Holiday Rental Market Worth £4.5 Billion


The holiday rental market is also responsible for creating 95,000 jobs nationwide. Pic: VisitBritain/Martin Brent

Holiday Rental Market Worth £4.5 Billion

The total spend by holiday rental clients in the UK is a staggering £4.53 billion per year, according to a new study into the economic impact of the sector. The rental market is also responsible for creating over 95,000 jobs nationwide.

Additionally, expenditure by tourists staying in selfcatering accommodation grew faster than expenditure by tourists booking any other accommodation. The first of its kind, the study was carried out by HomeAway, a worldwide marketplace for family accommodation, in conjunction with the London School of Economics (LSE).

Commenting on the findings, Kath Scanlon, research fellow at LSE said: “This report suggests that the holiday rental industry contributes to the UK economy by increasing tourism income and creating jobs. These effects are felt in regions across the country.

“Holiday rental visitors stay longer at their destinations and therefore spend more - in fact, many visit rural or seaside areas specifically to stay in attractive holiday rental properties. This has helped areas like Cornwall where tourism has pumped new pounds into previously struggling locales.”

Unique to the report is its analysis of key domestic destinations across the UK, specifically North Yorkshire, Cornwall and London. In terms of employment support, over three quarters of rental property owners employ staff to assist with maintenance. Nationally, owners spend an average of £1,600 per year per property on hiring employees. In Cornwall and North Yorkshire – two locations with underemployment issues – the figures are even higher. In these areas owners spend on average £2,500 and £3,000 on employment respectively per property.

Erica Chang, UK regional director of HomeAway adds: “This report is the first step in showing the significant value that the holiday rental market brings to the economy as a whole, as well as to individual communities which depend on tourism.

“While we have known how important holiday rentals are to the tourism industry, we are excited to be able to demonstrate this through figures that contribute to employment.”

Lifestyle Living Group On The Up


Lifestyle Living Group owns eight parks across England, including Carlton Meres Country Park in Suffolk.

Lifestyle Living Group On The Up

Luxury residential and holiday park operator Lifestyle Living Group has announced a rise in retained profits of £1.2m. The figures are the first to be released by the group since it announced a £20m acquisition of the parks in June last year.

The family run company, which has its headquarters in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, reports profits are up from £0.42m to £1.64m, with tangible assets standing at £27.6m, up from £19m.

Ryan Neill, owner of Lifestyle Living Group said: “We are delighted to have received this set of results. Despite tough trading conditions the business continues to thrive. Our product is a strong one and should continue to defy the economic gloom as we improve in the years ahead.”

Eight residential and holiday parks throughout England are at the heart of the company’s offering, including Carlton Meres Country Park, Haveringland Hall Country Park, Redhill Country Park, the Flagship Country Park, Uphill Park, Lakeland View, Carlton Manor Park and Silecroft Holiday Park.

Since taking over a selection of parks around the UK, Lifestyle Living Group has put in place a £10million investment plan to be rolled out over the next three years. This fund will include substantial upgrades to existing park facilities.

Managing director, David Macdonald added: “With property prices looking set to continue rising for the foreseeable future, prefabricated homes are increasingly establishing themselves as viable alternatives for homebuyers in specific markets, such as retirees.

“Pre-fabricated builds will continue to grow in popularity as they can be delivered in a more favourable time frame in comparison to standard building methods, helping to satisfy the growing national demand for immediate housing. People will continue to spend as long as they realise value from their outlay.”

Coastal Retreat

Coastal Retreat


Seafield currently boasts 380 privately owned caravan pitches, with a further 30 due to be added for the start of the 2015 season.

Located adjacent to the picture-postcard village of Seahouses on the Northumberland coast, Seafield Caravan Park offers its guests the ultimate peaceful getaway.

The park boasts a string of accolades, including a gold David Bellamy Conservation award and a gold Enjoy England award. Most recently, Seafield was named as VisitEngland’s Holiday Village of the Year 2014 and also took gold in the North East Tourism Awards for the seventh consecutive year.

“The peace and tranquility of the park is one of its greatest attractions, which is why we have resisted any temptation to build bars or evening entertainment centres on site,” explains Alison Thompson, park manager.

“By far the most critical aspect to the success of the business is the team of people that work on the park, who constantly deliver exceptional customer service which in turn encourages our customers to return year after year.”


Alison Thompson, second from right, and the Seafield Caravan Park team took gold at VisitEngland Awards for Excellence last year.

Seafield is managed by Alison’s father, Ken Britton, along with several other members of the family who are involved in managing the daily running of the business. Part owned by the Britton family, and partly by the Earl of Moray, the park was established in 1960 as a small caravan site. By 1979, it had expanded to include 200 pitches, plus utilities and touring pitches. In 2001, 200 further pitches were added, followed by the construction of a £2.5 million private leisure club, The Ocean Club, consisting of a 20m indoor swimming pool, a separate children’s pool, gymnasium and spa area.

“Our mission statement of going far beyond expectations is achieved by giving a five star service in every aspect of our business. Attention to detail is of the utmost importance leaving no stone unturned however trivial it might be,” says Alison.

“Perhaps one of our biggest challenges is to always be one step ahead and thinking of ways to continually improve the facilities and service we offer to our guests.”

The majority of caravans on the site are privately owned, but the park also hires lodges, apartments and touring pitches. During the peak season, Seafield operates at an average occupancy rate of 92 per cent across its caravans and chalet lettings, of which 62 per cent are repeat bookings.

Alison comments: “Our typical customer base includes families with young children, activity groups such as golfers and walkers, plus over 50’s looking to rest and relax. We liaise with tourism partners to identify our target market and work closely with them as well as other tourism businesses in the community to conduct marketing and promotional campaigns to attract new and existing customers to stay with us.”


Trethem Mill Celebrates A Golden Year

Trethem Mill Celebrates A Golden Year


The 2015 bar has been set high for Trethem Mill Touring Park after winning three separate gold awards last year.

Trethem Mill Touring Park is celebrating a highly successful year after completing a hat-trick of gold accolades.

Most recently, the Cornish park received the overall Camping and Caravanning Park of the Year title at the Cornwall Tourism Awards in November – the eighth occasion in the 13 years of the event that Trethem Mill has taken a gold award.

Last spring, the park was one of just a handful of caravan and camping parks in the UK chosen to receive the prestigious gold award given out by VisitEngland to its highest rated parks. Then, in autumn, botanist David Bellamy announced Trethem Mill as a winner of his Conservation Award at its top gold level.

Park owner Jane Akeroyd said that 2014 had been a whirlwind of a year for the park, both in terms of visitor numbers and the awards it has received: “By far the majority of our guests are now either repeat visitors, or people coming as a result of a recommendation, which helps create a lovely atmosphere on the park.

“Our latest Cornwall Tourism award is especially pleasing as it judges not just the quality of the park, but also the welcome and hospitality which is shown to holidaymakers.”

Jane added: “The bar has now been set pretty high for 2015, but we are determined to carry on simply making Trethem Mill the type of park to which everyone wants to return”.

Exhibition Season Gets Underway

Exhibition Season Gets Underway


Tickets are on sale now for the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show, taking place from 17th – 22nd February 2015 at the NEC in Birmingham.

Thousands will be heading to the NEC in Birmingham in February, as the 2015 exhibition season gets underway with the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show.

Taking place from 17th – 22nd February, the show welcomes over 350 exhibitors offering the latest in caravans, motorhomes, campervans, tents, holiday homes and lodges, campsites, awnings and porches, all under one roof.

Organised by NCC Events, a wholly owned subsidiary of industry trade body the National Caravan Council, and supported by The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club the show is the best place to see what is in store for the 2015 holiday season.

This year’s show will also feature a host of well-known personalities with a love of the great outdoors, including TV’s wilderness bushcraft expert Ray Mears and Olympic champion Sally Gunnell. Both will speak about their passions and undertake audience Q&A’s in the Experts’ Theatre.

NCC Events managing director Andrew Whalley said: “If anyone wants to find out more about holidaying in the great outdoors with their family they need to come to the NEC in February.

“Not only do we have a huge array of products on show that facilitate adventure, we’ve got features and speakers that will also inspire visitors to go camping and caravanning in 2015.”

Advanced tickets start from £7, kids go free, and free parking is available.

Red Letter Year For Landmark Trust

Red Letter Year For Landmark Trust


2015 is a special year for the Landmark Trust, marking 50 years since it was founded.

The Landmark Trust is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, with a full programme of new projects and activities planned to mark the occasion.

Founded in 1965 with the simple aim of saving extraordinary buildings for future generations and allowing people to stay in them for holidays, the Landmark Trust is now a national heritage charity.

This year the Trust will complete the rescue of two more historic buildings; Belmont, a Grade II listed seaside villa in Lyme Regis, which will open for breaks for groups of eight people and St Edward’s Presbytery, a Grade I listed piece of Gothic revival landscape in Ramsgate. The Presbytery was on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk register but will be carefully restored by Landmark for self-catering holidays for up to four people. The Trust will also be running its ‘50 for Free’ scheme, offering 50 mid-week and weekend breaks free to charities and organisations in March.

Anna Keay, Landmark Trust’s director, said: “We are incredibly proud that over the last half century the Landmark Trust has been able to save some of Britain’s most precious places and given so many people so much joy.

“In fifty years, the Landmark Trust has rescued almost 200 buildings that would have otherwise been lost including castles, cottages, forts and temples.

“We want to celebrate our birthday by sharing these incredible buildings with everyone, and, we hope, to infect a new generation with the Landmark bug.”

In May, 25 Landmarks will open to the public as part of a special golden weekend. It is estimated that 95 per cent of the British population will be within 50 miles of free open days, when everybody will be able to see inside the properties and learn more about the history of the buildings and restorations.

Sad Farewell To Brian Potter MBE

Sad Farewell To Brian Potter MBE


Brian Potter proudly collecting his MBE at Buckingham Palace in 2012.

Tributes have been paid to Brian Potter MBE, whose customer service ethos ensured the successful growth of one of Norfolk’s largest holiday businesses.

Brian passed away peacefully in November aged 73. He is mourned by his family, the 550 current staff of Potters Resort and the many tens of thousands of guests who he personally welcomed over the years.

From an early age Brian learned the family business, Potters Resort in Hopton-on-sea, from the ground up; working pretty much every job one can think of in hospitality in order to understand exactly what goes in to making a guest’s holiday special. Holiday centres were in his blood and it was only fitting that his wife, Judy, with whom he recently celebrated his golden wedding anniversary, came from another pioneering family of the holiday centre industry at Seacroft, Hemsby.

Brian and Judy lived and worked together for fifty years, building a business that has gone from strength to strength. Brian turned Potters Resort into a year round holiday destination. He developed an out of season midweek business by focusing and investing in the sport of bowls, and filled the weekends with entertainment led short breaks, that anticipated the UK leisure industry’s shift from longer holidays towards short breaks. It was his foresight, determination and drive that ensured that not only did Potters survive as the last of the pioneering family owned resorts in the country, but thrived.

Under his stewardship, Potters achieved the highest five star designation from VisitEngland, a recognition that it enjoys to this day. It was the first UK Holiday Centre of the Year, and received numerous hotel, and leisure industry awards. Brian was immensely proud to have been recognised for his services to tourism, by being elevated to the rank of MBE in Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2012.

Among his many charitable endeavours he was vice president of the Gorleston Lifeboat Fundraising Committee, patron of the recently opened James Paget Hospice, a lifelong Rotarian and Lord’s Taverner.