Surge In Club Membership

Surge In Club Membership

Family campingThe Camping and Caravanning Club is celebrating record membership with nearly 600,000 individuals, or 281,674 households now being members of the Club.

The Club hit its previous membership peak in August 2011, shortly after the global recession when more Brits switched to camping and caravanning as an affordable and sociable staycation holiday option.

Robert Louden MBE, director general of The Camping and Caravanning Club, said: “In a time when some member organisations are experiencing a downturn in their membership numbers, we are extremely proud to announce our highest ever membership.”

 

It’s A Family Affair At Gwynedd

It’s A Family Affair At Gwynedd

Tywyn, 8 8 April 2016. . ©Jon FreemanGwynedd Holiday Home Park in Mid Wales is keeping it in the family as it’s new managers are announced. After more than a decade the park managers George and Menna Freeman have retired and handed over the reins to their son Jonathan and daughter-in-law Michaela.

Both Jonathan and Michaela have experience in park management, having previously run Green Meadow Holiday Home Park near Aberystwyth. Now, in addition to managing the 80 pitches at Gwynedd Holiday Home Park, the couple have also taken on 70 pitches at Glan-y-Don Holiday Home Park next door.

“When we were told that mum and dad were retiring a managers, we were given the opportunity to take over from them,” explained Jonathan. “We loved managing and developing Green Meadow where we made many friends, but the time was right for a new and bigger challenge.

“We are really looking forward to meeting all the holiday home owners on the parks now that the new season has arrived and there are exciting times ahead.”

Looking forward to a retirement cruise to the Norwegian Fiords this summer, George and Menna say they will still provide cover as relief managers for Salop Leisure in the future when needed.

“We thoroughly enjoyed our 10 years at Tywyn and made some very good friends on the park and in the local community,” said George, who still owns a caravan holiday home on Glan-y-Don Holiday Home Park.

“I am sure Jonathan and Michaela will do very well because they have had a good grounding at Green Meadow and know how to use new technology.”

Show Attendance Breaks Previous Records

Show Attendance Breaks Previous Records

A whopping 87,589 visitors attended the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show at the NEC in Birmingham in February

A whopping 87,589 visitors attended the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show at the NEC in Birmingham in February

The record-breaking success of the recent Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show reflects findings a boom in interest in caravan purchases.

The National Caravan Council (NCC) revealed that the sale and dispatch of new touring caravans, motorhomes and caravan holiday homes in the UK increased by 10.3 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014. The figures reinforce the growing British preference over the last few years to holidaying at home, with trips in Great Britain rising by seven per cent to 105 million last year, while overall spend on accommodation in the camping and caravanning sector has increased by seven per cent year on year - the largest increase across all accommodation types.

“The flexibility and freedom a leisure vehicle offers is fundamental to the growth of the industry,” commented John Lally, director general of the NCC.

“Families and people of all ages enjoy caravanning and motor-homing. “We’re also seeing increasing numbers of younger people choosing to holiday in the UK. With caravans and motorhomes equipped with all the latest technology and comforts, the industry provides the perfect solution for holidaymakers to enjoy a ‘home from home’ experience any time of the year.”

A record breaking number of visitors flocked to the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show in February, making it the most successful show in the event’s history.

A whopping 87,589 visitors attended the six-day show at the NEC in Birmingham, between in February. The Saturday was the busiest day, welcoming more than 26,050 visitors in the eight-hour window.

With over 350 exhibitors and a host of well-known personalities, the show provided the ideal platform for companies to showcase their latest products and innovations.

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Holiday Snaps with Olive Dunlop, Ballyness Caravan Park

Holiday Park Scene photoBallyness Caravan Park in Bushmills, Northern Ireland, opened in 2000 for touring caravans, motorhomes and caravan holiday homes. A family-run business, the park’s owners David and Olive Dunlop work full-time on the site. Olive runs the reception and shop and looks after the touring park while David concentrates on the general maintenance and caravan holiday homes.

How is 2016 shaping up for Ballyness Caravan Park?

With the phenomenal success of Game of Thrones and other locally produced films, Northern Ireland is starting to get the national and international recognition it deserves for its wonderful scenery and produce, and this is helping to drive not only international visitors but domestic visitors who did not realise what we have to offer.

If you had to identify one element, what is the most crucial aspect to the success of the park?

Standards. Whether it is in services provided, cleanliness of the park or paperwork for customers, we aim for the highest possible.

Who is the most important person in the business and why?

Some people would say the next customer, but I would say the last customer. If he leaves Ballyness happy having had a great holiday, he will come back and also tell his friends.

What challenges are currently facing the holiday park sector?

The uncertainty of the political future with the EU Referendum is probably one of the biggest unknowns facing the holiday park sector. We are governed by a raft of EU regulations and no one knows for certain what would happen if we were to leave Europe, or for that matter what would happen if we stay in under the new deal.

How have visitor expectations changed during your time in the holiday business?

We decided a few years ago to be much more customer focused and if there is a problem getting it fixed as soon as possible and keep them informed at all times. This not only repairs the relationship but our customers are amazed by the service they get.

Where do you see the park in 10 years’ time?

We would still like the business to be successful 10 years down the line, but we keep an eye on the short to medium term and are quick to react to any changes or ideas that come up.

What is the best piece of business advice you have been given and by whom?

“Do your own thing” advised a very good friend of mine. We were continually getting bogged down in petty rules and regulations and when we tried to keep everyone else happy, we found we were not progressing far. By doing our own thing, not only did we do it right, but better.

Where do you go on holiday?

Somewhere sunny and warm in December. We have four weeks off after working seven days a week for the rest of the year and at that time of year, we like to head to the sun.

Welcome Home

Welcome Home

Welcome Home image 1

All new homes on the Turners Parks Group sites are sold with a fully landscaped plot, shed and the majority also have block paved or tarmac driveway.

With 38 residential parks in attractive locations across the country, Turners Parks Group is one of the largest park home providers in the UK.

Founded in 2009, the Group has grown steadily and now owns parks from North Yorkshire to the Cornish Coast with a high concentration of 18 parks in the Heart of England in Cheltenham and the Cotswolds. The latest addition is Bittaford Word in Ivybridge, which has given the group a much needed presence in Devon.

“Our parks are for either the over 45’s or over 50’s age group depending on location. We try to appeal to a range of tastes and budgets by working with five of the main park home manufacturers and offering a variety of park home styles,” explains Rebecca Peachey of Turners Parks Group.

Fully Landscaped

“Where possible we also offer a mix of single and twin units as we appreciate a single person looking to move to our parks may want a smaller home.”

Across its 38 parks, Turners has 2,500 plots housing approximately 3,700 residents. All new homes on the Turners Parks Group sites are sold with a fully landscaped plot, shed, and the majority also have a block paved or tarmac driveway. Many of the homes are fully furnished down to the bed linen which means the residents can literally move straight in. Including part time on-site wardens who maintain the communal areas on the parks, Turners has 44 employees.

Turners Parks Group management team, accounts, and customer services departments are located in Newmarket, Suffolk, with regional area managers based around the UK.

Turners Parks Group

The management team, accounts, and customer services departments are located in Newmarket, Suffolk, with regional area managers based around the UK who are responsible for looking after each park. A dedicated aftersales coordinator forms the important link between resident and manufacturer and is also part of the package offered to all new residents.

Commenting on the challenges that are currently facing the park home industry, Rebecca reveals that unscrupulous park operators are the biggest issue: “The tighter regulations and powers given to Local Authorities are helping to weed out those that do not operate in the interests of their residents but sadly on occasions the press attention park homes receive due to a minority of operators can be detrimental to the industry.”

Flagship Park

Takeley Park near to Stansted Airport is Turners Parks Group’s flagship park. The parks warm and welcoming atmosphere is partly due to the very active Resident’s Association and the number of events they coordinate alongside the park manager Rebecca explains: “Takeley Park has recently been awarded Bronze David Bellamy Conservation Award due to the environmental work we have been trialling on the park – for example the introduction of bat boxes, bee hotels, wild flower planting and recycling schemes. We are aiming for a Silver award in 2016!”Welcome Home image 2

The next phase of development at Takeley Park is currently underway with a small cul-de-sac of eight plots. The group is also working on plans for Twinbrook Park in Falmouth - a former holiday park - which will see the whole park developed for residential homes, with work likely to start in the summer.
Turners will also be focussing heavily on improved customer service following a programme of research conducted last year. The group will aim to offer its residents a greater level of service when it comes to reporting any issues they may find in their home or park and have this month launched a new CRM system built with this in mind.
Turners Parks Group
Tel. 01638 722232
www.turnersparksgroup.com

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Holiday Hotspot

Holiday Hotspot

Park Holidays UK says the new properties at Landscove will be making one of Devon’s most famous holiday hot-spots far more accessible for home owners.

Park Holidays UK says the new properties at Landscove will be making one of Devon’s most famous holiday hot-spots far more accessible for home owners.

A new holiday home development has been officially opened at Landscove Holiday Park in Brixham, Devon.

Marketed as a breakthrough in affordable luxury living, the new village provides 47 top-spec caravan holiday homes. Also available are 13 architect designed, two or three bedroom lodges .

Park Holidays UK, operators of Landscove, says the properties will be making one of Devon’s most famous holiday hot-spots far more accessible.

Owners of the homes will also be able to take advantage of an extended 50- week season on the park. Torbay Council’s tourism and culture chief, Nicole Amil cut the tape on the new village in April which signalled the start of a two-day celebration event.

 

Dredging Debate

Dredging Debate

Pooley Bridge holiday park owner, Barbara Allen, has launched a parliamentary petition to try and force MPs to debate dredging

Pooley Bridge holiday park owner, Barbara Allen, has launched a parliamentary petition to try and force MPs to debate dredging.

Fears for the future of Cumbria’s tourism industry have prompted the owner of an award-winning Pooley Bridge holiday park to launch an online Parliamentary petition.

Barbara Allen, director of Park Foot Caravan and Camping Park, hopes to try and force a debate among MPs on the halt of river dredging in the UK. If her petition passes the 100,000 signature mark, it’s likely that the House of Commons will examine if blocked river beds are at the bottom of Cumbria’s flooding problems.

Park Foot is among many tourism businesses in the Lake District hit hard by December’s deluges.

“We’re busy ticking the EU’s box of not interfering with the flow of rivers in their beds, and ignoring the simple fact that rainwater comes from the sea and needs to flow back there,” said Barbara. “I hope we can achieve the signatures we need for a debate before the referendum in June as we are unable to reverse this directive whilst we remain members of the EU.”

 

Bare Essentials

Bare Essentials

Green Hill Farm Holiday Park in the New Forest is officially the best place to ‘go’ in Britain, according to judges of the annual Loo of the Year awards. The business was recently named as the overall 2016 Loo of the Year winner in the holiday parks category of the competition, beating more than 3,000 other UK parks to the title.

woodhill park 357 (2)

Pic: Woodhill Park

The prestigious accolade was awarded to the family-run park after its washroom facilities were mystery shopped by inspectors. The spacious new washroom facilities at the park include large showers and drying areas, private vanity cubicles, a family bathroom, hairdryers, underfloor heating, and full access for people with limited mobility.

Celebrating the news of the award are husband-and-wife team Lorna and Graham Lee who, with their two young daughters, acquired the park seven years ago.

According to Lorna, the washroom building simply mirrors what the park itself aspires to: “Green Hill has a very special appeal to people who enjoy away-from-it-all holidays in gorgeous surroundings, and we’ve tried to provide the perfect backdrop for that.” she said.

“Our family feels very privileged to be able to live and work in the beautiful part of the New Forest, and it’s great to have our efforts acknowledged with an award like this,” added Lorna.

Clean washroom facilities, like those at Green Hill Farm, are the bare minimum a guest will expect while on holiday. In an increasingly competitive market, it is more important than ever that holiday parks offer a certain level of comfort and luxury in terms of washroom provisions for their guests, to ensure a positive and lasting impression.

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Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect

Pengion poo pegs and Glamping Tent Chessington Frank PR

Zoos and holiday parks have realised glamping opportunities Pic: Albion Canvas By Boldscan

For those that have branched into the glamping market, well invested! The glamping business is booming – and it shows no signs of slowing down.

“Glamping seems to be the gift that keeps giving,” declares Tobyn Cleeves of Bell Tent UK.

“It will continue to become more popular as it is a wonderful way of having a great UK based family holiday.”

Bell Tent UK has been at the forefront of the glamping scene for over a decade. Established in 2006, the company has grown to incorporate all aspects of glamping equipment including tents and camping accessories not found on the High Street. Also in the portfolio is Hotel Bell Tent, which provides boutique accommodation for festivals, sporting and private events, and even won the 2015 Festival Awards Best Temporary Structure Award.

Business is booming in the glamping market – and it shows no sign of slowing down. Pic: Bell Tent UK.

 

“Glamping started out at private parties and festivals and soon filtered through to the mainstream,” Tobyn explains. “We are approached more and more by park owners looking to diversify into glamping - one of the major benefits is the fact that it often attracts a different demographic who would not normally consider staying at a park and are often prepared to pay a premium for a beautiful spot,” he adds.

Bell Tent UK specialises in high quality unbleached cotton canvas tents, ranging in diameter from 3m to 6m. New for 2016 is the launch of a new size bell tent, known as the ‘In- Betweener’. At 4.5m in diameter, the tent is a half-way house between the original 4m bell tent and the large best-selling 5m diameter bell tent.

“It’s important to remember you are buying a tent, not a permanent structure and you might consider putting it away when not in use to extend its life span,” says Tobyn.

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Heroes Fund Gets A Boost

Heroes Fund Gets A Boost

Help for Heroes pic

Over £6,000 was raised for Help for Heroes by the team at Hendra Holiday Park

Guests and staff at Hendra Holiday Park in Cornwall have raised a £6,300 for the charity Help for Heroes throughout a year of fundraising in 2015.

Help for Heroes was named as Hendra’s adopted charity for the year at the start of last season, and donations came via a raft of initiatives by the park and its staff.

Hendra Holiday Park director Janine Hyatt said: “We would like to thank all those who contributed to Hendra’s fundraising effort, especially our holiday guests whose donations make a big difference.

“Even in difficult times, many people are happy to put their hands in their pockets for a good cause, and we’re delighted to be able to provide these much-needed funds for Help for Heroes,” said Janine.