Spotlight On Highlands

Scotland’s tourism minister Fergus Ewing (left) is pictured with David Key, Parkdean Holidays’ regional director for Scotland.

Scotland’s tourism minister Fergus Ewing (left) is pictured with David Key, Parkdean Holidays’ regional director for Scotland.

Spotlight On Highlands

Scotland’s tourism minister, Fergus Ewing shone a spotlight on Nairn Lochloy Holiday Park near Inverness during Scottish Tourism Week.

The minister joined local councillors on the park, which is owned by Parkdean Holidays, during the week-long tourism celebration which took place in the first week of March. Fergus Ewing and the local councillors met managers and staff at the park during the visit, and were given a tour of the many facilities.

David Key, Parkdean Holidays’ regional director for Scotland and general manager at Nairn Lochloy, said: “It’s great that Fergus and local politicians came to see why thousands of visitors choose Nairn Lochloy each year. “The park brings a lot to the local community and the Scottish tourism industry. We employ twelve permanent members of staff, and up to fifty during peak season, making this a key employer in the area.”

Fergus Ewing commented: “I welcome the opportunity to visit this impressive holiday home and caravan park. The holiday home and caravan park sectors are playing their part, in not only providing good quality accommodation for all types of visitors, but also helping to sustain employment in some of our most remote and rural areas.”

Hospitality Most Sociable Industry

Those working in the hospitality industry are the most likely to socialise and find life-long friends with people they’ve met through their jobs.

Those working in the hospitality industry are the most likely to socialise and find life-long friends with people they’ve met through their jobs.

Hospitality Most Sociable Industry

The hospitality industry has been revealed as one of the most sociable sectors to work in with almost half of those surveyed stating that they see colleagues socially at least once a month.

According to the study of 2,792 full-time workers in the UK, those working in hospitality, construction and retail are the most likely to socialise and find life-long friends with individuals they’ve met through their jobs.

Respondents were initially asked if they considered themselves a sociable person whilst at work, with the vast majority (73 per cent) agreeing. Of these participants, 49 per cent stated that they indulge in nights out or social activities with their colleagues at least once a month, with a further 13 per cent admitting their answer was closer to once a week.

Lyndon Wood, CEO and creator of www. constructaquote.com which carried out the survey said: “Considering the fact that we spend more time with our co-workers than our partners, family members or children, it seems pretty crucial that there are individuals within a workplace that we can identify, socialise and become good friends with.

“Not only will having strong friendships within the workplace help ease any stress or pressure that might come alongside the job, they are no doubt key in ensuring high rates of staff retention."

Bunn Leisure Announces Record Year

Bunn Leisure is celebrating its record-breaking 2014 results, which saw an increase in bookings, sales and turnover.

Bunn Leisure is celebrating its record-breaking 2014 results, which saw an increase in bookings, sales and turnover.

Bunn Leisure Announces Record Year

South coast holiday park Bunn Leisure has announced a record breaking year in 2014, with holiday bookings, turnover and caravan sales all reaching a new high.

The park in Selsey, West Sussex, benefited from last year’s sweltering summer and extended months of opening to post its best ever set of results. The park sold a record 420 caravans with sales up 12 per cent on the previous year. Turnover from bookings at Bunn Leisure and its sister campsite Warner Farm rose significantly, as did income from retail sales and site fees.

The company was also recognised by its industry peers with an award for 20 years of partnership from Hoseasons, a Hoseasons Diamond Award for customer service and a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

John Bunn, managing director of Bunn Leisure said: “Our mission is to provide our owners and guests with a fantastic, fun and safe place to enjoy the traditional British holiday and our aim is to always exceed our customers’ expectations.

“Our success in 2014 shows we are getting the formula right – and we are continuing to invest in Bunn Leisure to grow this successful park where people love to holiday and our staff love to work.”

Park And Leisure Show Hots Up

The World of Park & Leisure Homes Show returns to Stoneleigh Park from 11th – 14th June, offering free entry and free parking.

The World of Park & Leisure Homes Show returns to Stoneleigh Park from 11th – 14th June, offering free entry and free parking.

Park And Leisure Show Hots Up

The UK’s biggest show for leisure lodges and residential park homes will return once again to the grounds of Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire in June.

The World of Park & Leisure Homes Show 2015 is your chance to view over 50 show homes including the launch of several new lodges and homes from the country’s leading manufacturers. Pathfinder Homes will be showcasing their Keepers Lodge, which launched earlier this year and Omar Park & Leisure Homes will be exhibiting a selection of their bestselling homes including the Heritage, the Colorado and the Accent on stand M11. There will also be homes and lodges to view from The Dream Lodge Group, Willerby Holiday Homes and Stately Albion to name a few.

In addition to the display of homes, a host of suppliers will be exhibiting related products and services including decking, coatings, hot tubs, insurance, refurbishment and garages. Be sure to make a beeline for the Quick Move Properties stand – the UK’s largest property part exchange company – where the team of experts will be on hand to offer advice on all aspects of part exchange.

If its spas and hot tubs that you’re interested in, stop by the Superior Spas stand to learn more about their full range of wellness products including spas, steam rooms, saunas and hot tubs. You may also benefit from speaking to the Spaeuro team who can advise on spa filters, parts and accessories.

Show organiser Jo Turner comments: “Our experience shows that 95 per cent of our visitors want to meet owners and operators face to face so they can truly discover what’s on offer.” She adds: “Following its tremendously successful introduction last year, the Trade Preview Day allows park owners, site managers and others working within the industry to come along and view the homes, chat with manufacturers, discover new models and discuss the latest issues and developments.”

The Trade Preview Day is Thursday 11th June and the show will be open to the public Friday 12th – Sunday 14th June. Entry and parking are free and each visitor receives a complimentary show guide.

Keep up to date with the latest show news by visiting www. parkhomeandleisure.co.uk

Exceeding Expectations

Carmenta offers the ideal solution for bespoke projects – both indoors and out.

Carmenta offers the ideal solution for bespoke projects – both indoors and out.

Exceeding Expectations

They say the trick to full occupancy in the holiday business, is knowing what the punters want…even before they do! Case in point – holiday spas and hot tubs. Once considered an unnecessary nuisance – these days, switched on marketeers, vow the addition of a hot tub will increase the likelihood of an on-line booking by 70 per cent.

Where spas and hot tubs lead, wellness now follows whetting an appetite for sauna, steam, experience showers and a host of relaxation treatments. Leading UK suppliers, Anapos, report a sharp spike in wellness project enquiries in the past nine months. “The increase in interest in the home wellness market puts more pressure, in turn, on commercial venues to constantly raise the bar but they will always look at return compared with investment.

Martyn Wood, national sales director at Anapos Thermal Spa Equipment advises holiday park operators to think carefully about the target audience of their spa offering and recommends providing a bolt-on children’s area, to keep the kids entertained while the adults enjoy the spa. “A good spa facility will attract customers from far afield, so it’s worth investing to put your spa ahead of others in the area.

“The appeal of a spa is the peace and quiet, so keeping to an ‘adults only’ policy is advisable. However, on a holiday park the majority of guests will more than likely be staying with children, so I would suggest offering a children’s play area or club to keep the children amused while the adults enjoy the spa facilities.”

Holiday parks can also benefit from opening the spa up to non-residents. Offering spa day packages and spa weekend breaks can be real money spinners if charged at premium spa prices. For those that are looking to expand their spa offering, or to add a new spa, Martyn suggests offering a selection of elements that will make your spa stand out from the crowd: “As a starting point, a basic spa should ideally include a hydro pool, a minimum of three thermal cabins, around four to six treatment rooms and a nice relaxation area is a must.

To read more on this story, please subscribe online.

Carry On Glamping

Bespoke yurts from Hearthworks can be customised to suit specific size and layout requirements and optional extras such as wood burning stoves can be included.

Bespoke yurts from Hearthworks can be customised to suit specific size and layout requirements and optional extras such as wood burning stoves can be included.

Carry On Glamping

Over the past few years we have seen a huge explosion in the popularity of glamping with all manner of yurts, shepherd huts, safari tents and camping pods popping up in quiet corners of the countryside.

Farmers and landowners have been quick to cash in on the potential for diversification as an additional income stream by investing in units on their land. The obvious appeal for holidaymakers is that they can experience the great outdoors, while enjoying the luxury of a boutique hotel, coupled with rustic country charm. The UK festival scene has been one of the main pioneers in organising luxury temporary accommodation for those who aren’t so keen on the mud and the rise of the staycation has also helped push glamping to the forefront.

Now holidaymakers can stay in a huge range of unusual accommodation and it’s this variety, uniqueness and creativity that has a strong appeal to the discerning traveller who wants to holiday somewhere where that will be a real talking point.

Rivendale in the Peak District is one of the many businesses in the UK that has successfully branched into the camping and glamping market. The owners of Rivendale wanted to offer glamping accommodation to increase occupancy in the winter months. Owner Greg Potter comments: “We are one of the few parks in the Peak District National Park that is able to operate 11 months of the year. We know people want to take short breaks in the winter, just not in a tent, that’s why we became interested in glamping. We knew this was the best way of increasing our winter occupancy and appealing to a wider group of people.”

Camping Cabins supplied a 17m2 cabin for Rivendale in April 2014. Constructed from sustainable redwood pine, the cabin has two side room extensions with two sets of bunk beds and a table and seating area. Since then, Rivendale has taken delivery of a 10m2 cabin that is used as a treatment room for the on-site spa and they have placed a further order for a 14m2 Camping Cabin to replace one of their existing canvas yurts.

Greg adds: “The first Camping Cabin was a direct investment for the business. It is achieving around 50 per cent occupancy and with the costs of the fit out we envisage that the cabin will pay back in 16–18 months."

To read more on this story, please subscribe online.

Parks Find Winning Ways

All the 2015 AA Caravan and Camping Awards winners were recognised for their achievements at the lunch held at the Aztec Hotel in Bristol.

All the 2015 AA Caravan and Camping Awards winners were recognised for their achievements at the lunch held at the Aztec Hotel in Bristol.

Parks Find Winning Ways

The 2015 season has got off to a flying start for eleven of the UK’s top campsites after they were recognised at the recent AA Caravan and Camping Awards 2015.

Oakdown Touring and Holiday Park in Sidmouth, Devon was named the winner of the AA Campsite of the Year for England and the overall winner for 2015, while Witches Craig Caravan and Camping Park in Stirling and Bron Derw Touring Caravan Park in Conwy were named Campsite of the Year Scotland and Wales respectively.

Alistair Franks of Oakdown Touring and Holiday Park said: “We are all absolutely delighted with our award. We are continually investing in Oakdown to improve our facilities across the board to make our guests as comfortable as possible and we are thrilled that the commitment shown by us and our staff has been recognised by the judges of this prestigious awards scheme.”

The annual AA Caravan and Camping Awards recognise the best of the best when it comes to the nation’s caravan and camping sites. The winners are selected by the AA’s team of expert inspectors who travel the length and breadth of the country to ensure that campers can be confident of high standards wherever they see the AA Pennants at a campsite.

David Hancock, co-ordinator of the AA Caravan and Camping Scheme commented: “Today’s campers expect so much more than previous generations. Just because we’re away from home doesn’t mean we don’t want home comforts like privacy, clean and warm bathrooms and good access to the internet.”

David added: “Customer care is one thing that all our award winners have paid attention to. How well guests are looked after from the moment they arrive can make or break any holiday.

“Location also plays a significant part – the park must be in a place people want to visit and improvements to facilities can also score highly, especially if they have enhanced that all-important customer experience.”

All the 2015 award winners were recognised for their achievements at the lunch held at the Aztec Hotel in Bristol. The awards lunch also marked the official launch of the 47th AA Caravan and Camping Guide, which has details of over 900 fully inspected and independently graded camping parks across the UK.

 

 

Urban Cedar Launches First Lodge

The new Urban Cedar home adds a new dimension to Urban Cedar’s already extensive product range of high quality hot tubs.

The new Urban Cedar home adds a new dimension to Urban
Cedar’s already extensive product range of high quality hot tubs.

Urban Cedar Launches First Lodge

Hot tub specialists Urban Cedar have branched into the holiday lodge market with the launch of their brand new holiday home lodge. The luxury Urban Cedar Home features a contemporary design, cedar galley style kitchen, solid oak flooring and Bosch appliances.

The first lodge is sited at The Retreats, a brand new development of just 25 lodges located at Padstow Holiday Park in Cornwall. The 40 x 12ft lodge is finished with galvanised steel and cedar decking and steel gabions filled with local Cornish stone.

Antony Perry, managing director at Bristol-based Urban Cedar explains: “A key feature we wanted to create within the lodge design was space. When the master bedroom door is open you can see from one end of the lodge to the other.

“We also decided to locate the French doors on the side so to make a clearly defined lounge area.”

The lodge design can be adapted to suit all size requirements and bespoke features can also be added.

Antony adds: “We’re excited to be launching our Urban Cedar Home which will add a new dimension to our already extensive product range of high quality cedar hot tubs. “Looking ahead, we would like to grow this side of the business by buying and redeveloping old caravan sites.”

Urban Cedar
Tel. +44 (0)1934 833 844
www.urbancedarhome.co.uk

 

Playground Upgrades

RSS Playground Inspection and Maintenance recently completed a substantial refurbishment of a 7-tower HAGS SMP play unit at Sundown Adventureland.

RSS Playground Inspection and Maintenance recently
completed a substantial refurbishment of a 7-tower HAGS SMP play unit at Sundown Adventureland.

Playground Upgrades

The outdoor play area at Sundown Adventureland in Nottinghamshire has recently been transformed into a state-of-the- art play zone, with help from RSS Playground Inspection and Maintenance.

An independent inspection of the play unit identified significant timber decay, leaking from roofs and rusting of metal components. The park’s owners faced an estimated replacement cost of £200,000, but RSS stepped to provide a more cost effective solution.

RSS undertook a full site survey identifying all the defective items and proposed a full refurbishment. The fixed price for the complete refurbishment totalled £76,000, a little over a third of the cost of a replacement unit and took around four months to complete.

Subscribe online to receive regular updates

 

Guests Do Donkey Work

Carers at the Donkey Sanctuary adjacent to Oakdown Holiday Park near Sidmouth are ready to welcome park guests for a VIP donkey experience.

Carers at the Donkey Sanctuary adjacent
to Oakdown Holiday Park near Sidmouth are ready to welcome park guests for a VIP donkey experience.

Guests Do Donkey Work

Guests staying at a top East Devon holiday park can this year enjoy a VIP donkey experience to raise much-needed funds for a local sanctuary.

Oakdown Holiday Park in Weston is offering holidaymakers a behind-the-scenes introduction to the world of Britain’s largest equine charity. The Donkey Sanctuary, adjacent to the park, provides care for around 500 donkeys – many of which have been neglected, overworked or abandoned.

In conjunction with the park, small groups will spend a hands-on morning helping the sanctuary team with a variety of tasks including grooming, walking, feeding and petting. The VIP package, priced at £38.00 per person, also includes a slap-up farmhouse cooked breakfast with a special gift for younger donkey devotees.

Park owner Alastair Franks said: “Donkeys and mules are hardworking animals, and can also be very affectionate – but sadly, they are sometimes the victims of neglect and cruelty.

“But these animals, as our visitors will see, are now leading happy and fulfilled lives in the care of dedicated volunteers who provide all the treatment and attention they need. “For children especially, this will prove a real eye-opener of a morning!” added Alastair.