping parks with information and advice, allowing them to make an informed decision when choosing a holiday destination.
Many holiday parks and attractions already support the scheme, including Discovering Distilleries, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Historic Scotland, the Forestry Commission Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland.
Thistle project manager Judith Sleigh, explains: “Good quality and good value will continue to be important to holidaymakers, and as we offer both, our members are able to profit. The challenge, however, in an era when cheap flights abroad to guaranteed sunshine, is that Thistle Parks continue to improve their product and establish themselves as being in the forefront of the industry.”
Recently, parks involved in the scheme have been able to take full advantage of the staycation trend which kicked in with the economic downturn, due to domestic visitors looking for holidays which offer both good quality and good value for money in Scotland and England.
By joining the scheme, holiday parks can benefit from a number of marketing tools to promote their park. All members are entitled to an entry in the Thistle brochure, which is distributed at over 10,000 information centres and is downloadable from the website. The brochure is also circulated at various exhibitions and trade shows throughout the year, and a further 600 copies are mailed out to those on the Thistle database. Members are also entitled to an editable entry on the Thistle website, which receives over 80,000 visitors per year.
To become a member, caravan parks must meet certain criteria; firstly the parks must be awarded four or five stars by VisitScotland. They must also have high quality lodges and holiday home caravans, and at least some touring pitches on firm ground, with links to services and facilities. David Halley, current chairman of Thistle Holiday Parks, says: “As the owner of a small park on Loch Lomond, I joined Thistle because of the extra promotion and also because I felt that the industry had to work together and Thistle offered the right vehicle for this by enabling us to get to the market, as a group, with the right message in the right way. Having Tourism Scotland as the project manager means that the promotion is professionally handled; the owners are running their parks and don’t have time to devote to marketing.”
The Thistle Holidays Parks scheme began back in the 1970’s and was a joint initiative between the tourism industry and the Scottish Tourist Board. The Board was one of the first to undertake a wide-ranging inspection of both serviced and self-catering accommodation in a drive to improve the quality of facilities and services. Caravan parks were able to have their holiday home caravans checked against a precise set of criteria, which included fixed heating throughout, mains drainage, and double-glazing.
In 2012, the Scottish Tourist Board, renamed VisitScotland, handed Thistle Holiday Parks over to the industry, to a committee which included owners and managers of parks of various sizes and types. The concept of Thistle Parks was extended to include touring as well as self-catering, but the criteria for inclusion continued to be based on high quality.
David Key, Regional Director of Parkdean Holidays has also been closely involved in the initiative since it began: “The industry was keen to work with the Scottish Tourist Board in order to raise the overall quality of the parks by encouraging them to invest in their product. We appreciated the fact that the board gave considerable funding to support the scheme in order to promote the high quality of the parks and their accommodation. Parkdean, with six parks in Scotland, felt and still do that being a member of Thistle is important.”

Tel. +44 (0)1651 806014
Email. Tourism.Scotland@btopenworld.com
www.thistleparks.co.uk

Make ‘Em Smile!

Butlins holiday resorts have always been known for their entertainment including seasonal pantomime performances.

Butlins holiday resorts have always been known for their entertainment including seasonal pantomime performances.

Make ‘Em Smile!

Television is largely responsible for the public view today of holiday parks with some thinking the image of Hi-De-Hi and “Hello Campers” is still the style.
But today’s holiday parks are far more sophisticated, while still aiming to provide ‘fun for everybody’ – including the thousands of staff and entertainers across the UK who make holidays unforgettable for families.
We are probably all familiar with the colour codes of those in charge of entertaining at the biggest venues in Britain.
Redcoats for Butlins, Bluecoats for Pontins and Greencoats for Warners.
And then there’s the Yellowcoats of Haven Holidays staff – 300 FunStar entertainers .
Haven Holidays entertain over three million guests and owners during a 34 week season across their 35 family holiday parks.
Daytime children’s clubs and nightly entertainment are all included in the price of a Haven holiday and each year they introduce new elements to keep it fresh and exciting and for this they need bright new talent.
Steve Donnelly, head of entertainment, says: “My vision has been to embrace entertainment concepts that are current and in tune, such as The X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, and Britain’s Got Talent.

SPARKLY FROCKS

“In particular it has been really important to identify current and future trends that will engage and delight the whole family. The days of jazz hands and sparkly frocks are gone for Haven.
“We want dynamic young cast members who can, aside from performing, interact meaningfully with the guests and take an interest in how they are enjoying their holiday.
“By developing and improving what’s on offer to them in terms of entertainment and events, we can enhance their time at Haven and they’ll want to come back again and again.”
Butlins holiday resorts have always been known for their entertainment.
Many big names in the world of showbiz started their careers at the ‘seaside camps’, as they used to be known.
Sir Cliff Richard started his career playing with The Drifters at the Clacton-On-Sea camp.
In 1962 the Skegness camp played its part in the formation of The Beatles, when Paul McCartney and John Lennon visited to meet Ringo Starr who was playing drums with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes at the time.
They offered Ringo the drummer’s position with The Beatles, because they had just secured a recording contract. The first song McCartney himself ever sang in public was “Long Tall Sally”, at a Butlins talent competition.
As well as the many other famous names to come through the Butlins doors, they’re probably most famous for their Redcoats. Employed originally by Sir Billy Butlin to help guests find their way around the resort and entertain them through their stay, Butlin’s Redcoats are just as big a part of the Butlins experience today as they were back at the start in 1939.
Many famous faces started life as Butlins Redcoats, including Stephen Mulhern (Britain’s Got More Talent, Catchphrase), Shane Ritchie (Eastenders), Johnny Ball (Think of a Number, Playschool), Des O’Connor, Jimmy Tarbuck and Dave Allen to name but a few.
Today Butlins entertainment and entertainers are still at the heart of any visit to the three remaining seaside resorts in West Sussex (Bognor Regis), Somerset (Minehead) and Lincolnshire (Skegness).
With more than 1.5 million guests visiting each year, the Butlins team work endlessly to discover new shows, ideas and talented people to entertain the visitors.

Haven FunStars are chosen for their good work ethic and great customer focus.

Haven FunStars are chosen for their good work ethic and great
customer focus.

This year Butlins is putting on a wide variety of brand new shows. Starting in February half term guests will be treated to the premiere of Scooby Doo Live, which combines live actors and characters in a musical mystery tour with monsters and ghouls!
Also making their 2014 debut in February are TV presenters and all round cheeky chaps Dick and Dom, who are bringing their unique style of mayhem into a live show for the whole family during all school holidays this year.
There will also be new live shows such as Freddie - a musical tribute to the music of Freddie Mercury and Queen - Cirque Du Hilarious, Titan The Robot and character shows from Angelina Ballerina, Mike The Knight, Thomas and Friends, Bob The Builder and Fireman Sam.
During the summer holidays Butlins will have a purpose built Big Top Circus at each of their resorts playing host to amazing aerial gymnasts, trapeze artists and comedy routines from around the world.
Mister Maker (CBeebies) will be playing all Butlins resorts over the summer with an exclusive live show, featuring music and special guests. Other summer entertainment includes The Wheel Of Death stunt team, live music, Redcoat shows and a spectacular acrobatics show.

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Against The Grain

Eco Hot Tubs are made from only sustainable, high quality cedar, larch and spruce, triple treated with Danish oils to preserve and seal the wood.

Eco Hot Tubs are made from only sustainable, high quality cedar, larch and spruce, triple treated with Danish oils to preserve and seal the wood.

Against The Grain

Switched on holiday operators are rushing to add hot tubs and spas to their holiday offering. Hot tubs can typically add between £75 – £125 to the value of a weekly rental charge on holiday lodges, chalets or luxury caravans. With an average initial investment of £6,000 per hot tub unit, payback is achievable within just one or two seasons, even when taking into account the additional costs of water treatment and maintenance. Most established hot tub suppliers offer finance options, many at 0%. It may also pay to ask about rental or lease options to reduce initial outlays. With so many cottoning on to the pulling power of the holiday hot tub trend though, it can prove challenging for your holiday offering to stand out from the crowd. Currently enjoying a European-led resurgence, wooden hot tubs are fast becoming a popular choice for customers looking for an aesthetically pleasing and natural way to relax and unwind. “Hot tubs are seen as a luxury item for holidaymakers, so for that reason they can add great value to a holiday property,” says Robin Cranston, director of Riviera Hot Tubs. “In fact, almost 50% of the hot tubs we sell go to holiday homes or holiday rental properties,” says Robin. “They offer the added entertainment for guests, without having to leave the comfort of their holiday lodge.” Robin continues: “Very little maintenance is required to keep wooden hot tubs to a high standard. Our hot tubs come with the option of having an ultra violet water treatment unit, which reduces the amount of chlorine needed. We only recommend stabilised chlorine granules for our hot tubs because it’s kinder to the wood but other than that the water treatment is exactly the same.”

EYE FOR DESIGN

Boasting hydro massage jets, wooden hot tubs combine the best of both old and new worlds.
Riviera Hot Tubs specialise exclusively in the supply and installation of traditional wood barrel style hot tubs and saunas, from their workshop based in Devon.
“When selecting a hot tub style, I would urge holiday park operators to consider their clientele. A high end wooden hot tub can complement a timber lodge in a peaceful setting and increase the value of a property. I would also point out that it’s worth spending that bit extra to get a good quality tub. Lower priced tubs are available, but they can look cheap and aren’t guaranteed to last as long.”
Riviera sell only their own brand hot tubs made from Canadian kiln dried cedar, chosen for its clear grain, long-term stability and natural resistance to decay. The standard range of tubs come in 5ft, 6ft and 7ft diameters and are 4ft in depth, which is considerably deeper than acrylic spas.

DISCOUNT RATES

Mainly available in cedar, spruce and larch, wood is the natural choice compared with other modern man-made materials. Pic: Bathing Under the Sky

Mainly available in cedar, spruce and larch, wood is the natural choice compared with other modern man-made materials. Pic: Bathing Under the Sky

The extra depth increases buoyancy creating a relaxing, luxurious tub. Prices range from £5,995 – £11,000 and bespoke sizes and oval tubs are available on request.
The company also offer discount rates for customers looking to purchase more than one tub.
Robin reveals: “In the last few years our hot tub sales have changed in the fact that we are selling more abroad. Currently, sales in the UK stand at around 50% of our business while the other 50% is in Switzerland and Europe. We have several hot tubs in ski chalets in the Alps and clusters of them in certain resorts. We’ve even sold one to Abu Dhabi this year.”
It is thought that the early American settlers were among the first to build wooden tubs.
The earliest examples were put together with cedar planking, made water-tight in much the same way as a wooden barrel with heating to warm the water generated from natural springs. These early wooden spas rose to prominence across America and were widely used until the introduction of today’s more modern looking acrylic-lined hot tubs.
“Demand for wooden hot tubs is on the up,” declares Aurimas Makauskas, director of Pembrokeshire-based Eco Hot Tubs. “We find that the simplicity appeals to many of our customers,” she continues. “You can place the hot tub in any spot where you can get water access, so even in the middle of nowhere you can enjoy hot water, fresh air, and the sounds and smell of nature.”

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Maximising Your Online Holiday Home Sales

My Holiday Caravan attracts over 50,000 visitors per month to its specialist website.

My Holiday Caravan attracts over 50,000 visitors per month to its specialist website.

Maximising Your Online Holiday Home Sales

My Holiday Caravan has proved to be a vital resource for buyers and sellers of holiday caravans.
The specialist website currently has 10,000 static caravans for sale from more than 200 holiday parks across the country.
For a monthly fee, trade advertisers on My Holiday Caravan benefit from a listing with details of their holiday park, plus up to five photographs
“We have a proven record in matching potential buyers to the right holiday park and many of the main national holiday park operators have advertised with us since the site launched in 2005,” says Paul Craven, My Holiday Caravan managing director.
“The internet has become the key research tool for customers looking for information on holiday parks.

Holiday tariff business parks are very aware of the importance of online search, website experience and online partnerships to drive bookings. Developing an extensive online marketing campaign can be expensive and time consuming, with no guarantee of success. Therefore some parks find it beneficial to partner with more established websites that have higher Google rankings, more visitors and larger marketing budgets.
As a result of its prime position on Google, My Holiday Caravan now receives over 50,000 visitors per month looking to purchase their ideal static caravan holiday home.
Paul advises: “Google dominates the UK search market and you need to have a strategy in place to maximise its potential.
Paul explains: “To maximise the chance of finding a buyer, you need to maximise your reach at the most economical cost. It’s important to ensure your park is found by buyers searching through high volume and competitive search terms, so it’s worth partnering with websites such as Autotrader or My Holiday Caravan. Many of our parks find that having a listing on the site offers an exceptional return on their investment.”
He concludes: “Remember that many buyers make a decision to buy within a week of their online search, so when you receive leads via your website or partners, ensure you follow them up promptly, by phone if possible. Don’t let them get away!”

My Holiday Caravan
Tel. 0800 612 7541
Email. info@myholidaycaravan.co.uk
www.myholidaycaravan.co.uk