Holiday Snaps: Jon Hyatt, Hendra Holiday Park
Jon Hyatt is the director at Hendra Holiday Park in Newquay and the third generation of the family owned and operated business. Over the last 42 years Hendra has developed its 80 acre park with award-winning facilities and now has over 300 holiday homes with 500 touring, camping and motorhome pitches.
How do you see the UK holiday industry at the moment?
The industry broadly appears to be a lot more positive than at any other time over the last four or five years, no doubt aided by a prolonged period of fine weather this summer and an ever strong ‘buy British’ brand, which together are building confidence for the 2015 season.
What are the main challenges facing the industry?
The poor weather of recent years has knocked consumer confidence in UK holidays, which may take a long time to recover. But perhaps even more significant is the economic uncertainty that much of the UK population is living with - how much will the average family have to spend, or save for a holiday after the bills are paid and how much is this disposable income likely to be squeezed over the next 12 months? In short, how can we give potential guests the confidence to book UK holidays in advance and not just wait for last minute budget deals?
How have customer expectations changed during your time in the holiday business and how have you reacted to those demands?
Even in my relatively short time at Hendra, we have been attracting an ever wide range of holidaymakers to the park, so we have an ever increasing range of expectations to deal with. From the weekend group surf-breaks to the three-week extended family summer holiday we, in true family business style, strive to be honest in our offerings from the start and concentrate on exceeding expectations through fantastic customer service to deliver memorable holidays.
If you had to identify one element, what is the most crucial aspect to the success of your business?
The continual and substantial investment in our business year on year has been absolutely key to Hendra’s ongoing success over the years. Whether in renewing our holiday home fleet on a rolling six-year basis, adding new customer facilities or in securing our energy security with renewable technologies, we have always taken a long term view on investment over short term gain.
What has been your most interesting experience in the industry?
Personally I have thoroughly enjoyed helping to develop our environmental business strategy; with our business occupying 140 acres and accommodating up to 4,000 guests a night, reducing our impact on the environment and our dependence on fossil fuels has not only been vital to our sustainability but also very rewarding for all involved. It is another example of our long term view to business and investment, but also recognising that the surrounding environment is our key offering to guests at Hendra.
Where do you go on holiday?
Before joining Hendra full time I spent time travelling around Australia and New Zealand with my wife, I was shocked by how many of the local people we met had seen more of the UK than we had, so we often plan trips around the UK now.