Holiday Snaps: Claire Jeavons, Beverley Holidays
Claire Jeavons is the third generation of the Jeavons family who together run the award-winning Beverley Holidays and Whitehill Country Park, situated in the heart of the English Riviera. Claire is also chairman of the prestigious Best of British Holiday & Touring Parks Group, for which Beverley Holidays is a member, as well as being on the board of directors of the English Riviera Tourism Company.
How do you see the UK holiday industry at the moment?
The UK holiday industry is a hugely exciting area at the moment. We’re finding that more and more people are seeking a UK-based staycation over going abroad. Plus, here in the English Riviera, our famously mild micro-climate means visitors can still enjoy a sunny seaside holiday without the hassle of heading too far from home or flying overseas.
What are the main challenges facing the industry?
If the spate of storms we experienced last winter proved anything, it was how changeable the UK climate can be. However, the quick response we saw here in the South West to the damaged Dawlish railway line instilled a huge amount of confidence in the tourism community that we are more than capable to rising to any challenges that the weather might throw our way.
How have customer expectations changed during your time in the holiday business and how have you reacted to those demands?
Having welcomed visitors to the English Riviera for more than 56 years, our team has been given a fascinating insight into the increasing expectations of customers. As a business, we pride ourselves on constantly adapting and re-investing in our holiday parks to ensure we always stay at the forefront of the tourism scene.
If you had to identify one element, what is the most crucial aspect to the success of your business?
The secret to our long-standing success is undoubtedly down to the hard work and dedication of our teams, and also our ability to constantly adapt to changing customer needs. We have transformed ourselves from a small-scale site on farmland to a destination in its own right, offering a multitude of on-site facilities and modern holiday accommodation.
What has been your most interesting experience in the industry?
We have recently undergone a major re-branding initiative at Beverley Holidays, whereby we unified a number of our parks under the ‘Beverley Holidays’ banner. It was a fascinating experience as we have a passionate following of loyal customers who were understandably curious of the changes, but the end result has been hugely successful and well received by guests both old and new.
What does a typical day in the office for you entail?
My main role is running the marketing department and covering all areas from social media to advertising and public relations. There is always a marketing campaign on the go.
What is the best piece of business advice you have been given and by whom?
It’s a cliché but ‘put yourself in your customer’s shoes’. I’m a big traveller and I love to visit new places and experience new things, and this certainly helps when it comes to gaining new ideas to improve our guests’ holiday experience. I’m also constantly visiting other holiday parks in the UK through by work as chairman of the Best of British Holiday and Touring Parks group, which gives me a rare insight through the eyes of a customer.
Where do you go on holiday?
I tend to stay in all sorts of different accommodation styles from camping huts to luxury villas. There’s so much to see and experience both in the UK and worldwide, and my aim is to see it all!