Dog-Friendly Park Appeal


Woodovis Park in Devon is welcoming guests and their dogs with the introduction of a new meadow at the site.

Dog-Friendly Park Appeal

Woodovis Park in Devon has introduced a number of dog-friendly initiatives to appeal to families and couples looking to bring their four-legged friends on holiday.

Most recently the park has opened a large meadow, adjacent to the site, allowing guests and pets to roam freely. Add to this the wooded walk for strolling on lead and the dog wash facilities and guests have all the trappings for contented canines.

Park owner John Lewis said: “This part of the world, with Dartmoor and the Tamar Valley on the doorstep, is incredibly popular for holidaymakers with dogs. Not to mention the South West’s beautiful beaches nearby, many of which are dog-friendly. We are blessed with some amazing walking country as well as a number of places to eat where dogs are welcome.

“We wanted to extend our offering so that there is space for every member of the family to have a good time on holiday, and the lower meadow makes the perfect spot for dogs to roam free.”

The park has also drawn up a programme of family activities and excursions in the surrounding area which allow pets, including dog-friendly National Trust properties, pubs and restaurants, dog shows and events.

Holiday Snaps: Simon Altham, Hoseasons


Simon Altham, Hoseasons

Holiday Snaps: Simon Altham, Hoseasons

Having been with Hoseasons for eight years as director of lodges and parks, Simon took over the role as managing director in March last year. His responsibilities include overseeing the ongoing growth of the company’s UK portfolio, travel trade relationships, contact centre operations and new product development...

How do you see the UK holiday industry at the moment?

Demand for UK holidays remains high thanks to monumental investment by holiday park owners in accommodation, facilities and food and beverages. This has kept satisfaction levels high and secured repeat customers as well as attracting lots of new ones too.

What are the main challenges facing the industry?

In a world of social media, when we occasionally do get it wrong, it is imperative that issues are resolved as quickly as possible to avoid any reputation damage. Conversely, when customers receive outstanding service they are also quick to promote and recommend.

What is the most crucial aspect to the success of your business?

Recruiting and retaining the right people has to be up there as the most important aspect of our business. We invest heavily in ensuring Hoseasons is a great place to work and that our team is motivated, energised and committed to delivering exceptional service to our customers.

What has been your stand out experience in the industry?

We have a sister company based in Holland, Landal Green Parks, who now operate over 70 parks across Europe and I have been very fortunate to spend time out with the team in the field learning how they manage their parks. There is a lot we can learn and that will translate into the UK market.

What does a typical day in the office for you entail?

I am an early riser so I tend to get in at 7am which gives me chance to plan out my day and most importantly review the previous days’ trading. I like to spend an hour a week with my direct reports so a large proportion of my day can be spent in meetings, but the thing I love most about working in travel is that no two days are the same and you never really know when you walk through the door what the day is going to entail.

To read more of the interview with Simon, please subscribe online.

And to find out more about Hoseasons, visit their website here.

Curtain Set To Rise On Landscape Show


LANDSCAPE takes place in September 2014 at Battersea Park, central London.

Curtain Set To Rise On Landscape Show

Thousands of visitors are expected to descend on Battersea Park for the annual LANDSCAPE show, on September 23 and 24.

Established as the essential trade event, LANDSCAPE is dedicated to bringing the industry together by introducing its visitors to the latest products, services and techniques necessary to design, build and maintain prestigious interior or exterior landscaping projects.

Each year it attracts garden designers, architects, landscape contractors, local authority professionals, and facilities managers from all over the UK and abroad.

Visitors to this year’s show can take part in a comprehensive programme of free seminars, featuring some of the biggest names in the business. The show will be open to the public from 10am – 6pm on Tuesday 23rd September, and 10am – 5pm on Wednesday 24th September. Visitors can register online for free tickets at

Insurance Surgery Opens For Holiday Park Operators


Peter Heffer, of Lorica Insurance, believes it is time to provide the holiday park sector with greater clarity and certainty of cover.

Insurance Surgery Opens For Holiday Park Operators

Feeling as passionately as he does on business insurance cover, Peter Heffer, of Lorica Insurance, believes it is time to provide the holiday park sector with greater clarity and certainty of cover.

A unique ‘insurance surgery’ is being created, in conjunction with Lorica Insurance Brokers, to allow park owners and operators the opportunity to have an expert on hand. The service will launch later this year and will be available to all park owners and operators regardless of whether they are members of any trade association(s).

With over a decade’s worth of sector experience, we asked Peter, Lorica Insurance Brokers’ director of holiday parks, to provide insight into policy exclusions park owners, operators and individual holiday home owners should be alert to when purchasing insurance:

• Anything containing the words ‘warranty’, ‘condition precedent’ or variants thereof

• Other conditions requiring the policyholder to do or not to do something

• Theft of property from the open

• Theft not involving forcible and violent entry to or exit from a building

• Water or frost damage during the winter

• Theft and malicious damage during sub-letting

• Business interruption unless specifically arranged

• Caravans and the like whilst in transit and during siting and un-siting

• Buildings constructed in non-standard materials

• Package travel regulations

Many, if not all, of these exclusions are negotiable in the current climate, yet despite this he continues to see a large amount of inferior insurance products in the marketplace. A simple case of ignorance and complacency over customer need and product evolution, advises Peter, who is available for no obligation advice during normal office hours.

Thumbs Up For Popular Show


Thumbs Up For Popular Show

Last month’s World of Park & Leisure Homes Show at Stoneleigh Park drew holiday park visitors from all over the UK to see the latest leisure lodges and park homes from leading manufacturers.

In addition to the 50 lodges and homes on display, visitors also enjoyed a showcase of American touring static homes along with a range of cutting edge products and services from all areas of the leisure and park home industry.

Jo Turner, the show’s organiser said: “We felt it was the best show to-date. We received hugely positive feedback from manufacturers, exhibitors and visitors alike, and it certainly reflected the current buoyant mood within the industry.

“Demand for stand spaces at next year’s show are already at record levels,” she added.

The show got off to a flying start with the introduction of an exclusive trade preview day, welcoming trade visitors from across the country. The general consensus among exhibitors and trade visitors was positive, with many appreciative of the extra day for informal business meetings and consultations.

“We took the decision to add the trade day, following feedback from previous shows,” said Jo. “It gave park owners and operators the opportunity to spend quality time viewing the homes and discussing their requirements with the manufacturers and other trade representatives, not forgetting the chance to simply catch up with old friends.”

Exhibitor Kelly Flynn of Nuvex Ltd commented: “The extra day really made a difference and it was great to see trade customers enjoying a day out with time to catch up on what’s happening in the industry.” She added: “It was encouraging to hear how the UK holiday parks and campsite operators are feeling positive and confident about the industry as a whole at the moment.”

To read more on the World of Park & Leisure Homes Show, please subscribe online.

Industry Praise For Landmark Project


The HPW Architects team picked up their award for the Jurassic Fun Centre at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park.

Industry Praise For Landmark Project

Architectural practice HPW has landed a prestigious award from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for a landmark project at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park in Burton Bradstock on the Dorset Coast.

The Hampshire-based firm won the tourism and leisure category at the RICS South West Awards for the 2,400sqm activity centre. The challenge was to create a structure that complemented the sensitive World Heritage Site location and delivered the owners’ requirement for all-weather facilities.

Incorporating many sustainable features including a ‘green’ roof, which uses native species of salt tolerant grasses and wildflowers, the sensitively designed building sits into, rather than on the landscape. The finished facility, the Jurassic Fun Centre, includes a children’s fun pool, swimming pool, sauna, steam room, spa, gymnasium, hair and beauty salon, bar and restaurant and a six-lane ten-pin bowling alley.

Park Resorts Launch Caravan Sales App


Park Resorts new caravan sales App is designed to make buying a caravan as simple as possible for prospective home owners.

Park Resorts Launch Caravan Sales App

Park Resorts has become the first UK holiday park operator to launch an App showcasing all of the current caravans, lodges and chalets for sale on its parks.

The free App is a one-stop shop for people looking to invest in a holiday home, as well as existing home owners.

Users can search for properties by location using a UK map, find parks closest to their current location, or search by model or price range. The App also allows prospective buyers to view details of the facilities at all of Park Resorts 38 parks as well as photo galleries of all of the caravans, lodges and chalets for sale. A useful finance calculator also helps them to work out costs and repayments.

Martin Abrams, head of digital at Park Resorts said: “We know that around a third of visits to the Park Resorts website are now made from tablets or mobile phones and we expect this number to further increase over the coming 12 months.

“Nowadays people want to easily access information when and where it suits them and often on the move. This new user-friendly App is designed to meet the growing demand for people browsing on these devices. This is just the first part of some big changes to our web and mobile offer this year and we’re excited at what lies ahead.”

The App was produced, built and tested by Park Resorts inhouse web team based at its Hemel Hempstead HQ. It is available to download for free from the App Store or Google Play.

Double Attraction For Windsor Event Date


Expected to attract in excess of 8,000, SALTEX 2014 takes place at Windsor Racecourse.

Double Attraction For Windsor Event Date

Offering a one stop shop for all aspects of ground care, amenities and green space management, SALTEX 2014 takes place at the Windsor Racecourse from Tuesday to Thursday September 2 to 4 inclusive.

Expected to attract in excess of 8,000 visitors from turf care and specialist machinery to landscaping and playgrounds, over 200 SALTEX exhibitors will take part.

Alongside SALTEX, the UK play industry will be showcasing the latest innovations in play equipment and safety surfacing at PlayFair 2014, which is co-located with SALTEX. The annual trade event is a must for all those involved in the procurement and maintenance of children’s play equipment and safety surfacing.

Both shows are free to attend, and visitors can register online in advance.

Tel. +44 (0)20 7973 6401

Pop Star Boosts Charity Coffee Morning


Abby Garner (far right) and members of the Bunn Leisure fundraising team with Billy Ocean.

Pop Star Boosts Charity Coffee Morning

Fundraisers who decided to hold a coffee morning to support a cancer charity, ended up raising £10,000 after it got Billy Ocean’s backing.

The group were surprised when the recording artist turned up at the event at Bunn Leisure Holiday Park in West Sussex. The friends had hoped to raise a few hundred pounds at most when they agreed to host a small event in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care.

But the fundraiser took on a life of its own after the group asked Bunn Leisure Holiday Park, where they all own caravans, whether they could use a few tables at one its entertainment venues to host the event. Staff at the park offered their support and helped spread the word among owners and holidaymakers. Then pop star Billy Ocean, who was performing at the park, lent his support by posing for photos and offering a signed shirt for auction.

Fundraiser Abby Garner, said: “I had a vision that we’d get maybe 30 or 40 people and raise a couple of hundred pounds. I thought if a few of us got together we could do our little bit.

“We had raised about £5,000 before the doors even opened thanks to the raffle tickets and sponsorship. And on the day we raised that much again. We were stunned that from such a small beginning we raised so much.”

John Bunn, managing director of Bunn Leisure Holiday Park, said: “Abby owns a caravan here on the park and is a regular visitor – and when she asked for help, we were all too pleased to do everything we could to help her raise money for this worthy cause.” He added: “I’m delighted the team have raised so much and pleased that we were able to support those who put so much energy and effort into this extraordinary fundraiser.”

Accolade For Outstanding Parks


The team from Seafield Caravan Park in Northumberland were presented with a gold award at the VisitEngland Awards of Excellence.

Accolade For Outstanding Parks

Holiday parks from across the country have been recognised in the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

The awards, which celebrate their silver jubilee this year, promote quality in England’s tourism industry and celebrate the very best the country has to offer.

Leading the pack was Seafield Caravan Park in Northumberland, which scooped the gold award in the Holiday Park of the Year category. Located in the small fishing village of Seahouses, the family-run park offers a mix of touring pitches and holiday lodges to hire or buy.

Allison Thompson of Seafield Caravan Park said she was delighted to win gold - the second time the site has landed the top prize. She added: “It is testament to the continued investment in the park and most importantly to the dedicated and motivated team at Seafield, who continually strive to not only maintain but to improve the customer experience.”

The silver award for Holiday Park of the Year went to Gwel an Mor Resort in Portreath, Cornwall. Leaplish Waterside Park at Kielder Water in Northumberland and Waldegraves and Cosways Family Holiday Parks in Essex were awarded joint bronze in the category, and Hoburne Bashley came highly commended.

VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford said: “The VisitEngland Awards celebrate the very best in the tourism industry. It is the highest accolade in English tourism and recognises the true champions of our industry, and the top quality visitor experiences we are fortunate to have on offer in England.”

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