Holiday Snaps- Josh Donald Managing Director of South West Holiday Parks
How is 2017 shaping up for your parks? We are very excited about the 2017 season and feel that the staycation will be stronger than ever with more and more families choosing to holiday in the beautiful South West. Demand is already up on last year for camping, holiday lodges and private lodge ownership.
What challenges are currently facing the holiday park sector? Not just meeting, but exceeding, our customers’ expectations is our greatest challenge. We strive to offer the very best in accommodation, facilities and service and the expectations of our customers are rising at the fastest rate I have ever seen.
How have visitor expectations changed during your time in the holiday business and how have you reacted to those demands? Our customers will not accept poor service or accommodation and they are right. We are constantly re-investing to ensure that we keep ahead of our competition. Customer retention is very important to us and proves that we are getting it right.
If you had to identify one element, what is the most crucial aspect to the success of the park? Our team. Everyone plays their role to ensure the smooth running of the business and we work hard to ensure we pull together and deliver the best parks we can for guests.
Who is the most important person in the business and why? We believe that our customers are the most important people. They are the reason we are in business and what we offer them really matters.
What has been your most interesting experience in the industry? Developing Coast View, Shaldon and taking it from a run-down out-dated holiday camp to a dynamic five star holiday park. We are not finished yet and there is still much to do but the transformation has been incredible and very rewarding to see.
What is the best piece of business advice you have been given and by whom? My father once told me ‘customer first or you’ll have no customers’ and this has stuck with me ever since, and works because it is so true.
Where do you see yourself and the company in ten years’ time? Still growing, developing and learning I hope. Perhaps with several more parks to add to the SWHP brand but without forgetting that we never wanted to be the biggest; just the best.
Where do you go on holiday? We appreciate how lucky we are to live in Devon but we do spend a lot of time with family and friends on the Isle of Wight. We also love Cornwall, France and Italy but never get to go as often as I would like.