Contacts | Call +44 (0)1353 666663

header-latest-news

ARGYLL HOLIDAYS JOIN COVE UK

ALLAN CAMPBELL (Argyll), Mark Seaton (Cove UK), Keith Campbell (Argyll) pictured at Loch Lomond Holiday Park.

One of Scotland’s leading holiday brands has been sold to international resort operator Cove Communities. Argyll Holidays, which owns eight holiday parks across Argyll and Bute, will be the fifth acquisition by Cove Communities under Mark Seaton as Managing Director of Cove UK.

Cove Communities is continuing its UK expansion following its first purchase which was the Bunn Leisure Family Resort, a 300 acre site in Selsey, West Sussex, now marketed as Seal Bay Resort. Cove also recently bought Medmerry Park, near Chichester which adds to its previous acquisitions of Gwel an Mor in Cornwall and Kings Park in Essex. Owned by the Campbell family who started out as sheep farmers, Argyll was established in 1967 with the development of its flagship park, Drimsynie Estate. Since then, it has grown to a group of eight holiday parks in and around the breathtaking Loch Lomond and Trossachs region of Scotland, just an hour’s drive north of Glasgow.

Keith Campbell, Director of Argyll Holidays, said: “Whilst we have been approached over the years by different buyers, Cove was the first company that we felt understood what we stand for and could continue what we started.” Cove UK is intent on building on Argyll Holidays strong reputation and commitment to serving its owners, guests and the local community for years to come. Cove UK has a pledge to source at least 20% of produce locally, build local partnerships and actively engage in local community initiatives. Cove UK’s Go Wild outdoor activities and environmental education programme is already flourishing at its other Parks including Seal Bay Resort (formerly Bunn Leisure) in West Sussex and Gwel an Mor in Cornwall.

Mark Seaton, Cove UK Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to add Argyll to our portfolio and will continue the exceptional work that the Campbell family has started. “Most importantly we will grow and develop the vision of Argyll under Cove, through sustainable business practices, a commitment to environmental conservation and investment in people and the local community.”

PARKDEAN CONFIRMS £144M INVESTMENT


The UK’s largest holiday park operator, Parkdean Resorts, has confirmed £140 million is being spent nationwide at its parks as part of its biggest ever investment programme. The investment will go towards new accommodation, new and upgraded activities and facilities, and installing park-wide Wi-Fi capability, which will further improve the guest experience in 2022.

Parkdean Resorts operates 66 parks across the UK, and with advance bookings at record levels, the award winning company expects even more holidaymakers for 2022. The parks are now hiring for seasonal and full-time roles across sales, food and beverage, and housekeeping. Nationwide, the £140m investment includes over 850 new caravans and lodges, new developments at 16 parks, and hundreds of refreshed and upgraded chalets and lodges with a brand-new look. More than £13m has been invested in the company’s ‘Parks of the Future’ initiative.

Three parks, Newquay in Cornwall, Southview in Skegness, and Naze Marine, in Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, will benefit from a whole host of exciting new activities and upgraded facilities as well as upgraded and brand new accommodation options, while Trecco Bay, Europe’s largest holiday park, will be bigger and better than ever after a further round of enhancements. The investment in these sites takes the total number of ‘Parks of the Future’ to ten, as Parkdean continues to invest in taking its parks to the next level.

HELP TO FILL PARK STAFFING GAPS

REDWIGWAM’S LORNA DAVIDSON is heading up a strategic partnership to help restaff the hospitality sector

Hospitality is one of the most significantly impacted industries in the UK following the pandemic. Staff shortages due to isolation remain a challenge in 2022 with some businesses reporting that a third of their workforce are isolating at any one time. Soaring costs, supply chain issues, Brexit and an 80% decline in shift work hours during the pandemic are also factors for the industry.

So Redwigwam, the UK’s largest award-winning platform for flexible staff, has signed a partnership with leading hospitality software company Eviivo to help rebuild the hospitality sector. The company has helped over 5,000 businesses, both small and large, with finding and managing high quality temp staff to fill their shifts. The partnership with Eviivo, which helps over 13,000 hosts, property owners and hoteliers successfully manage properties through its award-winning platform, will help Redwigwam extend its offerings to ease communication services, manage guests and automate tasks for a wide range of B&Bs, hotels, vacation rentals and other independent accommodation.

Lorna Davidson, founder and CEO of Redwigwam, said: “We are looking forward to seeing how we can help bring significant workforce achievements to the accommodation sector together. “Our partnership will help sectors like hospitality to better navigate worker shortages and rising wage costs as well as providing business owners tools to succeed the next time that critical shortages occur.”

EQUITY FIRM ON ACQUISITION TRAIL

LOCH TAY is one of four Large Leisure sites in Scotland

Private equity firm, Limerston Capital, has acquired Largo Leisure, a Scottish-based holiday park operator and announced leisure industry veteran, Andrew Howe as its Executive Chairman. The deal demonstrates Limerston Capital’s commitment to the holiday parks sector and will see it strengthen Largo Leisure’s offer through targeted investment and operational support.

Largo Leisure offers self-catering lodge, caravan and glamping holidays across four parks located in Letham Feus in Fife, Braidhaugh Park in Perthshire, Sauchope Links near Crail and Loch Tay in Perthshire. The business was founded in 2003 by Rupert Barret and is targeted at a premium market, successfully capitalising on sustained consumer trends favouring staycations. In addition to Largo Leisure, Limerston Capital has signalled its intentions for further acquisitions, with a specific focus on individual or groups of smaller holiday parks across the UK.

Using Andrew’s in-depth knowledge of the sector and his understanding of its challenges and opportunities, the team is identifying well run owner operator parks with solid customer bases that they can further enhance, recognising their value and growth potential.

ANDREW HOW has been appointed as Executive Chairman for Largo Leisure.

BUTLIN’S SERVES UP FOOD FOR THOUGHT


Butlin’s has become an inaugural recipient of a PETA Holiday Award, given to the holiday company to celebrate a new animal-friendly era. From 2022, all activities and shows across the three Butlin’s resorts will be animal-free with a wide selection of delicious vegan dishes added to menus. Millions of UK families are eating more vegan foods for animal welfare, health, and environmental reasons. A survey by BBC Good Food showed that 21% of children from 5 to 16 years old are vegan or vegetarian and an additional 36% are interested in becoming so.

Butlin’s has adapted with the times – from just three vegan options on the menu in 2019 to over 100 today. PETA encourages the public to visit only attractions that do not use animals in performances or encounters or for any other entertainment purposes. “PETA applauds Butlin’s for offering spectacular and educational animal free entertainment,” says PETA Corporate Projects Manager Dr Carys Bennett. “And with a wonderful choice of vegan options, Butlin’s has become a top holiday destination for modern families. “We encourage all other holiday and tourist destinations still exploiting animals to follow Butlin’s lead.”

Jon Hendry Pickup, managing director of Butlin’s, says: “For several years now, we’ve been developing shows that bring the wow factor without using live animals. Guest feedback has been fantastic, and we can’t wait for Animals vs Dinosaurs to take to the stage in 2022. Our shows aren’t the only new thing this year,” Jon continues. “Delicious new vegan options can be found in all retail restaurants and buffets at the resorts and we’re always looking to expand our offering.”

SWIFT DONATION FOR MACMILLAN

SWIFT GROUP Managing Director, James Turner, and some of the Swift team celebrate the company’s latest Macmillan donation.

Macmillan Cancer Support was grateful to receive £30,000 from the Hull-based Swift Group recently. Since 1995, Swift Group has donated to Macmillan through a recycling of goods scheme, whereby damaged or unsellable items are purchased by staff members, with monies coming to charity.

The company has also previously donated to Macmillan by hosting Macmillan Coffee Mornings and ‘dress down’ days. An outstanding £100,000 has been donated in total over the past 27 years. The UK’s largest manufacturer of caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes, as part of the fundraising, eco-friendly scheme, Swift employees have the chance to purchase any kind of redundant or surplus materials from offcuts of wood to slightly imperfect items, like a scratched microwave.

Swift’s Content Marketing Manager, Cheryl Whiten explained: “Pretty much everyone is affected directly or indirectly by someone living with cancer, so everyone here at Team Swift understands the importance and meaning behind this scheme.” Swift’s Managing Director, James Turner added: “It’s an absolute pleasure to support Macmillan’s incredible work.”

NEW OWNERS FOR PARK HOLIDAYS UK

One of Britain’s largest holiday park groups, Park Holidays UK, has been acquired by US real estate investment trust Sun Communities, Inc. (“Sun”). The £950 million acquisition was agreed in November 2021 and closed this month (April) following approval from the Financial Conduct Authority. Sun’s support will enable Park Holidays UK, which currently owns and manages 42 parks in Britain, to continue to invest in its existing high-quality holiday centres and to further expand its parks portfolio.

Sun is one of the largest owners and operators of manufactured housing, recreational vehicle and marina properties, and says that Park Holidays UK’s business model is a perfect complement to its own. Park Holidays UK Director Tony Clish said the acquisition will trigger an exciting new period of growth for the company: “The domestic holiday market continues to gain traction in the post-Brexit and post-pandemic environment, and we are seeing an ever-increasing demand for UK holidays,” he said.

“This partnership with Sun will bolster our ability to acquire new parks, and to continue driving up quality standards by making additional investment in our existing parks. “Our two companies share precisely the same values in terms of delivering an exceptional experience to customers at realistic value-for-money prices. “We both recognise that quality and value are the main drivers of holiday bookings and holiday home sales and are determined that this will remain our prime competitive edge,” he added.

 

PARK’S REGAL POLLINATOR BLOSSOMS

PLANTING IS UNDERWAY at Long Hazel Park in Somerset.

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Somerset’s Long Hazel Park have planted a Harry Masters cider apple tree as a part of the Green Canopy initiative. With the help of the Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury, the Long Hazel Park team discovered the Harry Masters variety was reared only five miles away by Mr Masters in Yarlington, as long ago as the late 1800s.

The Harry Masters apples are popular in many local cider blends and will be good companions to grow alongside our existing apple trees for cross pollination. The new apple tree will offer another variety of tree for the Park’s Tree-Mendous Challenge, providing blossom to encourage pollinators, as part of the Park’s David Bellamy Pledge for Nature.

MAKING A PARK DIFFERENCE

LAURA WILBY, Associate Director of Caravan Guard and Leisuredays, leads by example as the company continues its support for vital heart research.

Leisuredays and Caravan Guard donates £1 to Heart Research UK every time a customer opts for an emailed policy rather than receiving their documents through the post. In 2021, its “Paperless Policies” campaign raised £18,614 for the charity, bringing the total amount raised in the last 12 years to £150,364. The money will be used to fund a PhD Studentship at the University of Leeds.

The student will be working on a project which aims to identify which type of platelet becomes stickier in patients with heart disease. Caravan Guard and Leisuredays lost one of their long-serving employees to heart disease, in December 2020, so they’re delighted to be funding this research project.

WINNING CUSTOMER JOURNEYS

Value is going to be important to the post-COVID consumer…

GOOD PERSONALISATION of hospitality experience goes beyond money

Figures from leading hospitality tech company Zonal reveal that 80 per cent of consumers are interested in some form of personalisation when visiting hospitality venues. Zonal’s most recent GO Tech report shows that while financial incentives, such as personalised discounts and deals are popular, there are other previously untapped opportunities for hospitality businesses to drive sales and repeat visits through personalisation. The findings highlight both a generation and a gender gap when it comes to what consumers want from personalisation and the data they are willing to share to get it.

Commenting on the findings, Alison Vasey, Group Product Director, Zonal, said: “At its very heart, hospitality is about providing a personal and bespoke experience for every individual consumer. Traditionally this has been done face-to-face and in-venue, but now technology can help venues offer a personalised touch at every stage of the customer journey. “From offering customers discounts on their favourite drink to delighting them with personal touches in venue such as balloons on their birthday, there are numerous ways for businesses to further enhance the great customer experiences the industry is always striving to deliver. “There is perhaps a lack of awareness currently around what a SPRING 2022

THERE ARE NUMEROUS ways for businesses to further enhance the great customer experiences.

 

WINNING CUSTOMER JOURNEYS NEWS SPECIAL

Value is going to be important to the post-COVID consumer… personalised experience could look like and a wariness around sharing data. However, our research shows that through clear communication and by offering the right incentives, venues can overcome this and create bespoke experiences that drive sales and encourage loyal and engaged consumers.” Across all consumers, the top five most wanted forms of personalisation are:

• Discounts and deals - A third (33%) expect tailored discounts and deals as a matter of course, and nearly half (45%) think they would be nice to have
• Loyalty schemes – Well over a quarter (29%) are interested in a loyalty scheme with rewards that are personalised to their habits and preferences
• Updates - 29% of consumers expect to receive updates about things like the status and timing of their orders, and a further 46% would welcome them
• Recommendations - Around a fifth of consumers now expect to receive tailored recommendations (20%), or to be presented with personalised menus that incorporate their favourite dishes and drinks (19%). Another 44% and 43% of consumers respectively regard these as nice-to have
• VIP perks - One in six (17%) consumers would like the ability to sit at a favourite table without having to ask, and some would appreciate celebratory details like balloons on a birthday The research was carried out in partnership with industry data and insight firm, CGA and tech specialists, Airship.

Karl Chessell, CGA Director - Hospitality Operators and Food, EMEA, commented: “As we emerge from COVID, it’s clear that consumer behaviour has changed in some fundamental ways. As they establish new habits in restaurants, pubs and bars, people expect their brands to treat them as individuals rather than numbers. It means that personalisation is increasingly not just a nice surprise— it’s an expected part of a hospitality visit. “Value is going to be important to the post-COVID consumer, especially at a time when disposable income is squeezed. But as our GO Technology research makes plain, good personalisation goes beyond money: it’s about the creation of memorable experiences that show people they are valued.

It will be a powerful driver of loyalty and recommendation in 2022 and beyond, and the brands that can deliver it best will have a huge head start on the competition.” Dan Brookman, CEO, Airship & Toggle, agreed: “Now is the time more than ever to get to know your customer. Personalisation, context of purchase and customer lifetime value are key drivers not only for marketing, but for overall growth. “Taking ALL your customers on a journey that represents your brand, that interacts across all the physical and digital touchpoints will deliver engagement. Be clear in your message, concise in your value exchange and keep it simple for your teams!”

ZONAL
zonal@fsc.uk.com
www.zonal.co.uk

AT YOUR CONVENIENCE

Jane Herbert on well-spent investment in washroom facilities…

THE CUBICLE CENTRE’S Cairngorm range is the perfect solution for high traffic areas such as Pillaton Hall Farm.

As the UK staycation boom continues, the focus has never been so intense on the need for holiday park and campsite operators to provide top quality facilities. Footfalls are higher but the customers also ever more discerning, as the industry attracts a new level of clientele. Lee Robinson of Yorkshire based Cubicle Centre who have manufactured, supplied and installed many thousands of bespoke washroom cubicles all over the UK.

Lee advises: “Robustness and longevity of product is key to ensuring your washroom stays in tip-top condition throughout the season. “The smallest rooms in the building really can lead to the biggest frustrations,” Lee explains. “The main pitfall we see in washroom design is when someone has chosen an unsuitable material for cubicles and they end up being completely unfit for purpose.” The Cubicle Centre’s Cairngorm range is the perfect solution for high traffic areas and the ideal choice for many busy campsites, such as Pillaton Hall Farm in Staffordshire.

The Cubicle Centre designed the waterproof, hardwearing and easy to clean cubicles and matching vanity units, made from CGL (Compact Grade Laminate). The facilities at Pillaton were also made to be child-friendly, with low profile wash basins and urinals. “We were pleased with the completed washrooms in our new facilities block. Our customer feedback since the opening has been amazing,” says Pillaton Hall Farm owner, Dave Pearce.

FAMILY FRIENDLY

Appealing to everyone in the family, as well as the needs of less able visitors, is an increasingly important design consideration. According to Lee, washrooms are now much more likely to include family facilities, as well as privacy screens. Having a specific dry area within shower cubicles is also a necessity. “Our washroom panels at a recent caravan park installation in Snowdonia are a good example of dry area provision within a shower cubicle,” says Lee. “The design includes custom bench seating within the units for both practicality and cleanliness.” Dorset-based Commercial Washrooms offer a full turn-key washroom refurbishment and cubicle installation service.

Managing Director, Andy Seddon, highlights their refurbishment of the washrooms at Oakdene Holiday Park in Dorset as an example of how design excellence means combining key functionality with aesthetics. “The main entertainment building at Oakdene is a busy environment with a high footfall,” explains Andy. “The owners were conscious that the new washrooms must be durable, hard wearing and easy to clean, but also knew how important it was to make these washrooms a warm and inviting space.” “Products must be robust and long lasting, whilst at the same time offering a top end look and feel. With large volumes of users in a short amount of time, cleaning, maintenance and replenishment of consumables are all key factors in washroom planning and design.”

HYGIENE ALERT

A consequence of the Covid pandemic has been the huge increase in awareness and standards of hygiene in all public (and private) spaces. “The biggest uplift we have seen is the use of sensor taps and flush controls in order to make washrooms “touch free” and thus more hygienic,” says Andy. “Sensor taps are becoming more prevalent, and with the majority of these now being available as battery powered, they can easily be retrofitted into existing washrooms as an upgrade, without the need for electrical feeds to be installed.”

Commercial Washrooms were also responsible for a recent refurbishment project at Cofton Holiday Park in Devon. A dedicated shower and changing area was needed for non-resident guests using the outdoor swimming pool. New easily-maintained shower enclosures were installed with hygiene and waterproof performance taking prime consideration. The design features sensor flush controls on the toilets and urinals, sensor taps, and a sensor operated hand dryer.

A new PIR lighting system with low energy LED lighting was also installed. Removing touchpoints helps improve hygiene but as Andy explains, the use of sensor operated equipment also delivers other benefits too. “Sensors only let the water or electricity flow for a set period of time; this eliminates the risk of taps being left on, preventing flooding and accidental water wastage, and therefore generating huge water savings.”

ENERGY EFFICIENT

As energy bills increase and we look for ways to save both money and the environment, eco-efficient and energy saving products are becoming more prevalent. Small changes can reap big dividends in washrooms, without the need for a complete refurbishment. Smarti Environmental, the UK’s leading waterless urinal provider, is urging holiday parks to play their part in the battle against water wastage.

The company is offering large organisations with 100 or more urinals, a free washroom trial for 3-months, including free installation of its retro-fit waterless valves. Smarti Environmental’s research shows that there are currently around 3.5 million water-supplied urinals in the UK, which collectively waste 217 billion litres of water each year, equivalent to 87,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. To put this into an individual perspective, Smarti Environmental says its waterless urinal valve cuts the annual cost of running a water flush urinal by more than 50%, even before plumbing costs associated with blocked pipes and floods caused by calcium build-up are taken into account.

Made from fully recyclable materials, the valves fit 98% of standard urinals with no need to change urinal bowls, and reduce the annual running cost of a typical three bay urinal by between £630 and £1,230 a year. Kimberley Hill, Sales Manager at Smarti Environmental, comments: “Businesses have a key part to play in reducing needless water waste, and one of the simplest and most cost effective steps is to switch to waterless urinals. This not only saves 100,000 litres of water per urinal, per year, but it also cuts related costs by more than half, and CO2 by 105kg per urinal. If all urinals in the UK went waterless, that would be the equivalent of removing 100,000 diesel cars from the road.”

ECO-CREDENTIALS

Eco-credentials are becoming an increasingly important differentiator for modern holiday makers, as well as for those organisations who assign quality ratings and awards. Managing Director of The Loo of the Year Awards, Becky Wall, says that she has noticed a trend for both eco facilities and an increased level of hygiene provision in award entrants. Encouraging the highest possible standards across all ‘away from home’ washrooms throughout the UK and Ireland has been the objective of the annual Loo of the Year Awards since they began in 1987.

A Loo of the Year Award is an established benchmark of washroom provision and compliance to national standards. The Loo of the Year Awards has 61 different categories and the Holiday Parks division is always well-supported with many entrants taking part year after year. Many of the parks have been receivers of the higher grades within the Awards, and according Becky, as new grades have been introduced, the parks have replied by providing even better standards.

THE TEAM FROM PENCELLI CASTLE Caravan and Camping Park with their certificate at the Loo of the Year Awards.

TOILET TWINNING

“In the 2021 Awards, 5.5% of the entrants were from holiday parks and they all received the higher grades - 79% Platinum and 21% Diamond grade,” says Becky. “The 2021 National Category Award Winners for Holiday Parks was won by Broadhembury Caravan and Camping Park for England, Llanberis Touring Park for Wales and Ord House Country Park for Scotland. The National Awards for Baby Changing Facilities in England and Wales were also won by Holiday Parks - Ludlow Touring Park and Pencelli Castle Caravan and Camping Park respectively.

Pencelli went onto win the overall UK trophy too.” Entrants for the 2022 Awards have until 31st July to throw their hat in the ring. Park or site owners wishing to further distinguish themselves, could follow in the footsteps of parks such as Broadhembury and consider Toilet Twinning. This charitable venture raises funds to provide clean water, safe toilets and hygiene training in some of the poorest communities in the world. In return for a £60 donation, toilets can be twinned with a family’s household loo in a vulnerable community overseas. Twinners receive a certificate to display, and the satisfaction of helping transform the lives of those in need.

Cubicle Centre
01924 930854
www.washroomcubicles.co.uk

Commercial Washrooms
01202 650 900
www.commercialwashroomsltd.co.uk

Loo of the Year Awards
01531 640715
www.loo.co.uk

SMARTi Environmental
01392 311 202
www.smartilimited.com

Toilet Twinning
0300 321 3217
www.toilettwinning.org

THRILLS AND SPILLS

Why settle for a pool when you can have an aquatic playground…

BODY SLIDES or board ‘n rides come with huge visitor appeal.

With the vast array of add-ons that are now available, mean that even the most modest swimming pool can be transformed into an aquatic playgrounds. A plethora of waterslide options offer varying journeys at a choice of speeds and travel in either an open or closed flume. A great water attraction is one that provides a form of aquatic play for everyone. An aquatic feature should be designed and developed to spontaneously entertain many visitors throughout its hours of operation. Body slides and waterslides sometimes require a raft to board and ride with some starting inside, venturing outside before completing the journey back indoors.

A GREAT WATER attraction is one that provides a form of aquatic play for everyone.


TOUCH PADS

Start and stop systems, with touchpad sensors and speedometers for competitive games, offer special effects such as LED rings, transparent sections and video projectors that provide virtual reality experiences. Boasting a fleet of engineers and an impressive 56 years of experience, aquatic play specialists, Ustigate, meet every enquiry with fresh eyes. Ustigate provide a full turnkey solution in the design, build and maintenance of water attractions and are proud to have designed and built over 100 water features and more than 100 aquatic play facilities as they approach their sixth decade in business.

“Our team expertise and experience expands with every project and more knowledge coupled with evolving modern technology enables us to conserve more and utilise wisely,” explains Ustigate’s Michelle Minns-Sykes. “It is an exciting industry to work in and our collaborations, team, partnerships and products enable us to move with the times and remain at the height of aquatic innovation and efficiency,” Michelle continues. “Our dedication is enhancing inclusive aquatic environments for everyone to enjoy whether it be a calming water feature or a large tipping bucket or faster flume that thrills.”

USTIGATE was a key supplier in the award-winning The Wave swimming pool design in Coventry.

UNIVERSAL APPEAL

Offering to deliver an inclusive aquatic play scheme that is fun for friends, families, all ages and abilities, Ustigate partner with global aquatic play giants, Vortex, for projects and products that have proven to last the test of time. “The best factor in our line of work is the ability to excite and exercise an inclusive audience at the same time,” says Michelle.

Ustigate Waterplay and Vortex International now offer much more choice and much more play value; there is a choice of 150+ Splashpad® Products and plentiful ground sprays too. The majority of the products are available with a Safeswap™ anchor enabling the exchange of products in the future, without the need to break the ground. A Safeswap™ anchor can be seen with an above ground item, a ground spray or capped.

This enables a splashpad to be built in phases and it also ensures the aquatic play facility will remain modern in years to come as new products can be easily introduced in the future. It is not just the product choices that have upped the aquatic play game. Vortex have incorporated a number of technologies into their product line; making play items more interactive and aquatic play activities more physical and fun.

EVEN MODEST SPACES can be transformed into an aquatic playgrounds. Pic. Ustigate.

INTERACTIVE FUN

Examples are the award-winning Explora collection that engages children to move, push, pull, spin and splash and a family of flush mounted features called Hop that invite children to bounce and splash. The technologies Turntec™ and Twirltec™ invite children to rotate features a full 360° which places the water direction in their excitable hands. Features that include Twirltec™ also provide the ability to rotate and create attractive, spiralling water patterns.

Ground sprays are offered in all shapes, sizes and heights; some arrive with gusto and others provide a nice gentle water effect, perfect to tickle the toes of novices arriving to experience water play for the first time. “A benefit of water play is that it engages children to interact with each other and this promotes positive social development,” Michelle points out. “The aquatic play activities that excite and exercise promote both physical and mental wellbeing.

Michelle says: “Timescales are generally no more than 12 weeks to finalise a design, procure, construct, complete, carry out a water test, commission, provide staff training and handover. “There is not a generic figure that can be produced for a project because all projects are unique in terms of the scheme, location and installation – the play value, plant room and connection to services.” An enquiry begins with gathering information, a meeting, site survey and design brief. So start gathering those aquatic play ideas straight away.

Ustigate Water Play
Tel. 01322 424445
sales@ustigate.co.uk
www.ustigatewaterplay.co.uk

SPLASHDOWN!

Convert under-used paddling pools into exciting splash pads…

SPLASHPADS ARE EXCITING crowd pleasers for all the family. Pic. The Splash

Splash pads can be an excellent social environment for all children but especially those with learning or physical disabilities. Specialist suppliers, The Splash, has recently been undertaking new projects to convert redundant paddling pools and convert them into splash pads to create more inclusive, accessible, creative play spaces.

The Splash team work with local authorities, as well as holiday parks, to create inclusive play areas where children can get together and play in a stimulating and immersive environment. Designed to be space and cost efficient, the splashpads are a vibrant oasis that will attract visitors to an area, having a huge positive impact on businesses and communities alike. Crucially, the team has designed its own system and features that provide huge water saving benefits to our customer’s.

By recirculating water, their tried and tested system, that conforms to industry standards, can save up to 50m3 of water per day; a huge water saving over the annual demands of a busy attraction. “The change away from single use systems has been driven not only by cost saving but also environmental impact,” explains Clare Jayson on behalf of The Splash. “With the concern of water shortages in the future and the potential of more prolonged droughts, we can see the possibility that single use systems might not be able to open,” Clare adds.

DESIGNS BY THE SPLASH are saving up to 50m3 of water per day.

The Splash has developed their system to comply with PWTAG (Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group) recommendations and to enhance the ease of maintenance. They have automated and simplified their system while maintaining high levels of safety and quality. A splashpad system will need a three-phase electric supply, a mains Sewer and a mains water supply. The closer these are to the preferred site, the less cost that will be spent on facilitating these. You probably need a minimum of 200m2 of space to allow a 150m splash pad with a 1.2m wide path.

The splashpad location should be where trees are not too close as leaves and debris cause drains to block and don’t forget about ample car parking if you are looking to attract day visitors. Themed play features can create more imaginative play and can be tied into local historical events. Castles, Dragons, Pirates, Nautical and Dinosaurs are all popular themes and can create great visuals for marketing. Clare adds: “Make sure that the design proposed is age relevant and covers the age groups that your park is catering for.

“A good design will create areas of free movement and high levels of activity for children in the 6-12 age range with areas of less activity and gentler features for toddlers and less confident children.” All The Splash bespoke features are made, in the UK which means you can benefit from considerable cost and time saving with almost endless design possibilities. Manufacturing processes and experience give you the advantage of a completely bespoke design project at an ‘off the shelf’ price.

The Splash
enquiries@thesplash.uk
www.thesplash.uk

SHIVER ME TIMBERS!

Jason Nash plunges into the magical world of aquatic water play…

SPICE UP your visitor appeal with investment in water play.

Aye, Me Hearties!’ I am adopting my best Captain Jack Sparrow voice, because pirate themes remain among one of the top design themes for aquatic water play. Dolphins are a bit old hat these days but, no doubt buoyed by blockbuster movies like Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid, nautical themes are still a very popular creative trend and never forget the ever-popular dungeons and dragons!

“When we design for any site, we have to look at the space,” advises Nicholas Creis, one of the expert design team of global water play specialists, ProSlide. “A resort or holiday park generally has less space available than a full water park, so we have to take that into account,” Nicholas acknowledges.

WATER RIDES have a known record of being excellent ways to attract guests to a location. Pic. ProSlide.

LIMITED SPACE

Fitting in to a limited space has resulted in many holiday operators opting for popular body slides like ProSlide’s TWISTER or RallyRACER® that can be customised to fit smaller sites. Water rides have a known record of being excellent ways to attract guests to a location for their summer holidays, while being relatively low maintenance. But it is vital to work with a supplier that can assure differentiation, an incredible ride experience, and a safe, on-time opening.

Rides that cater for families are particularly popular, like the ones found in ProSlide’s WaterKINGDOM line of attractions. Budgets can vary even more. It is not uncommon to see investments starting at £150,000 for KIDZ Rides and going up to £1 million for an entire tubing or body slide complex. “At ProSlide, we’re always squarely focused on working in collaborating with our client, assessing their needs, and designing what works best for their budget,” says Nicholas.

“Timelines and budgets are rather variable and dependent on a number of things,” he continues. “We need to consider whether we’re looking at an existing site, where the client wants to do an expansion, or whether we’re looking at a completely new site. “For an expansion, many clients are looking at approximately one year before their ride opens – though it can be less for a smaller attraction. Newer sites tend to have more to consider and it can be two to three years before their rides open.” ‘Avast!’ Oh, I am off again. It costs nothing to have an initial friendly ‘Parley’ with ProSlide on how to spice up your visitor appeal with investment in water play. So why not make contact today.

ProSlide
www.proslide.com

HOORAY! IT’S RAINING!

Emily Martin presents top tips for weather-proof play…

INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS are a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Pic. Hendra

In 2021, temperatures hit an unseasonable 24 degrees Celsius in March, followed by the wettest every May on record. In 2020 (or as we call it, ‘the year we do not mention’) we had the wettest February ever recorded followed by a gloriously sunny spring. There’s nothing more unpredictable than a British summer and with extreme weather becoming increasingly the norm, savvy holiday parks are advised to be ready for anything.

Unpredictable weather can sometimes a deterrent for holidaymakers who don’t want to waste their precious annual leave (or money) on a holiday that might be a wash-out. But for cunning holiday park owners, when it comes to indoor play there are ways you can reassure prospective bookers and stand out from the crowd. “British weather can be unpredictable, so it’s really important to provide plenty of indoor entertainment, as well as opportunities to eat and dine in the same area,” advises Helen Scott a Director at Cofton Holidays where indoor play is held in high regard.

ALL-YEAR ROUND

“We’re proud to be an all year round, all-weather holiday destination in South Devon. Come rain or shine, there’s always something to keep families entertained and we’ve worked hard to provide a rich and varied range of indoor entertainment experiences, mixing activities and play so there’s always something for the whole family to enjoy.”

Cofton have indoor play covered or the children and the adults too as Helen explains: “Our indoor play offering includes a heated indoor swimming pool with hydrotherapy loungers, bubbling water jets and splash pad area, sauna, steam room and gym. “Also fitness and cycling studios, a bowling alley an amusement arcade and soft play area. Having all our indoor play facilities in one central complex works really well for our guests,” says Helen.

“When it’s raining, you don’t want to be running from one end of the site to the other, ducking from the wet weather.” Helen continues: “Our indoor pool is perfectly located next to our café so guests can enjoy a morning swim and recharge afterwards with a fresh coffee and fluffy slice of cake. Many of our guests regularly spend half of their day in our indoor complex.” The Cofton Holidays indoor play facilities have been carefully chosen so that they meet the needs of all age groups.

Helen says: “The soft play area is aimed at children under the age of eight, and has been carefully located with plenty of seating nearby, so that adults can keep an eye on their young ones, while they enjoy light refreshments.” Helen flags up: “Something that we have adopted recently is a pre booking system for our indoor pool. This is something we introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure we complied with social distancing rules, but it has worked really well for us.

“Our indoor pool is incredibly popular and can get busy, particularly during the school holidays, so we have decided to keep this booking system in place for the foreseeable future. It allows us to control how busy the pool gets without disappointing customers so it is definitely something I would recommend other park owners think about.” Tony Clish, is the Director at Park Holidays UK. We asked him about indoor play facilities and how important the planning and preparation of those areas are to a Park Holidays site. Tony says: “As a family-focussed holiday parks group, we recognise the importance of providing play facilities for all ages – and in all weathers.

“That’s why many of our 40-plus parks make provision for indoor play areas suitable for toddler-age upwards, with the obvious provision that parental supervision is required at all times in the case of smaller children. Tony continues: “Soft play areas are especially popular as they provide a safe environment in which youngsters can let off steam for an hour or two – and, of course, give mum and dad a breather. “Seating and café areas are often located nearby which give parents an opportunity to view their children at play, and park staff keep a regular eye open to check on aspects such as cleanliness and the number of youngsters using the amenity.

“Children are also well provided for in other indoor areas such as swimming pools where smaller slides and other water features mean that all ages can make use of the facility. Customer comments from younger families often pay tribute to our indoor play zones, and they represent a significant part of the investment we make in activities at our parks.” Whether you’re singing in the rain or walking on sunshine, having plenty to do inside and undercover is a must if you want to ensure happy guests and consistent income all your round.

ADVICE ON TAP

For those who incorporate a gaming, play or adventure zone within your visitor attraction within your resort, the InterFun Expo is a great opportunity to find out about the latest product innovations and learn about current trends and new tech to help you drive more visitors to your attraction. The InterFun Expo will take place on 26-27 April, 2022, at New Dock Hall in the Royal Armouries complex in Leeds. The opening hours are 10am-5pm on 26 April and 10am – 4pm on 27 April. A huge range of products will be represented:

• Aerial adventure
• Soft play
• Arcade games
• Edutainment
• Mini sports
• Inflatables
• Family and kiddie rides
• Playground equipment
• Laser tag & paintball
• Table games

The exhibition is supported by an eye-catching seminar timetable that are all free to attend and do not have to be pre-booked; you simply drop in and out of those of interest to you and your organisation. Michael Harrison kicks off the schedule with a look at Trends In the UK Leisure Sector with other subjects including Attracting Visitors Through Mixed Marketing Techniques, The Soft Play Sector Post Covid and Immersive Tech – turning Visitors Into Players. Simply register to attend and you will gain access to the exhibition and seminars via www.interfunexpo.com

GLAMPING OFFERS STAYING POWER

THE LOVE2STAY location is set in 22 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds.

The rise in popularity of UK staycations has inspired the impressive Love2Stay resort, on the outskirts of Shrewsbury, to invest further and offer a collection of luxury bespoke lodges to complement their existing Glamping portfolio Celebrating its fifth birthday, the Love2Stay resort is set in 22 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and enjoys magnificent views over Wales on one side and the Shropshire Hills on the other.

The resort offers 122 hardstanding touring pitches and 11 Safari Glamping Lodges with private hot tubs, glamping site bookings were up 60 per cent, the fifth straight year of growth. “Glamping was already on the upswing throughout the UK before the COVID-19 pandemic started,” shares Chris Skitt Love2Stay, General Manager. “Last year, Love2Stay saw bookings explode, with families experiencing and enjoying glamping for the first time.

“All signs point to continued growth in the coming years. We believe that luxury and comfort should not be sacrificed while enjoying the great outdoors,” ,” he continues. “So, we decided to expand further with our new Black Barn Lodges. Glamping with us is simple. We combine the need for modern comfort with a desire to be as close to nature as possible.”

A total of 12 custom-built single lodges and two twin lodges have been purchased by the resort’s owner, Salop Leisure, to be used in the new Black Barn Lodges development. After a £1 million investment in the resort last year, the Love2Stay glamping village now boasts 36 deluxe lodges, including the original 11 Safari Lodges and 11 Woodland Lodges, which were added last year as part of the planned phase of development. Lowfield Leisure, based in Marton, near Shrewsbury, designed and created the new Black Lodges for Salop Leisure, Love2Stay’s parent company.

The new lodges can accommodate from four to six guests. Each of the three bedrooms, which include a king-sized main bedroom, a twin mezze room, and a sofa bed in the living area, is equipped with high-quality appliances and a log burner. Every lodge has its own private hot tub as well as an outside fire pit for guests to enjoy. In addition to the luxury glamping experience offered by the custom built Black Lodges, guests can enjoy a range of amenities, including a natural bio swimming pool, splash pool, and beach, as well as an on-site cinema. There are also wellness services, and a huge variety of outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy. High season rates for these unique glamping lodges are £963 for three nights, while the low season rates are £558, with a minimum stay of three nights.

Love2Stay
Tel. 01743 583124
www.love2stay.co.uk

CHILDHOOD DREAM COMES TRUE

CAROL GERRARD- HUGHES and daughter Sophie at Forest View.

Carol Gerrard-Hughes has realised a childhood dream by investing £300,000 to improve the Forest View pub and caravan site in Oakmere, Northwich using a Business Finance loan from Reward Finance Group. Carol fell in love with the site when her parents bought a caravan when she was six and the family spent weekends and school holidays at Forest View.

At 13, she started washing up in the pub, then worked behind the bar and, ultimately, finished up running it. Realising her ambition to own Forest View has not been easy. Having bought the tenancy for the pub and the site in 2007, she was advised by pub operator and owner, Scottish and Newcastle, that they were planning to sell the site to a housing developer in 2009. To prevent this from happening, she moved quickly and bought the whole lot from them.

As well as the pub, the site has 45 static caravans and 26 touring pitches. Recognising The potential for Forest View, which overlooks Delamere Forest, Carol was keen to make a significant investment in the site. Her plans were to extend and refurbish the pub, build a new toilet block, create 20 more touring pitches, provide additional electrical points for the caravans, as well as landscaping and tidying up the site to further enhance its appeal.

Despite the equity in the site, none of the banks would lend her the money to carry out her plans. However, Matthews Sutton & Co Accountants in Liverpool introduced Carol to Reward Finance Group, who quickly provided the funds having been impressed with Carol’s enthusiasm and tenacity, as well as her plans for the site and the additional revenue this would generate.

SECONDS OUT FOR STONHAM BARNS

FORMER PRO BOXING LEGEND Glenn McCrory and Stonham Barns Park Owner Alan Forward

Former professional US boxing legends Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney will be the stars of a ‘Nights With’ Evening at Stonham Barns Park – one of Suffolk’s premier destination venues - hosted by the venue’s ambassador UK pro boxing giant Glenn McCrory. Stonham Barns Park is a day out for all the family to suit all ages.

Other activities at the leisure, retail and holiday venue include The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, The Bistro, The Golf Centre including Adventure Golf and FootGolf, The Teapot Pottery, Escape Rooms, holiday lodges, a caravan park, camping and glamping, Tumbledown indoor play barn and fishing lakes. Larry ‘The Easton Assassin’ Holmes, so called as he was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, defended his World Boxing Council (WBC) Heavyweight World Title belt against top contender ‘Gentleman’ Gerry Cooney in 1972 outdoors at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Holmes (72) and Cooney (65) have been close, lifelong friends. Stonham Barns Park owner, Alan Forward said: “We are beyond privileged to be hosting these outstanding personalities from the world of boxing. It’s a historic day for us to be launching our ‘Nights With’ Evenings with such respected names from the sporting past.’ Full ticket info for the event on May 16th is available at Stonham Barns Park, www.stonhambarns.co.uk or call 01449 711111.

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Picture postcards from Monkton Wyld, West Dorset…


Monkton Wyld, near the coastal village of Charmouth in West Dorset, should be rightly proud of its quarter-century of providing families with first-class holiday experiences. Joanna and Simon Kewley first started welcoming guests to their family farm in the early nineties, and its idyllic location and friendly atmosphere quickly won them a large following.

Over the years, the couple have invested much time and energy into ensuring that the park offers families the perfect surroundings for a memorable Dorset holiday. The holiday park is situated in West Dorset’s Area of Outstanding National Beauty, only three miles from the World Heritage Jurassic Coast line of Devon and Dorset. Joanna and Simon have created many wildlife habitats in their 26-acre grounds where wild flowers flourish and provide foraging for honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

They have always been keen to run their park along sustainable lines and have been presented with the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level for many years. The tranquil atmosphere is maintained by the park’s division into small paddocks for camping, caravan and motorhome guests who come from across Britain and mainland Europe. The summer camping field offers wonderful spacious camping for families and friends. A level rally field offers a great destination for small and larger groups with a number of 10amp pitches are available.

As well as pitches for caravans, motorhomes and tents, Monkton Wyld has a small but prestigious development of luxury caravan holiday homes. The 17C farmhouse sleeps up to nine people and pets are welcome to a four bedroom, holiday bungalow. A fully stocked shop is available on site for all those essentials and little luxuries. The site currently have three different food vans visiting weekly. Fish and Chips, Wood-fired pizzas and a Pie and Burger Van.

 

Monkton Wyld
Tel. 01297 631131
www.monktonwyld.co.uk

 

STEPPING UP THEIR GAME

A personal view by Jamaine Campbell of MD Elite Dynamics

THE PANDEMIC INTRODUCED a new audience of people to caravan and lodge holidays.

Solely from an industry viewpoint, if two years of Covid have shown us anything it’s that holiday parks are an increasingly attractive proposition. In the last 12 months we’ve seen huge international conglomerates want a piece of the pie with CVC Capital Partners acquiring Away Resorts & Coppergreen Leisure Resorts, Sun Communities acquiring Park Holidays and Cove Communities acquiring Argyll Holidays – the value of those three combined deals alone close to £1.5bn.

Manufacturers have been responding to record demand for caravans and lodges and holiday parks have had a strong 2021 on the back of what was a challenging 2020 for everyone within the travel and hospitality industry. Almost every week, there’s a new report about land somewhere in the UK being turned into new holiday parks.

Added to that, there’s some pretty impressive amounts of money being invested by holiday park operators to improve, enhance, and introduce new facilities to existing holiday parks and resorts. There will inevitably be people who are desperate to board a plane and fly off to the sun at the first opportunity -- we’ve seen the photographs from UK airports at Easter to prove it! However, for every one of those people, there will be another who can’t face the hassle or who still feels apprehensive or vulnerable travelling anywhere.

NEW AUDIENCE

The pandemic introduced a new audience of people to caravan and lodge holidays, and for the first time in their lives they’ve had their eyes opened to how great they can be and can’t wait to go back. If someone has paid thousands of pounds out for an amazing lodge with a hot tub, they’ll be going back to that park time and time again. Like anything in business… you’ll win some customers, and you’ll lose some, but the demand is still there, and the forecast is still bright. Thanks in part to that demand and in response to new players entering the market, holiday parks are stepping up their game on all levels - investing in facilities and investing in technology.

For many, it’s more than a holiday park now, they’re growing into holiday resorts with multiple revenue streams; everything from golf courses to spa treatments to a range of added value activities. They’re branching out and at the same time coming to understand the benefits of modern business software solutions that can handle multiple revenue streams and growth to multiple parks. Yes, they need a park management system that manages bookings and owners. But now, they also need an integrated CRM system and an Owners App as everyone knows how important it is to engage with customers and owners.

MEMBERSHIP MODULE

They want a membership module if they’ve got any type of leisure facility, they want an Events module if they offer weddings and conferences, they want an activities module if they do yoga or bookable kid’s activities. Then they want key integrations to EPOS and Digital signature and to third-party payment gateways like WorldPay or Sage Pay. The more revenue streams a holiday park has, the more they need a software solution that can bring it all together. For us at Elite Dynamics, the future is more integration and deeper integration to the Microsoft platforms our products are built on.

There are so many exciting third-party integrations and power apps available that can change the way holiday parks operate in terms of efficiencies and exceeding customer expectations; from contactless check-ins and payments to RFID tagging of caravans to scan them on and off parks. For the last six years we’ve been doing what we can to help educate the holiday park industry on the benefits of technology. Although as an industry we’re still several years behind the hotel market on adopting technology, we’re definitely moving in the right direction.

I love this industry. From the first moment I set foot on a holiday park, I loved it. That’s why the driver for everyone at Elite Dynamics is to get the industry to move toward a position where technology isn’t something to be feared, but part of a strategic move to improve business. With dedication, commitment, and focus everyone connected to the industry can benefit from adopting technology and have a greater awareness of what is possible.

THREE REASONS TO ACT STRATEGICALLY TO ENSURE HOLIDAY PARK FIRE SAFETY


Fire constitutes one of the biggest risks to the total loss of a park home, and with many sites often at lower capacity or closed during off-season, upgrading site safety and efficiency should be a top priority for site managers. Tom Ambler, sales manager for leisure at Ramtech, shares the three reasons to consider more strategic site safety management, as sites reopen for the busy spring/summer season.

Safeguard parks and people

Winter and spring is the ideal time to review a site and prepare it for the busier Easter and summer period. This should vitally include fire safety standards - as once peak season is here and the warmer weather attracts more visitors, the heat, coupled with popular campsite activities such as fires and barbecues, can be a real melting pot in terms of park accidents.
Recent fire reports provide a stark warning to site owners, including how fire crews battled a large blaze at a Dorset holiday park, showcasing the chaos that fire can wreak. Fortunately, no more than property damage was the outcome on this occasion, but investing in the appropriate safety measures ahead of time, can help to reduce fire risk and help to stop a blaze quickly with the right detection in place.
Preparing a site in advance of opening, by checking that the current fire safety system is working, is advisable. Any faulty wiring or machinery - particularly relating to power generators for homes or common buildings - as well as the threat of arson and vandalism should be front of mind all year around.

Meet regulations with confidence

Currently, holiday park site owners have a legal obligation to manage fire safety under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (“the FSO”). The act applies to all non-domestic premises including certain types of parks, such as those with common areas in leisure complexes, restaurants and guest houses. With park residents often mingling in these types of campsite community buildings, the threat to human life is very real.
Just a few years ago, there was an incident at a leisure facility on a campsite near Newquay, which resulted in extensive damage to several communal buildings including a swimming pool, sauna and gym. So, not only is protecting against fire a requirement under the FSO, it is also vitally important to avoid the financial implications, which can be huge. A fire forces site owners into a massive rebuild operation, potentially putting them out of action for a season for more.
A system, like Ramtech’s WES3, places the power in site owners’ hands. It’s an EN54-25 compliant connected device, that can be deployed at various points across holiday parks on stands. It acts as an emergency response system, with automatic smoke and heat detectors responding to site incidents and maintaining 24/7 coverage through the CONNECT unit, otherwise known as the brains of the system.
The WES3 is also IP55 rated, which means they are suitable for outdoor areas and won’t be affected by varying weather conditions. What’s more, the CONNECT system ensures off-site notifications can also be enabled, informing site owners and even alerting emergency authorities.

Get real time data to protect and improve your park

While sites must ensure that fire safety is robust, other park management features that support the efficient and daily running of the park, are also welcome. This is where technology has evolved to help answer these added value requirements at the same time as emergency response needs.
WiSE, for instance, is a reliable business information and monitoring platform providing real time alerts, data and information about security coverage. For holiday park operators, WiSE can also extend your existing security and fire system coverage, reducing the complexity and cost of enhancing your risk management systems.
The WiSE wireless security solution gives you peace of mind that your holiday park business and on-park properties are being securely monitored 24/7. Powered by long-life batteries and connected to a reliable radio technology, the system allows thousands of devices to be linked to a central base station that creates an instant alert via email, text or pager. WiSE is not dependent on SIM or WiFi to function, which is great for sites with little or no data or internet coverage.

For more information on how Ramtech’s solutions can help protect holiday park sites, visit https://ramtechglobal.com/

FORESTRY ENGLAND LAUNCH SEARCH FOR CAMPING OPERATORS

Following the announcement last week that the Camping and Caravanning Club have sold the Camping in The Forest (CiTF) business to Forestry England and Forestry and Land Scotland, Forestry England are now looking for new operators to run their sites.

There are 13 sites available in England (on a leasehold basis), and they have been split into four lots. The existing offer at these sites includes a total of over 4,000 pitches and represents a significant opportunity within the camping industry.

The lots are at Sherwood Pines (Nottinghamshire), Bracelands (Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire), Postern Hill (Savernake Forest, Wiltshire) and 10 sites across the New Forest (Hampshire).

These hugely popular and market-leading campsites provide guests with forest immersion and direct access to miles of walking and cycling trails and other outdoor activities. Each site is individual, and they range from those without any facilities, to sites with full amenity blocks, as well as some with cosy glamping pods and pre-erected tents.

The camping and touring market in England has remained resilient over recent decades and is now considered as being in a growth phase linked to the continued strength of the domestic tourism market and the affordability of camping as an accommodation choice. In recent years the standard of the camping and touring offer has had to evolve and innovate to meet the demands of a wider range of customers leading to an increasing sophistication in camping equipment and motorhomes, and the introduction of alternative accommodation types such as glamping.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a significant boom in camping and touring as UK residents, and increasingly, families, have sought to enjoy experiences closer to home. Forestry England Camping provides an excellent opportunity for operators to benefit from the sustained, elevated interest in camping, especially as camping is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to holiday.

Forestry England are very excited about the potential of working with new operators across these sites. Although the offer at each campsite is established, they are looking for operators that are keen to innovate and expand the offer at these special locations. This could include experiential activity packages linked to nature, wildlife and recreation, and broadening the portfolio of camping accommodation where appropriate.

Working with Forestry England gives operators the unique opportunity to capitalise on the millions of people that come to enjoy the nation’s forests by converting day-visitors to overnight guests.

The campsites will be continue to be operated by the Camping and Caravanning Club in 2022 and there will not be any disruption to the high levels of service and experience for customers during this transition.

Forestry England are inviting expressions of interest from organisations who would like to hear more about the opportunity to operate and evolve one or more of the campsites. More information including how to register your interest can be found here.

LUXURY PODS ON LAKE WATER'S EDGE

 

WATERSIDE LAKE PODS are a top attraction at the luxurious Clawford Lake Resort.

 

Stunning 80-acre holiday destination, Clawford Lakes Resort and Spa, has released details about its luxury ‘lake pods’ which are available to book from April 2022.
The brand-new lake pods are perched right on the water’s edge, with a glass wall flooding the cabin with natural light and private balcony offering incredible views out onto the sparkling lake. Perfect as a romantic cosy hideaway, they offer all the authenticity of a traditional ‘camping-style’ trip but with home comforts such as a compact but practical kitchen, open plan living, kitchen and dining area and bathroom with walk-in shower, a perfect blend of modern living and close-to-nature tranquillity.
The exclusive Clawford Lakes Resort and Spa is 22 miles north of Dartmoor National Park, and just a 30-minute drive from Cornwall’s north coast, making it a perfect base for visitors who want to spend time in Devon as well as exploring Bude, Padstow and St. Ives.
The site is also situated within the North Devon Biosphere, one of six reserves in the UK created by UNESCO that finds creative ways for people and nature to thrive side-by-side.
Lakeshore Leisure Group is a UK leisure brand offering high quality holiday accommodation including self-catering rental cottages and lodges, hotel accommodation and privately owned lodges across three Devon locations; Otter Falls, Lakeview Manor and Clawford Lakes.

FLORAL FANFARES FOR WINDERMERE

 

BLOOMING MARVELLOUS: pictured at Park Cliffe are (from left) Cumbria in Bloom judges Ronnie Auld and Chris Scales, together with the park’s head groundsman Roger Holmes who masterminds the annual floral displays

 

Lakeland’s Park Cliffe holiday park has returned from the recent Cumbria in Bloom awards with a whole bunch of floral and environmental accolades.
The family-run park, near the shores of Windermere, scooped no fewer than four glittering prizes in the competition which attracted hundreds of entries from across Cumbria.
Judges described Park Cliffe as “outstanding” and a perfect fit to the world-famous landscape where wildlife and nature were given the same VIP treatment as guests. The four awards celebrated different aspects of the park including its stunning floral displays, the care of its woodlands, and the wide range of biodiversity in its grounds.
The park has been owned for over 13 years by Susan and Derek Dickson and has won a host of awards for its care of the natural world and conservation work. But Susan says that the real credit for its 2021 Cumbria in Bloom success was owed to its green-fingered staff team, and especially head groundsman Roger Holmes.
“Guests often comment on how visually stunning the park looks, not just in spring but also right throughout the year, thanks to Roger’s imagination and careful planning.

 

LOTS OF THE BLOOMS are specially chosen for their high nectar content, providing valuable foraging for insects

 

“Roger also gives priority to high nectar-bearing blooms, including wild flowers, which provide valuable foraging for butterflies, honey bees and other pollinators.
“We also try and ensure that there are plenty of late-flowering plants at this time of year so that these insects can top-up their energy levels before winter sets in.”
Park Cliffe nestles in 25 acres of picture-perfect countryside, and provides holiday homes to rent and buy, glamping pods, and pitches for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents. The park has been praised for the many wildlife habitats it has created, its championing of local foods in its shop and restaurant, and the use of low-level lighting so guests can enjoy the night sky.
Other initiatives include the banning of single-use plastics throughout the business, and the switch to non-polluting all-electric vehicles around the grounds.

Park Cliffe Holiday Park
www.parkcliffe.co.uk

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Picture postcards from Brighouse Bay Holiday Park in Southern Scotland…

 

Southern Scotland’s Brighouse Bay Holiday Park in Dumfries and Galloway has been named by the AA as the best campsite in Scotland. The family-run business near Borgue beat hundreds of other eligible parks in Scotland to the title when it was announced in November.
Awards given by the AA – based on guest reviews and a “secret shopper” visit by inspectors - are regarded as the Oscars of the holiday parks industry. The seaside park’s facilities, services and levels of hospitality all went under the microscope – and each was found to meet or exceed the AA’s highest standards on every level.

 

 

As well as welcoming campers and the owners of touring caravans and motorhomes, Brighouse Bay provides a number of other accommodation options. They include luxury holiday lodges to own and to hire, some with private hot-tubs, plus cosy glamping lodges which are especially popular with young families.
A member of the prestigious Best of British group of independent parks, site facilities include an 18-hole golf course with spectacular coastal views, and a leisure complex which features an indoor pool, bistro, bar and family entertainment.
Activities available on the park include a mountain bike pump track and, during the summer, pony trekking for all ages as well as an all-tide slipway for boat owners.

 

 

Not that Brighouse Bay is any stranger to awards for it has been graded 4 stars by inspectors from VisitScotland and won a number of environmental accolades. These include the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level, achieved for over 20 successive years in recognition of its many wildlife initiatives.
It also gained an additional award last year for its work to conserve hedges and woodlands, plus wildflower areas which provide vital foraging for honey bees and other pollinators. The park is also undertaking an ambitious rewilding project in areas of the grounds which will help provide additional wildlife habitats.

Brighouse Bay
Tel. 01557 870 267
www.brighousebayholidaypark.co.uk

BEWARE THE SLIPS AND TRIPS

All you need to know about holiday park insurance…

 

WINTER IS TRADITIONALLY the time to check if your park and all its assets are properly protected against any eventuality.

 

As a holiday and caravan park owner or manager, the quieter winter season is often used as an opportunity to run annual maintenance checks and undertake refurbishment to interiors and exteriors where needed.
This is also a time when it is important to make sure that your park and all its assets are properly protected against any eventuality.
“Holiday park insurance can help you to identify what your park insurance needs are, and to make certain that these are provided for with a cost-effective policy,” says Dave Moffat, Director of Pib Group Insurance, the company behind the popular Park Protect scheme.
Whilst holiday parks present similar risk to many businesses there are significant differences. Holiday parks rely on the infrastructure on the park in the form of underground pipes and hook ups, access barriers, on site lighting etc and it is important that your insurance policy can cater for this.
“Many holiday parks will also have holiday home hire feet and holiday home stock,” advises Dave. “As such it is important that a parks insurance policy is able to cater for such units and also the debris removal and re-siting costs associated with replacing holiday homes. ”These are just two of many areas to consider when insuring holiday parks and it is important that your needs are professionally assessed.

 

 

REVENUE LOSS
In addition to recouping the actual financial cost of rebuilding or buying new holiday homes and buildings, it makes financial sense to obtain insurance which will provide you with a cover for the loss of revenue or profit incurred following a material loss.
It is important that you seek professional advice in this area to make sure the sum insured and indemnity period are sufficient for your business needs and the period your business could be affected following a serious loss, such as a fire or flood.
Pib offers common sense advice: “Having members of the public stay in your caravans and spend time in your park on a daily basis also exposes you to other financial risks.
“We live in an increasingly compensation-based culture, in which some people are willing to sue for the smallest things. Though some compensation claims may be for fatuous reasons, there are also very real risks within any holiday park that could result in injury or loss.”
One indemnity limit area holiday parks do need to consider is the limit of indemnity under this cover as the levels of very serious losses has increased exponentially in recent years and claims well in excess of £5m are no longer unusual. Crucially the limit of indemnity is set at the time of the incident but the ultimate settlement amount can fluctuate depending on the calculators used for such claims at the time of settlement. It is not possible to buy additional cover after the event and if your limit of indemnity is exhausted you would be responsible for the shortfall.
All businesses with employees are required to have Employers Liability Insurance arrangements, which usually has a £10,000,000 limit of indemnity. As with Public Liability, all Holiday Parks should consider higher limits of indemnity as it is no longer inconceivable that a very serious injury to an employee could exhaust this cover. The cost of arranging such Excess Liability cover is relatively small and should be discussed with a specialist Insurance provider.

 

Each holiday park will have different insurance needs, depending on size and a variety of other factors. A large-scale park with hundreds of caravans will have different policy requirements to that of a smaller family run park.
Insuring more than 200 caravan and holiday parks across the UK, Park Protect provides tailor-made insurance for the specific needs of your business.
Meanwhile, with all the signs pointing towards another bumper year for the industry what do Holiday Parks need to think about in relation to Insurance.
Compass Insurance have consistently raised awareness about the importance of being insured for the right amount, whether that’s parks themselves or their owners and their individual caravans and lodges. As the costs of rebuilding and replacing park buildings and in particular, caravans and lodges increases, this places more emphasis on sums insured being accurate.
For Parks this means making sure that any buildings and infrastructure insured on their policy is accurate and in some cases a valuation or survey is a good idea especially if you haven’t reviewed this for a few years.
Analysis at the end of 2021 showed that the cost of rebuilding and repairing damaged buildings had increased 7.9% in the last 12 months and forecasts show this continuing to increase as shortages of materials and labour continue into 2022. With that in mind we’re introducing a valuation service for parks insured with Compass so they can have the peace of mind that comes with a professional valuation for their sums insured.
For the owners of individual caravans on your park this can have greater significance as the current issues with supply of new and second-hand units means that what a customer insured for in good faith just six months ago may already be less than the cost of replacing that unit in today’s market.

 

 

IN GOOD FAITH
Compass always look at what the customer insured for at the point the policy was taken out or renewed and base our assessment of any claim on that value. In 2022 our policies will also be updated to contain a provision for this growing trend so that customers don’t find themselves underinsured for no fault of their own.
Compass are renowned for our market leading Holiday Caravan and Lodge product but in 2021 they invested time and resource in developing and launching more products that parks and their customers can benefit from.
Its Residential Park Home product underwent a major overhaul including the introduction of two tiers of cover (Essentials and Extra) which enable the customer to tailor it to meet their needs, as well as the addition of Home Emergency and Legal Expenses as optional covers.

 

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE
They have also developed and launched products for owners of Touring Caravans and Motorhomes both of which give market leading levels of cover at very competitive premiums.
Finally, and new for 2022, Compass is excited to be announcing the launch of its travel insurance product for customers who book breaks on Holiday Parks in the UK.
This product has been developed specifically to meet the growing demand for UK holidays and gives the customer a wide range of cover including cancellation, curtailment and emergency assistance and also includes cover for Covid19 related illness or restrictions.

Caravan Guard (Leisuredays)
Tel. 01422 396 693
Email. park-operator@leisuredays.co.uk
www.leisuredays.co.uk

Compass Insurance
Tel. 0344 274 3908
Email. enquiries@compass.co.uk
www.compassparks.co.uk

Pib Group (Park Protect)
Tel. 01422 358 525
Email. hello@pib-insurance.com
www.pib-insurance.com

AN INSPECTOR CALLS

AA unveil latest national destination gongs…

 

SOUTH EAST ENGLAND regional champions were Swiss Farm Touring & Camping, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

 

Returning for the first time since 2019, the AA has unveiled its UK’s top campsites and caravanning UK destinations with the announcement of the 2021 Caravan and Camping Award winners in a virtual ceremony.
This year’s Campsite of the Year for England, and Overall Winner, was revealed as South Lytchett Manor Caravan & Camping Park, Poole, Dorset. Brighouse Bay Holiday Park, Brighouse Bay, Dumfries & Galloway took the prize for Scotland and Pencelli Castle Caravan & Camping Park, Brecon, Powys won the top award for Wales.
In addition to regional campsite categories, other awards included Holiday Centre of the Year, which was awarded to Park Foot Caravan & Camping Park, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria and Glamping Site of the Year, which went to Concierge Glamping, Chichester, West Sussex, which previously won Regional Campsite of the Year South East in 2019.
“We are delighted to announce the winners of the Caravan and Camping Awards 2021 and have the opportunity to celebrate those sites offering holidaymakers the highest quality camping and caravanning experiences,” Simon Numphud, Managing Director at AA Media.

 

 

“As the hospitality industry has reopened over the past few months, we have seen British tourists exploring the UK more than ever, enjoying incredible campsites and caravan parks across the country. We hope that our latest Caravan and Camping Guide helps them discover even more fantastic holiday destinations, including our wonderful winners.”
All Caravan and Camping Award winners are featured in the 54th edition of the AA Caravan and Camping Guide 2022, the ultimate guide to the UK’s best camping and caravanning destinations.
Each site included in the guide have been visited by one of the AA’s experienced Campsite Inspectors, grading sites from one to five Pennants, based on their facilities and hospitality.
Only the parks of the very highest standard are awarded the coveted Platinum Pennant award. Each entry within the guide includes location, ratings, contact details, directions, prices, opening times, facilities and a description to help select the right site for your needs.

 

CARBON BUSTERS

Leading holiday parks share their green credentials…

 

THE QUIET SITE is located near the shores of Ullswater in picture-perfect Lake District countryside

 

When it comes to combating climate change, the holiday park industry stands loud and proud above most other sectors when it comes to carbon neutral investment.
Before you undertake your carbon footprint assessment, there are some outstanding examples from our peers who are putting their green credentials into action.
You will be well advised to follow their example and add your eco-friendly performance to this year’s marketing themes as customers love nothing more than investing in a planted-friendly holiday.
For instance, The Quiet Site, a family’s holiday park on Ullswater, in the Lake District, has been celebrated at the recent COP26 climate change conference for its fight against global warming.
The park, in Pooley Bridge, was highly commended for its carbon neutral initiatives, and hailed as a Hero of Net Zero at the UN conference’s awards ceremony. The award is part of the Together For Our Planet campaign which recognises original and creative actions taken by small businesses to cut their own greenhouse gas emissions.
Park owner Daniel Holder and his family travelled to the COP26 awards ceremony to receive the judges’ commendation from Andrew Griffith MP.

 

 

CLIMATE HUB
More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2050, in line with the Government’s own climate commitment.
The Quiet Site was highly commended in the small business category for demonstrating a range of measures taken on their journey to net zero. These included prioritising nature by planting wildflower meadows and native trees, building accommodation that generates more energy than it uses, and opening a zero-waste shop.
“All businesses need to become Heroes of Net Zero if the world is going to have an impact on climate change,” said Daniel.
“Our journey has been fascinating, bringing technologies and techniques together in a unique energy mix to enable us to be carbon neutral.
“We started introducing sustainable practices twenty years ago, not because we wanted to save the world but because the initiatives we introduced were based on elegant engineering and made good business sense.
“Our focus is now to enable our customers to visit us without using private cars. Great holidays don’t have to cost the earth,” added Daniel.
The Quiet Site won over the competition judges by not only reducing its own energy consumption and environmental impact, but also encouraging customers to be more environmentally friendly.

 

DEVON-BASED COFTON HOLIDAYS has been recognised for its rewilding efforts.

 

QUEEN’S AWARD
The business provides quality holidays in the heart of the Lake District, offering pitches for tents, camping, motorhomes and a variety of glamping options. Earlier this year, the park became Britain’s first holiday park to win a Queen’s Award for sustainability which was presented by Her Majesty’s Lord- Lieutenant of Cumbria, Claire Hensmen.
Not to be outshone, multi award- winning South West holiday park Cofton Holidays has scooped the Environment and Sustainability award at the Western Morning News Business Awards 2021, recognising its sustained conservation efforts during the pandemic.
Set within 80 acres of glorious Devon countryside, Cofton Holidays has been a family-run holiday park for over 40 years. Guests return year after year to enjoy its beautiful and convenient location, extensive facilities and wide choice of accommodation types for all the family.
Visitors to Cofton can choose from a range of holiday homes, cottages and lodges in the heart of the main park, or cottages and apartments on the estuary-view Eastdon Estate. Cofton also offers a choice of pitches for touring caravan holidays including hard- standing and RV pitches.
Cofton Holidays offers a variety of accommodation to suit all guests including luxury lodges, dog-friendly cottages, Georgian-style apartments, modern holiday homes and camping and caravanning pitches. Facilities include an indoor pool heated by a biomass hub with a splash pad area and hydrotherapy loungers, a gym, restaurant, pub, steam room, sauna, fitness studio, soft play area, playground, sports wall, outdoor pools and much more.
Guests also have access to five coarse fishing lakes, miles of cycle paths and nature trails that take visitors through woodland to the golden sands of Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve.
Sustainability and green initiatives have always been at the top of the agenda for Cofton Holidays, but its rewilding project really took of during the pandemic. With 20 years’ worth of David Bellamy Conservation Awards under their belts, the team saw lockdown as the perfect opportunity to give the park back to Mother Nature.

 

WINNING THE ENVIRONMENT and Sustainability Business Award has been a fabulous achievement for the Cofton team.

 

REWILDING PROJECT
Enhancing the park’s carefully considered planting, extensive woodland, wildlife-friendly hedges, wildflower zones and on-site bug and bee hotel, Cofton has planted additional hedges, shrubs and trees to strengthen wildlife corridors across the site, bringing nature to the doorstep of its visitors. Wild deer, buzzards, butterflies, hedgehogs and a range of fascinating migrating birds can all be spotted thanks to the biodiversity on site. As well as planting perennial flora to attract more insects and pollinators, new hedges provide enhanced nesting environments and food for a variety of birds and bats.
A further scheme that gave Cofton the edge over its competitors is its £60,000 investment in 16 electric car charging points. No other business in the South West has more electric vehicle charging points in one location.
Added to that, Cofton has invested in 144kw of solar power units for the park’s 12 luxury lodges, an electric vehicle for housekeeping, an outdoor lighting review, and the planting of 36 mature trees, making it one of the region’s leading sustainable holiday parks.
Helen Scott, Director at Cofton Holidays, is thrilled with Cofton’s success: “Winning the Environment and Sustainability Award at this year’s Western Morning News Business Awards is a fabulous achievement for us.
“It’s testament to the hard work the team have put into our sustainable initiatives this year, and strengthens our reputation as a holiday park that puts the environment at the forefront of all that we do.”

 

DEVON-BASED Cofton Holidays has been recognised for its rewilding efforts.

 

MOTHER NATURE
Helen continued: “Throughout lockdown, we concentrated all our efforts on making improvements to the park. It was the perfect opportunity to enhance the natural landscape whilst our guests were away, ready for them to marvel at Mother Nature’s handy work once they returned.
“Our sustainability efforts have been recognised by a number of award bodies now including iTravel, VisitEngland and VisitDevon, but this is by no means the end to our investment in green initiatives.
“We will continue to nurture our local environment, fulfilling our sustainability commitment with plans to review our outdoor lighting to reduce light pollution overspill, investing in more charging units for guests staying at the cottages and participating in the tree planting scheme which will celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
“As the recent climate change summit, COP26, has highlighted, it’s more important now than ever before that businesses take responsibility for operating in a sustainable way that will protect the environment for future generations. We take this seriously at Cofton and will continue to do all that we can to protect our beautiful corner of South Devon.”

 

 

CARBON BUSTING
Skelwith Fold, an Ambleside holiday park, has cut the green ribbon on a new office complex which can generate all of its own energy – and still have some to spare.
The 3,000 square foot building adjoins the park’s existing offices and has been designed for total self- sufficiency, powering everything from air-conditioning to espresso machines.
Its secret is a bank of high-efficiency solar panels on the roof which will deliver up to 14 kWh per day, even under the gloomiest winter skies.
Skelwith Fold’s Henry Wild says the two-storey complex has taken the park a huge step closer to its goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2024:”We wanted to see if we could make the building entirely carbon neutral, and found this was possible by using the latest solar technology to generate electricity.

 

SUSTAINABILITY AND GREEN initiatives have always been at the top of the agenda for Cofton Holidays.

 

“Even in use seven days a week, the building will still produce surplus power to harness elsewhere on the park and further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. With the help of other solar panels elsewhere on the park, we are nearing our goal of all our buildings being self-sufficient in energy.
“I also hope that within two years we will create a state of carbon neutrality, and guests will be able to enjoy totally green holidays, even after their journey by car to the park is taken into account.”
The new building’s sustainable credentials are further enhanced by the use in its construction of recycled timber from larch trees grown in the park’s 130-acre grounds.
Skelwith Fold was forced to fell more than 200 larches last year after the Forestry Commission found them to be suffering from a fungal plant disease called Phytophthoras. Many of the areas left by the trees are now subject to an ambitious rewilding scheme.

COMPANY CONTACTS

Cofton Holidays
www.coftonholidays.co.uk

Skelwith Fold
www.skelwith.com

The Quiet Site
www.thequietsite.co.uk

ON THE MENU

Common sense options for your on-site food servings…

 

KEEP THE CUSTOMERS happy with a wealth of catering options to suit all tastes.

 

According to a YouGov survey of Britain’s most popular dishes, roast chicken just overtook fish and chips at the top of the taste bud pops.
For the record, both share 85 per cent of the adult popularity vote, with the all-day English breakfast hot on their heels at 83 per cent.
In an ever-changing world, it is good to know some of the old traditions still have staying power.
But ignore the march of not just new eating habits but preferred ordering techniques at your peril. It is no good sitting back and watching your residents receive their Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats deliveries bypassing your on-site restaurant and take away options.

If Covid taught us anything it was to be flexible with our hospitality business and to embrace new ways of creating business. That means reaching for the clouds with an assortment of your own bespoke APPs to boost business including holiday cabin deliveries.
Personally, while juggling the grandchildren and their bingo cards, I loved ordering my holiday park drinks from my table via an APP only to have them arrive at the table within minutes.
Statistics provides the power to make knowledgeable decisions about our on-site catering. In another survey, OpenTable found that the average British person spends over £4k on dining out each year – that’s a quarter of some people’s annual income.

 

HAVEN HAS LAUNCHED its own Academy to train chefs for its 40 plus holiday locations.

 

EATING OUT
The study also revealed that Brits eat out 1.5 times on average per week and spend about £53 per meal. We are now seeing the evolution of industry trends, fuelled by the population’s growing appetite for eating out.
Increasingly, all-day eating is becoming the norm. Set meal times are a thing of the past – people want to be able to grab a bite to eat at any time of the day in a casual and informal environment.
Why limit yourself to just on-site customers when you can build a reputation and extend your reach throughout your geographic area. South West Holiday Parks teamed up with an award-winning Devon restaurant business as part of an overhaul of its leisure facilities at Coast View Park. The new ODE&Co restaurant welcomes park guests as well as the general public.
Visitors to the 120-seat venue can enjoy sour dough pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven from an open kitchen and prepared with impeccably sourced ingredients including organic flour and 100% buffalo mozzarella from Laverstock farm in Hampshire.
ODE&Co also takes advantage of the fresh seafood available on its doorstep, serving local catch, crab, lobster and grills. Locally sourced beverages include craft ales from Two Beach Brewing Co, organic and bio dynamic wines, local ciders on draft and soft drinks.
The restaurant has panoramic views of South Devon coast from the newly created inside and outside seating areas. The restaurant will also offer take away and delivery services using electric vehicles.
Catering to a wide range of budgets and tastes can create challenges for operators – particularly when you’re looking after diverse needs and expectations on the same site, from campers in tents to guests in luxury holiday lodges.
It’s an issue they recognise at the award-winning Tyddyn Isaf Camping and Caravan Park in Dulas, Anglesey.
The Anglesey campsite has been owned and operated by the Hunt/Mount family for 45 years. Long before a restaurant was created on site, however, food was still on offer, thanks to a very forward-thinking purchase of a pizza oven.

 

SERVICE WITH A SMILE is always appreciated. Pic. Golden Sands Holiday Park.

 

While guests can enjoy a casual meal in the restaurant, there are also options available for those who want to dine alfresco.
Thinking outside the box and a firm believer in supporting local businesses, Tyddyn Isaf partnered with The Great Orme Brewery to create their own range of four local ales and a craft lager.
Catering surely is a complicated business. Add to those complications the challenge of recruiting and retaining good staff and you will know that making money through on-site catering is not for the faint-hearted.
Hospitality and catering professionals met recently to discuss apprenticeships and their role in reducing the severe people and skills crisis in hospitality and catering. The common issues were recruitment and ensuring a path of continuous professional development.
Food prices have gone up at their fastest rate in nearly 30 years - but there is worse to come, experts have warned.
Soaring food costs and the energy bill crisis drove inflation to 5.4% in the 12 months to December, up from 5.1% the month before, in another blow to struggling families.
The last time inflation was higher was in March 1992, when it was 7.1%. And with gas and electricity costs set to rise further in the spring, analysts predict it will reach that level again.
As one of Britain’s leading family holiday companies Haven own and operate 40 award-winning family holiday parks throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Haven appear to be opting for do-it-yourself solutions, covering their catering bets with options for extreme ends of the food chain.
Holidaymakers heading to Lincolnshire’s coast could have another option for their meals with a number of jobs being advertised at a Burger King in a holiday park.
Numerous jobs are being advertised for roles at a restaurant in Mablethorpe - but the fast food chain is yet to confirm whether it will be being built.

 

ENSURE FIXTURES and furnishing suit your target market and menu offering. Pic. Hubbox

 

HOME GROWN
Haven is also introducing an opportunity for budding chefs to receive on-the-job skills and experience training as part of its new Haven Chef Academy.
This new training academy will provide fundamental learning experience for 200 specially selected trainees who will be inducted into an 18-month development programme with access to world class kitchen facilities, working alongside professional chefs as well as having a personal talent coach and mentor. Once initial training is completed, trainees will be placed at one of Haven’s coastal parks across the UK to embark upon priceless on-the-job training.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who is eager to get into the food & beverage industry,” said Anne Blyth, Talent Director at Haven. “This carefully curated programme will be hugely beneficial to all those selected, giving applicants the tools they need to begin a fantastic career and get that essential on-the-job training which is very hard to come by these days”.
Successful applicants will start their time at Haven Chef Academy with an initial accelerated eight week learning programme that will provide them with a sound start into the industry with several tailored masterclasses and live demonstrations leading into an on-the-job learning structure. The selected trainees will be lucky enough to be earning whilst learning at one of the best places in the leisure industry – plus they will gain a professional industry recognised apprenticeship qualification through Haven’s training partner Lifetime.

 

TAKE A REGULAR STOCK CHECK of your restaurant offerings to ensure it is suiting your customers. Pic. Cofton Holidays.

 

“Emerging out of several lockdowns where the appetite for jobs have been slim, this is an immense opportunity for those who are struggling to get back into the hospitality industry,” said Joe Hurd, celebrity chef and Lifetime Ambassador. ”These opportunities are hard to find and as no prior experience is needed applications are open to all who are hungry to start their culinary career and gain from the expert tuition on offer.”
WITH millions of British holidaymakers heading for holiday parks in the UK this year, one of the major attractions for most visitors was that the cooking would be done for them. Catering is the vital ingredient of the holiday park business menu.
From high-class restaurants to family-friendly pizza cafes, the choice on offer at many locations is vast. Quality food and good surroundings are key to the restaurant enjoyment factor with staff service and excellent menus par for the course in these competitive times.

 

 

PEAKS OF PAMPERING

New and returning customers will be welcomed to Celtic Holiday Parks…

A HYDRO POOL COMPLEX provides guests with therapies and relaxation.

Wellbeing, beauty and fitness facilities are among the new features waiting to welcome this year’s visitors to a multi award-winning Wales holiday park group.
Celtic Holiday Parks, based in Pembrokeshire, says it has responded to customer feedback at its three parks by investing in new ways to improve the guest experience.
Business owners Huw Pendleton and his parents Vic and Ann say that the changes will ensure the family-owned group will continue on its course of attracting a new generation of visitors.
“Parks are no longer a one-size-fits-all proposition, and we intend to deliver the type of experience which people have been telling us they want from a holiday,” said Huw.

 

“They still expect fun, but many would rather visit a cocktail bar than a clubhouse, enjoy gastro-pub style meals, and enjoy treatment rooms with first-class facilities and ethical, organic products.
“Beautiful and well cared-for natural surroundings are also often preferred over artificial attractions, and accommodation needs to be exciting, glamorous and perhaps just a bit magical,” Huw continues.
“Many of our guests are repeat visitors, and relatively new to the concept of a park holiday, so we are constantly challenging ourselves to ensure they have something fresh to look forward to.”
Open from March 1st, both new and returning customers in 2022 will be welcomed to surroundings which are a far cry from what met the often more modest expectations of two or three decades ago.

 

NEW DEVELOPMENT WORK is also taking place at Meadow House Park in response to customer demand.

 

FIVE STAR
Five-star accommodation with private hot tubs, safari tents, cosy log cabins, and to-die-for interiors with four-poster beds and designer décor are all part of the pampering process.
“We are privileged to be located in one of the most exquisitely lovely corners of Britain, home to the country’s only coastal national park, so tend to attract people who readily appreciate quality surroundings,” said Huw.
“But although we are continually investing in our parks, our family’s twenty year experience tells us that happy memories are also fashioned by just how welcome people feel.
“That’s why we were delighted to have been given three major awards recently in which the parks’ friendly atmospheres and helpful, cheerful and caring staff all played a big part.”

BLUEBELL PODS AT NOBLE COURT provide guests with a private spa pool and a chance for al-fresco dining.

 

 

BOOKINGS BOOM
The accolades came from bookings giant Hoseasons, Welsh Enterprise, and LUX life magazine – and sit alongside the parks’ Best Caravan and Glamping in Wales distinction from Visit Wales.
Celtic Parks’ picture-perfect Pembrokeshire locations are near the market town of Narberth (Noble Court and Croft Country Park) and overlooking Amroth Bay (Meadow House Park).
Each, said Huw, has its own distinct character with which couples and families often fall in love, leading to their decision to buy a holiday home for four-season use.
“The popularity of UK holidays in recent year has not been for reasons anyone would have chosen, but it has certainly opened many people’s eyes to what a fantastic experience it can be.
“Our record bookings for next year suggest this is no flash in the pan, and I’ve every confidence that we will be investing and raising the bar even higher over the next twelve months,” said Huw.

Celtic Holiday Parks
Tel. 0800 1777 411
www.celticholidayparks.com

HAVEN CONTINUES UK INVESTMENT

 

HAVEN ARE MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE at the Allhallows Holiday Park near Rochester.

 

Haven has announced a huge investment in its Allhallows Holiday Park near Rochester creating top drawer venues for both activities and entertainment.
Expanding on the Park of the Future project first introduced in 2019, Haven is now taking this concept to Allhallows creating both a new Adventure Village and Marina Bar and Stage.
The Adventure Village will provide a host of thrill seeking fun for the youngest and oldest of holidaymakers. The Adventure Village will have a host of other activities from the Multi Use Games Area to Kart and Bike hire as well as sand play and outdoor play areas.  And if you’re bringing your four- legged friend on holiday they can run of some extra steam in the Bark Yard.
A new standalone building, the Marina Bar and outdoor stage, will provide a state-of-the-art venue that can accommodate 920 guests providing more opportunities for guests to enjoy a range of day and night entertainment.
“The new developments are such an exciting development to the park,” says John Coltman, General Manager at Allhallows Holiday Park. “With the work over the next few months bringing us both a new Adventure Village and a Marina Bar and Stage, we will have something to offer all our guests and owners and having seen the work at other parks it really will be something that is quite unique to the area.
The Adventure Village will be completed ready for Spring 2022 whilst the Marina Bar and Stage will be open in Autumn 2022.

NEW IDENTITY FOR STUNNING CORNISH PARK

A BRAND NEW IDENTITY for the park reflects its gorgeous location near Polperro.

One of Cornwall’s most stunningly situated holiday parks has been re-christened with a new name which celebrates its unique location.
Now known as Polperro Holiday Park, it takes its title from the picture-perfect fishing port of Polperro which neighbours the park on Cornwall’s south east coast.

Owners, Park Holidays UK say the new name will help evoke far better the gorgeous scenery and magical atmosphere which awaits families coming here on holiday. The park was acquired earlier this year by the group and was previously known as Seaview Holiday Village.

The name change will also help avoid possible confusion with Seaview Holiday Park in Whitstable, Kent, which is also operated by Park Holidays UK.
Plans have been announced by the company to invest even further in Polperro Holiday Park’s facilities which include a modern indoor pool and family entertainments venue.

KEY SIGNING FOR PARKS PROVIDER

 

WIGAN-BASED Pemberton Park & Leisure Homes have become the first manufacturer to implement the new ‘EliteCRM Manufacturers’ product

Elite Dynamics, a leading provider of IT solutions to the Holiday Home and Residential Parks’ industry, has expanded its reach to sign up its first holiday home manufacturer – Pemberton Park & Leisure Homes.
It’s a move that now sees Elite Dynamics’ solutions transcend across the holiday home and parks’ industry, from manufacturer to supplier to park operator.
Wigan-based Pemberton Park & Leisure Homes have become the first manufacturer to implement the new ‘EliteCRM Manufacturers’ product. Built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, they will also be able to utilise other practical additional Microsoft tools to work with the solution.
‘EliteCRM Manufacturers’ is an all- in-one operational platform for Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, and Field Service, and has the ability to seamlessly integrate with any existing warehousing software.
Using cloud based, mobile enabled software powered by the latest Microsoft Dynamics technology, Pemberton staff across all areas of the business will have real time access to customer aftersales analysis, real time reporting information, and real time engineer job allocation while they’re out in the field. In addition, ‘EliteCRM Manufacturers’ will give Pemberton’s holiday park customers access to their own personalised portal to manage aftersales.
‘EliteCRM Manufacturers’ has been designed specifically to improve the way manufacturers and suppliers work, improving communication and relationships with customers - from initial design stage to shop floor production and after-sales service.

 

JAMAINE CAMPBELL is managing director of Elite Dynamics.

JIGSAW PUZZLE
Jamaine Campbell, Managing Director at Elite Dynamics, said: “To be working with a holiday home manufacturer like Pemberton is the next piece of the jigsaw for us, so we’re excited to see how our solutions can help all areas of the industry come together to deliver an all-round first-class service.
“The demand on manufacturers has never been as high, so it’s crucial for the technology to be on-point to ease any pressure, particularly across busy customer service and aftersales teams.
For more information on Elite Dynamics or to arrange a demo of EliteCRM Manufacturers,
visit https://www.elitedynamics.co.uk

 

 

 

 

ECO-FRIENDLY BESPOKE SPLASH PADS

Innovators in splash pad design, The Splash by Kingcombe Stonbury, with over 20 years experience in splash pad design and installations have launched their advanced, interactive Eco Splash product range, designed to provide a more environmentally friendly solution for splash pad water usage.

This tried and tested system that conforms to PWTAG, can save up to 50m3 of water per day; a huge water saving over the annual demands of a busy attraction.
Not only does it offer improved sustainability, the cost-saving benefits to running this advanced system are hard to ignore.

The Splash are specialists in providing bespoke, interactive water play equipment that is a win, win for holiday parks. The tried and tested product range is manufactured in the UK and is a cost-effective solution to water play.

In-house design offers endless opportunities for high quality bespoke play equipment, tailored to each customer needs. Popular design themes with above ground and in-ground features, as well as shaped water shifters, include seascapes, countryside scenes, space adventures, aquatic animals as well as dinosaurs and schematics based on historic periods such as Medieval times.

If your current splash pad needs updating, The Splash can design and manufacture features that will fit on your current base, saving significant time and expense on the refurbishment on your splash pad or paddling pool. Talk to the sales team to find out how switching to Eco splash could benefit your holiday visitor offering.

The Splash
enquiries@thesplash.uk
https://thesplash.uk

 

 

 

 

HEAD EAST PROMOTES WALKING ROUTES

 

HOLIDAY PARK VISITORS Can enjoy enhanced outdoor experiences through the Head East scheme.

Head East is designed to raise the profile of Norfolk and Suffolk’s outstanding cultural offering and to boost the gradual recovery, adaptation and re-stabilisation of the region’s visitor economy in the wake of the pandemic.
Led by the New Anglia Culture Board, the year-long targeted cultural tourism campaign aims to promote and build a national profile of the East as a ‘must see’ UK cultural destination.
The original campaign was focused on 2020, but the pandemic triggered a strategic re-focus.
A €23.3 million project is promoting new walking experiences by the Interreg EXPERIENCE Project.

PARKS BREAK WINTER HIBERNATION

 

BOOKINGS are being extended into the winter months.

 

Park Holidays UK carried on for eight weeks beyond its usual closing date to allow families to enjoy November and December breaks. The group is kept 13 of its most popular parks until the week before Christmas following a “deluge of demand” for a final getaway of the year.
Park Holidays UK director Tony Clish says that the end of the October school half-term would have normally signalled the parks’ winter hibernation. “Brits have been given back their holiday freedom this year, and we’ve welcomed more families than ever in our 30 year history,” said Tony. “But it’s been obvious from the number of enquires we’ve received that many people want to holiday on through to the end of the season. “Now they will have the chance to do just that in a fully insulated holiday caravan or luxury lodge with central heating and double glazing to ensure everyone remains snug.”
Park Holidays UK operates 40- plus parks throughout England and Scotland, and Tony says their beautiful locations are well worth an out-of-season visit.

DORSET PARK DECLARED BEST IN BRITAIN

 

THE PARK HAS GATHERED THREE AWARDS this year, all celebrating its high- quality standards across various facilities

 

Dorset’s South Lytchett Manor holiday park has been named by the AA as the UK’s top destination for campers, glampers, caravanners and motorhome owners.
The family business beat thousands of other eligible parks to take both the England and the overall British Campsite of the Year titles in the AA’s 2021 Caravan and Camping Awards.
Awards given by the AA – based on guest reviews and a “secret shopper” visit by inspectors - are regarded as the Oscars of the holiday parks industry. The park’s facilities, services and levels of hospitality all went under the microscope – and each was found to meet or exceed the platinum standard on every level.
South Lytchett Manor’s owners, Joanne and David Bridgen, say they were “stunned but absolutely delighted” when news came through that they had clinched the major honour:
“We are so proud to be able to bring this title home to Dorset, and I hope it will help throw the national spotlight on all tourism businesses in the county,” said Joanne.
“The AA award is particularly special to us because the judging is based not just on our quality standards, but also the experience which guests enjoy during their stay.

 

“Providing happy holiday memories has always been our main priority, and our friendly and helpful team here deserve a big vote of thanks for helping us achieve this,” she added.
Guests at the park can bring their own motorhome, touring caravan or tent, or choose to stay in one of South Lytchett Manor’s many glamping options. These include picturesque Romany caravans fully fitted out with all home comforts, cosy shepherd’s huts, and six new glamping pods.
“It’s been a fantastically busy year for us and bookings for 2022 are at record levels, so these awards have really helped us to finish the season on a high!” said Joanne.
South Lytchett Manor is a member of the Best of British group which comprises some 50 independently-run parks with top quality ratings based throughout the UK.
The AA accolade completes a triple triumph of successes this year for Joanne and David who run the park with the help of their son Matt and marketing manager Emily Freeman. In spring, South Lytchett Manor took the overall gold title in the Camping and Caravanning Park of the Year category in the South West Tourism Excellence awards and in the autumn won a diamond award in the Loo Of The Year competition.

OOH LA! LA! BRITISH LURED TO FRENCH PARKS

 

PARKS SUCH AS SANDGREEN Caravan Park in Dumfries & Galloway, pictured, have converted many to UK holidays.

 

Holiday park owners in France are training their sights on British holidaymakers in a bid to make up huge revenue losses suffered during recent overseas travel restrictions.
Helping lead the assault is French holiday parks giant Yelloh Village which operates more than 100 parks in its home country, as well as offering hot spots in Spain and Portugal.
The group, based near Nimes, has this month appointed Caravan Sitefinder to take the lead in publicising its holidays to the online booking platform’s million-plus annual visitors. CEO Michael Paul says Yelloh anticipates that mainland Europe will be fully open for business by next spring, and that many UK families will be thirsting for a continental holiday. Caravan Sitefinder, says Michael, will be actively marketing Yelloh’s parks to consumers via its huge database, and through high-profile website promotions. “The British holiday market is massively important to French park operators, and the widescale absence of UK visitors for almost two years is being keenly felt,” said Michael. “But they sense that payback time will be coming shortly and want to claim as large a share as possible of the market by going all out for bookings made this winter and spring.

 

 

LICKING WOUNDS
“This clearly has ramifications for UK park owners as they too are still licking their wounds after so many lockdowns and Covid-related cancellations in recent times. Many will be pinning their hopes on the trend for domestic holidays to continue next year, and I think they have some cause for optimism,” continues Michael.
“A lot of families have been converted to stays in this country after enjoying positive experiences this and last summer and may choose to continue doing so. “But there will inevitably be others who are now looking forward to returning to Mediterranean sunshine, and will be booking with overseas park operators such as Yelloh. So the main priority for most parks will be to seize as many bookings as possible from those intending to stay in the UK, and to do so as early as possible. “In other words, they will have to market themselves far more aggressively than this year, and not rely on travel limitations providing an almost literal captive audience,” said Michael. Yelloh’s parks, located largely on the coast and in popular mountain areas, range from simple touring sites to multi-activity centres with luxury accommodation.

CARAVAN GUARD WINS NATIONAL AWARD

CARAVAN GUARD sustains its award-winning insurance delivery.

Insurance specialists Caravan Guard, incorporating Leisuredays, were thrilled to be crowned silver winners of the Personal Lines Broker of the Year at the Insurance Times Awards 2021.
The caravan and motorhome insurance specialists went head-to-head with nine other companies at a prestigious national awards event at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London last week after being shortlisted for two awards.
The flagship awards celebrated excellence and innovation and recognised the very best companies across the breadth of UK general insurance.
Caravan Guard collected the silver winners trophy after showcasing high levels of customer loyalty, business growth and excellent customer feedback.
The Halifax-based company was also a finalist in the Customer Champion of the Year – Broker category for its passion for delivering brilliant customer experiences and highlighting improvements in its already highly-rated service.
Caravan Guard’s Managing Director, Ryan Wilby, said he was delighted the family business had been recognised at these high-profile awards.
“It was fantastic to be finalists for two awards on this national stage, and to bring back some silverware for our team was the icing on the cake,” said Ryan. “We’re very proud of the work we do to deliver great service to our customers as well as providing specialist, market-leading insurance cover for their pride and joy.”
Caravan Guard has already been crowned winners of What Motorhome magazine’s insurance provider of the Year 2021 and was also a finalist in the UK Customer Satisfaction Awards 2021 but was pipped at the post by UK online business directory Yell.
Caravan Guard, incorporating Leisuredays, has a strong culture of supporting charitable causes. Each year it donates tens of thousands of pounds to local and national charities, including Overgate Hospice, Heart Research UK and Yorkshire Air Ambulance and caring completely is at the heart of its company values.

Caravan Guard (Leisuredays)
Tel. 01422 396 693
park-operator@leisuredays.co.uk
www.leisuredays.co.uk

CURTAIN RAISER

 

A ONE-STOP HUB of business inspiration, the Holiday Park Innovation show makes a welcome return this November.

CURTAIN RAISER

You will need to plan ahead to maximise the potential of your visit to The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show which makes a welcome return.
The not-to-be-missed event will be opening its doors at the NEC Birmingham on Wednesday and Thursday November 10 and 11.
Europe’s leading event for the most ambitious holiday park and resort owners, the show runs alongside the Farm Business Innovation Show, Family Attraction Expo, Leisure Food & Beverage Expo, Leisure Toy & Gift and the Leisure Transport Show.
With over 1000 exhibitors, 500 seminars and an outstanding schedule of keynote speakers, it will be benefcial to know exactly what to expect from the show and plan ahead, so if you want to make the most out of the two days, keep reading!
The show offers a unique opportunity to see the latest industry products in action in the Live Demo area. Be sure to make some time to visit this area and possibly even get involved yourself! You can see the live demo timetable on the website under ‘What’s On?’.
This year, the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show is launching its frst series of panel debates, where the leading industry experts will be discussing the latest industry topics. This will give you the opportunity to finally ask your burning questions and hear the answers live and in person. From renewable energy to marketing tactics to enhance your holiday park or resort, you do not want to miss this opportunity! Find the full schedule on the website under ‘What’s On?’ and look out for times to incorporate some of these incredible discussions into your day!

THE SHOW OFFERS a unique opportunity to see the latest industry products in action.

EXPERT PANEL
Industry experts from some of the biggest names and associations within the industry will be available at the show to provide their insights into the industry, knowledge, advice and tips and tricks to support you on your innovation journey. From the likes of former MP, Nick De Bois - Visit England, TV Presenter, Author & Designer, Max McMurdo, and Justin Reid from TripAdvisor, listen to the hottest topics and latest trends in the industry right now. Keep an eye out on the website under ‘Speakers’ for the full timetable, coming soon!

INNOVATION AWARDS
The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Awards will be recognising the companies who have gone above and beyond within the industry, celebrating those that are combining an unprecedented blend of innovation, creativity and uniqueness in their work and customer offering.
It is very important to pre-register for your tickets before attending the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show this year, so register for your free tickets now before they are all gone! Doing so now also means you will receive your printed show guide delivered straight to your door, as well as access to the digital show guide, which includes the floor plan, full agenda, and everything you need to know about the show.
Log on to www.holidayparkshow.co.uk to check on latest information including vital covid guidance.

HOLIDAY PARK INNOVATION has earned itself as Europe’s leading event for the most ambitious holiday park and resort owners.

TRAVELLING TO THE NEC
If you decide to drive to the NEC, it is just 8 miles east of Birmingham city centre, and there are 16,500 spaces available in the car park, including plenty of helpful signage and a traffic team to ensure you get to the right area for your event. It is also very easy to catch the train as the NEC is right next to Birmingham’s international railway station. Visit the website and click on ‘Show Info’ to see full details about travel and parking, as well as bus & coach and taxi services.

OPENING TIMES
The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show will open at 9am on Wednesday 10th November, and close at 5pm. The event will reopen at 9am again on Thursday 11th and close at 4:30pm. Make sure you go and register for your free tickets now before they are all gone and be on the lookout for your printed show guide so that you can plan ahead and make the most out of your time at the event!

A-Z OF MUST SEE EXHIBITORS

STAND 6153
Selling your Park?
BusinessesForSale.com is the world’s most popular website for buying or selling a business.
Established in 1996, the website is an international marketplace of businesses for sale. We provide a cost-effective route to market for business owners and their representatives and a one stop shop for aspiring entrepreneurs and business buyers.
The website is the world’s largest businesses for sale marketplace, attracting over 1.2 million buyers and sellers every month.
Whether you’re looking to get in, grow or get out, BusinessesForSale.com has everything you need. Come and speak to the team on the stand or browse a selection of our current opportunities at our Wall of Business.

Businessesforsale.com
www.businessesforsale.com

 

STAND 1140
Leading Wifi Provider
Reliable WI-FI is essential for your business to gain a competitive edge. It allows your guests to stay in contact with friends and family, whilst also keeping up to date with work emails whilst away. Today, your guests expect a WI-FI connection that is swift and secure. We pride ourselves on supplying effcient hard-wired WI-FI solutions and excellent customer service from our 7-day support team and our qualifed professionals with years of experience. Camping Connect ensures the provision of secure, family friendly Internet access in line with EU legislation and is a `Friendly WI-FI` registered WI-FI provider.

Camping Connect
01792 277 231
campingconnect.co.uk

 

STAND 7131
Washroom Solutions
Cubicle Centre has been manufacturing toilet cubicles, wall panels and washroom panel products for over 20 years. We offer a range of washroom cubicles and wall panel products to suit any budget from our Pennine range where function and price is a factor, through to our vandal resistant Cairngorm range.
At Holiday Park and Innovation 2021 we will be demonstrating our water proof Cairngorm range of toilet and shower cubicles along with made to measure vanity units with both recessed and semi recessed basin units.

Cubicle Centre
01484 457600
washroomcubicles.co.uk

 

STAND 5132
Futureproof Your Business
Leading provider of IT business solutions to the Holiday Home & Leisure Resort industry, Elite Dynamics, will be a specialist speaker at this year’s Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show. MD Jamaine Campbell and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Lead Consultant, Andrew Blackie will be giving the audience key insights into how to futureproof and drive forward their holiday park businesses using readily available standard Microsoft Dynamics Technologies.
The team will showcase some of the newest and most innovative technology available on the market today, all of which has been specifcally designed for our industry and to future-proof your business.

Elite Dynamics
0161 641 8926
elitedynamics.co.uk

 

STAND 5091
Cloud Based Solutions
GemaPark is an internet-based Booking System designed to help you manage self-catering, glamping pods, and touring and camping.
From the interactive availability chart you can see all your bookings, blackout dates, add bookings and check availability and live pricing. An arrival day dashboard shows you today’s arrivals and departures including unit clean status. Online booking and online check-in can be integrated with your website with no commission to pay. Standard customer documents and ad-hoc emails can be sent directly from the system.
Netguides ensure GemaPark is PCI compliant and GDPR compliant. Whether you’re starting out or wanting to make life easier come and see us on our stand.

GemaPark
01983 282420
gemapark.co.uk

 

STAND 7180
Bring OnThe Heat!
Visitors are invited to stand 7180 where the Golden Coast team will be on hand to demonstrate its popular heat pump for pools and hot tubs.
Delivering output up to 13 times greater than an electric heater, a Golden Coast inverter-driven heat pump operates on a low current without compromising on performance and ensures whisper-quiet noise levels as low as 25dB. It even operates in low temperatures, enabling parks to continue offering enjoyable hot tub experiences all year round.
By using less electricity, the energy-efficient heat pump can help cut a park’s carbon footprint whilst saving thousands on running costs and allowing a faster return on investment.

Golden Coast
01271 378100
goldenc.com

 

STAND 8112
Stand Out From The Crowd!
Holiday Park Scene magazine is an unmissable read for anyone involved in the management of a Holiday Park, Campsite, Caravan Park & Glampsite. At least 5,000 copies of Holiday Park Scene are distributed four times annually to key personnel in all aspects of the holiday park industry across the UK and Eire.
Offering the inside track on the latest market news and reports covering all aspects of holiday park management.
We’re not just big in PRINT we have huge online coverage through our WEBSITE, EMAIL NEWSLETTERS & SOCIAL MEDIA!
If you would like to be featured in the magazine, we would love to hear for you.

Holiday Park Scene Magazine
01353 666663
holidayparkscene.com

 

STAND: 6081

WiFi Game-Changer
Holiday Parks no longer have to put up with nightmare broadband connections thanks to the introduction of ParkLink from Vital Wifi which enables super-fast speeds ‘Direct to the Van’ at a fraction of the cost of fibre.
It uses revolutionary technology designed to deliver consistently high-quality broadband across wide open remote outdoor sites.
ParkLink from Vital Wifi is a dedicated wireless package for holiday parks that provides fibre-like Internet speeds at a significantly lower cost of ownership without the disruption of installing fibre infrastructure.
New game-changing Internet distribution technology, used by ParkLink, is making reliable, park-wide high-speed Internet affordable and accessible to campsites, caravan and holiday parks.
Come and see us on our stand for more information.

ParkLink – Powered by Vital Wifi
0333 3583 111
parklink.co.uk

 

 

STAND 9213
Park Protect Scheme
The Park Protect scheme provides commercial insurance for more than 200 caravan parks up and down the country.
Having spent 15 years building strong relationships in the caravan and holiday park market you can be sure Park Protect will give you – the park owner – the protection you deserve.
Whatever type of leisure business you operate you need to stay up-to-date with legal changes, health & safety legislation, and issues that can affect your leisure property. Our knowledge and experience as specialist insurance brokers for the leisure industry means we tailor individual solutions to protect your employees and visitors.

PIB Insurance Brokers
01422 358 525
pib-insurance.com

 

STAND 10161
Award Winning Waterplay
Established in 1966, Ustigate have specialised in the design, build and maintenance of inclusive indoor and outdoor water play facilities for 55 years and have completed over 100 aquatic play installations to date. Ustigate Waterplay is excited to introduce over 300 products that promote active play; all designed and developed by their global leading aquatic partner of eighteen years, Vortex Aquatic Structures International Inc. The portfolio offers theming and an aquatic play favourite for every age and ability; incorporating climbing, sliding and multiple interactive activities via collections such as award winning Water Journey™, Elevations™ and Explora.

Ustigate Waterplay
01322 424445
ustigatewaterplay.co.uk

 

STAND 6270
Making Park Payments Easy
Make it quick and easy for your guests to pay for on-site facilities with a VMC cashless payment system. A seamless tap and go payment experience really adds value for the customer and is an opportunity to incentivise and increase visitor spend.
Our payment readers are ideal for catering and bar areas but can also be fitted to almost any unattended machine making them ideal for parking, charging, power, amusements, pool tables, laundry, bike hire, vending, and much more.
For parks wanting to incentivise and reward customers for onsite spend, VMC can also provide a private onsite payment system using branded cards, wristbands or biometrics.

VMC (UK) Ltd
01926 816400
vmcltd.co.uk

 

STAND 7242
Family Fun For Everyone!
For 50 years, World of Rides have been the leading UK manufacturer of children’s leisure rides in the United Kingdom.
From our factory in County Durham we supply major shopping centres, retailers, visitor attractions, farm parks, holiday parks, garden centres, family entertainment centres and hospitality centres both nationally and internationally, as well as leading single-site operators.
Our vast knowledge and experience ensures that every ride we manufacture and sell is rigorously tested both in the factory and on-site before being released for sale.
Come and see us on our stand for further information.

World of Rides
0191 49 20 999
worldofrides.com

 

SKELWITH FOLD’S HENRY Wild says families are making room for grandparents on their holidays.

THREE GENERATION GRAMPING HOLIDAYS

Many families with children are taking more than just suitcases on their holidays this year - they are also making room for grandma and grandad.
That’s the finding of major Lake District holiday park Skelwith Fold which reports a rise in multi-generation holidays booked for summer and autumn.
The park’s Henry Wild believes that many families are motivated by wanting to spend quality time together after months of lockdowns.
The Ambleside park says the trend is evident amongst those hiring glamping accommodation such as safari tents, and people staying in motorhomes and touring caravans.
“The three-generation holiday is a throw-back to what was once a common practice in this country many years ago,” said Henry. “It diminished with the popularity of overseas holidays which weren’t as practical for extended family groups – but, of course, Covid has now changed all of that.
“A holiday park is the ideal environment for this as everyone can enjoy breathing fresh air in natural surroundings, and just take it easy in a laid-back atmosphere. As well as enjoying each other’s company, mum and dad also have a built-in child care service so that they can make an occasional escape and be just a couple again,” added Henry.

£250K PLAY ZONE UNVEILED

 

TV PERSONALITY Josie Gibson declares the play area at Ladram Bay offcially open.

Family-owned Landram Bay has sunk a quarter of a million pounds into a new play zone to create one of Devon’s most exciting play opportunities: “Mums and dads know that kids get their biggest thrills from being active, so we went all out for the best possible experience,” said park director Zoe House. “The play area includes tunnels and an obstacle course, a multi-level adventure frame, wobbly bridges, slides and a pirate ship on which youngsters can clamber. “It’s enormous fun, but also encourages the development of physical fexibility and decision- making skills, as well as helping our younger guests to socialise with each other.”

BUSINESS LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

 

THE FIRST OF ITS KIND in the holiday park sector, Parkdean Resorts has launched a bespoke talent development programme.

Parkdean Resorts, the UK’s leading holiday park operator, has partnered with Cranfeld Executive Development, to provide Parkdean Resorts personnel with elite leadership and management training.
The bespoke talent development programme, the first of its kind in the holiday park sector, is aimed at unlocking the development potential of leading talent in the business. The two-year course is available for selected candidates and represents a £30,000 investment per participant.
The delegates will at first enrol and complete Cranfeld’s Breakthrough Leadership Programme. After successfully completing this programme, each delegate will select a further development course for the second year, which will be more specific to their needs and skill-gaps.
The cohort that will begin the course in 2021 is made up of seven senior managers across the business that have been earmarked as future leaders of the business and includes one employee who began their career at Parkdean Resorts working as a lifeguard and has since worked their way up to their current role. Upon completion, all delegates will be awarded the CEOs ‘One to watch’ award.

MAXIMISING VISITOR SPEND ON SITE

 

CASHLESS PAYMENT systems offer touch-free purchasing on-site.

For park operators, a cashless payment system is an opportunity to incentivise and increase visitor spend. Easy, quick, and safe payments also offer a great customer experience.
In the wake of COVID-19 cleanliness is still front of mind for all of us. Contactless is the safe payment of choice, with no need to even touch the terminal or pin pad. By adding this form of payment to more of your onsite services and facilities you’re making it simpler for the customer and increasing the chances of impulse purchasing.
For parks wanting to incentivise and reward customers for onsite spend, VMC can also provide a private onsite payment system using branded cards, wristbands or biometrics. With a choice of payment types; cashless, contactless, mobile payments and QR codes, our system is also packed with other great features like online pre-order, loyalty, meal deals and promotions.
There is a mobile app for customers, to top up their account as they go or spend and settle on check out. They can even start saving in their account before they arrive, so the holiday fund is ready for their arrival.
A seamless payment experience really adds value for the customer, not needing cash to pay for anything during their stay keeps things effortless and simple. Cashless payment can help park operators to manage additional facilities more efficiently, or even add new ones without impacting on staffing. Ideal for parking, charging, power, amusements, food and drink, vending, laundry, bike hire, pool tables and much more. The possibilities are endless.

VMC (UK) Ltd.
Tel: 01926 816400
E: sales@vmcltd.co.uk
www.vmcltd.co.uk

GAME-CHANGING INTERNET COVERAGE

PARKLINK™ OFFERS SUPER-FAST Internet connection for guests.

Holiday Parks no longer have to put up with nightmare broadband connections thanks to the introduction of ParkLink™ from Vital Wifi which enables super-fast speeds ‘Direct to the Van’ at a fraction of the cost of fibre.
It uses revolutionary technology designed to deliver consistently high-quality broadband across wide open remote outdoor sites.
“I can’t stress enough how vital it is for a holiday park to have a highly resilient and robust internet network,” comments John Bunn, who has collaborated with outdoor WiFi specialists Vital Wifi to develop ParkLink™ for the parks industry.
“Going forward, the network infrastructure will be the backbone for delivering essential services to caravan owners and key for the successful management of a park,” says John Bunn. “Internet infrastructure shouldn’t be viewed as a cost, it’s a business enabler for holiday parks,” he adds.
Paris Williams manages Tan Rallt, a family run holiday park in North Wales with 140 caravans. They used an industry-leading solution for their WiFi provision but still their guests experienced poor internet service with intermittent connectivity, dropped signal, low bandwidth and signal interference.
“Despite having a service contract, our staff were spending way too much time fiddling with routers they knew nothing about,” says Paris. “Then when the network went down for 11 days, taking up two full days of internal staff’s time to troubleshoot, it was time to find a better way.”
“Now, with ParkLink™ we provide free WiFi to all our guests and give them the option to upgrade for higher bandwidth directly from Vital Wifi, who installed the system entirely at their own expense. It’s a win, win and we can now attract guests who require an always-on super-fast connection.”

ParkLink™ – Powered by Vital Wifi
Tel. 0333 3583 111
www.parklink.co.uk

TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS WITH SPATEX VISIT

SPATEX is a must visit for water leisure features from hot tubs to swimming pools and much more besides.

Thinking of installing a hot tub or swimming pool or updating your current facilities? Then SPATEX 2022, at the Coventry Building Society Arena, Tues 1st to Thurs 3rd February, is a must-attend event.
As the UK’s only dedicated annual exhibition, entering its 25th year, over one hundred companies, from home and abroad, will display their latest models and innovations.
Free to attend, it provides holiday park owners with all you need to know about water leisure features such as spas, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, swimming pools, enclosures and much more besides.
With the latest money-saving innovations - energy-saving is the cornerstone of the show’s agenda, you can tap into expert advice from some of the world’s top water leisure experts on hand, access free advice for your existing or future project.
Talks and demonstrations in the show’s free-to-attend, three-day double seminar and workshop programme will focus on how to save time and money. CPD points and a certificate of attendance are awarded to all attendees of the ISPE (Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers) workshops.
Make your first point of call, the SPATEX Help Desk at the entrance to be pointed in the right direction and don’t forget The Big Reunion - SPATEX’s free to attend 25th anniversary networking party on Wednesday after the show closes at 5pm with free drinks, canapes and lots of industry chat.
The Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry CV6 6GE is easy to get to - just 500 yards of the M6 and within two hours commuting time of 75 per cent of the population that ofers 2,000 free on-site car parking spaces.
Register now at www.spatex.co.uk

CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF SALTEX EVENT

Those associated with the holiday park industries will have the opportunity to see a wide range of innovative new products and services from prominent suppliers when SALTEX opens its doors at the NEC, Birmingham on November 3 and 4.
SALTEX will be taking place for the 75th time this year and the show is set to be the most vibrant and celebrated event in its long history.
The show floor will be bursting with everything a visitor needs to increase their effciency and improve operations and will contain a plethora of exhibitors representing the likes of turf maintenance machinery, fertilizers, wetting agents, seeds, turf, aggregates and treatments, weed control, facilities management services, fencing and landscaping.

ECO VILLAGE

As well as a wide range of innovative products on display within the three large halls, visitors to SALTEX will have the chance to see an ‘electrifying’ showcase of products in a dedicated area on the show foor called the Eco Village. Featuring a programme of daily demonstrations in cutting- edge sustainable technology – the Eco Village allows visitors a unique opportunity to witness a multitude of products in action.
Expect to see a powerful line-up of new innovations from the likes of Avant UK (headline sponsor), Dennis Mowers, Campey Turf Care Systems, Overton UK, GroundWOW and Allet Mowers.
Since its launch at SALTEX 2017, the Innovation Awards have helped to highlight some of the most ground- breaking, innovative products and services within the groundscare industry. Visitors will get the chance to see every entry on the show floor and there will be a winner in each of a wide range of product categories - so keep an eye out for news on when and where the final ceremony will take place on the show floor.
There will also be a number of education opportunities through Learning LIVE - SALTEX’s all- encompassing, free-to-attend education programme. Learning LIVE will take place in large seminar theatres situated on the show floor and will feature a wide range of topics which could be particularly beneficial for those working in the landscaping sector.

LAWN CARE

Landscapers may well be interested in Lawn Care Legends LIVE, which will take place on the first day of the show and offer a fantastic networking opportunity.
In addition to the limitless opportunities available on the show floor, one lucky visitor will be presented with an incredible battery-powered compact loader from Avant UK worth approximately £30,000. Every person who registers will be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize – on loan for six months and the live draw will take place on the first day of the show.
Pre-registration to SALTEX 2021 is essential this year. Please register for free online at gmasaltex.co.uk/visitor-registration/ and print off your badge for entry to the show.

MINT CONDITION

 

THIS FORDINBRIDGE CANOPY over an outdoor play area is not just good looking but highly
functional for extending exterior use.

How to ensure your site is always keeping up appearances reports Emily Martin…

Holiday parks have to keep many plates spinning but you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and, as they say, the devil is often in the detail.
Creating the perfect holiday experience for guests is a lot of work but, to get that wow-factor on arrival, you need simple, smart and effective ideas that don’t take up lots of time or resources.
Holiday Park Scene has spoken to some of the holiday park industry’s top services and suppliers and they’ve given us some tips on how to ensure that, for your guests, it’s always love at first sight.
The 2021 winners of ‘Grounds Maintenance Company of the Year’ at the Pro Landscaper Business Awards was Glendale. A company offering an all-encompassing green-space management and maintenance service and Matt Gavin, Head of Commercial Sales and Development, says landscaping and grounds maintenance is crucial to keeping things looking their best.

 

KEEP UP YOUR LOCATION’S appearances with clean paths and tidy planting. Pic. Mill Rythe Park

Matt says: “Due to parks now hosting guests more accustomed to international holidays, Glendale has seen a 95% increase in the level of enquiries from camping and caravanning sites looking to undertake signifcant landscaping and grounds maintenance work to keep the sites pristine.”
Matt reveals that sites are specifically requesting tree management services, commercial grass cutting and invasive specials control alongside general grounds maintenance.
Matt continues: “The demand from the camping sector started as early as January 2021 when confidence started to rise at the prospect of a roadmap out of Covid restrictions. Since the government announcement was made regarding lockdown potentially ending in late June, the level of enquiries about our landscaping services surpassed all expectations.”

 

PICTURE POSTCARD

Martin Lucas of GreenMech agrees about the importance of landscaping. He says: “The setting and landscape of a holiday park often provides the frame for a picture-postcard holiday. Keeping on top of the site’s surroundings will provide great aesthetic benefits, but woodland maintenance shouldn’t be forgotten on the list of landscaping tasks.”
Martin goes on: “The benefits of a striking first-impression continues to be a key driver behind keeping on top of site maintenance. The look and feel of a site should be fitting within its surroundings - a dense tree belt for example may be fitting for a countryside venue, but less so in an open landscape.
“Trees present a fantastic way to integrate or soften the appearance of ancillary buildings and other site facilities but also have the functional benefit of creating boundaries, shelter and screening between public and private areas.
“Key woodland management tasks could include regular examination of tree roots and overhanging branches as these can quickly cause problems overhead or underground, as well as posing health and safety risks to guests,” advises Martin. “Also, removing density in the upper and lower canopies to promote a better flow of air and light to site which, in turn, will optimise the health of any turf, pruning and thinning of brush and disposing of any dead, damaged or diseased wood or brash.”

 

TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY to reinforce branding with props like these planters. Pic. Woodberry

 

But holiday parks keen to keep on top of landscaping and forestry need to be mindful of the pitfalls it can create. Especially what they do with the debris they create as Martin explains: “The Environmental Protection Act, along with the Clean Air Act, considers the burning of waste as inappropriate. Anyone found improperly disposing of waste risks being prosecuted by The Environment Agency, Local Council or Police – with a typical fine likely to be in the region of £2000.”
GreenMech have a woodchipper portfolio that spans 20 models of various sizes and chipping capacities, with a pedestrian range built with the professional landscaper and parks manager in mind. Chipping is a fantastic way to quickly and easily remove unwanted material. The chip that is produced can then be used in other beneficial ways - as a weed suppressant on pathways and in flowers beds or scattered around trees to help with moisture retention in the summer months.
Once you’ve sorted the landscaping and forest management you need to start adding strategic items that will enhance the useability and aesthetics of your outdoor space.

 

AL FRESCO AREAS

Martyn Bright from NBB Recycled Furniture says: “Research continues to validate that meeting outdoors comes with a reduced risk of coronavirus transmission and introducing furniture outside to optimise your available space is a great way to stay compliant with government advice, whilst creating comfortable al fresco areas for your expectant returning customers to enjoy.
Martyn continues: “When considering your outdoor furniture, recycled plastic is the perfect choice, as the material looks like timber but can last outside all year round without the need for annual maintenance.
“Recycled plastic can last up to five times longer than the timber equivalent. The longevity of recycled plastic makes it the perfect cost-effective alternative for use within the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries, where heavy use is expected.”

OPTIMISE OUTDOOR SPACE on your site with lovely additions like this table and seat design. Pic. Woodberry

Doug Barr is the Sales Manager at Woodberry of Lemington Spa and agrees that clean and well-maintained outdoor furniture is a must when ensuring a site looks presentable. Doug advises: “If your furniture is broken or covered in algae, customers will judge the standards of the park on it.
“Look for quality wooden furniture to withstand the wear and tear of heavy use. Or choose metal/plastic and laminate furniture that is easy to wipe down and dry of,” he adds.
Woodberry offer a range of picnic tables, outdoor dining tables, chairs and benches in wood, metal, plastic and synthetic rattan. Recycled plastic picnic tables are very easy to keep looking neat and come with 25-year structural guarantees as well as green credentials.”
But don’t neglect your flowers! Doug says: “Keep any flower or shrub borders looking tidy with raised planters which also come in handy for directing the flow of customers at reception areas or sectioning of café and bar areas.
“Also, if litter bins are well maintained, emptied regularly and visible to customers then they will be encouraged to use them,” Doug continues.
“Recycling bins with different sections can also help show your green credentials and encourage customers to recycle,” Doug emphasises. “Branded barrier screens can help keep areas looking tidy and sectioned plus provide clear branding and signage.”

But how can parks maximise the usability of outdoor space without things looking messy and unkempt? Doug says: “Outdoor shelters, patio heaters, and lighting certainly helps in wet and cold weather. That also encourages your customers to enjoy al fresco hospitality. Parks have to think ‘Have I got the right sized outdoor furniture for my customer groups?’ ‘Should I offer a mix of sizes so that smaller groups don’t take up larger tables?’”
And where can it all go wrong? Doug has some tips on how to avoid some classic pitfalls. He says: “Not cleaning and clearing up tables quickly enough or having overflowing rubbish bins on the site. Also watch out for wet, broken, algae covered outdoor furniture.
So that takes care of landscaping and furniture, but what else can you do to keep things looking extra neat and tidy? Darren North of Rolec says you also need to think about power. He says: “Rolec have been manufacturing and supplying electrical hook-up equipment for the leisure industry for over 30 years and the Quantum Touring Pedestal brings caravan and holiday parks an alternative solution to their everyday hook-up equipment.
Darren continues: “First impressions are indeed important and with the Quantum Touring Pedestal, park operators can offer their visitors a simple and seamless electric hook-up solution, with aesthetic appeal as an added benefit.”

 

BRIGHT LIGHTS

For enhanced first impressions, the Quantum Touring Pedestal is also complete with LED louvered lighting, providing visitors with greater visibility, particularly during the dark nights.
Alongside the Quantum Touring Pedestal there is Rolec’s Quantum:EV charging pedestal, perfect for communal electric vehicle charging facilities and it’s also equipped with LED louvered lighting, ensuring that EV driving visitors are able to spot your charging points throughout the day and night.

 

LIGHTING IMPROVES safety and adds to the mood of the site. Pic. Arleigh

On-site storage is also a place you can easily go wrong. Lily Hadden is a Team Leader at Arleigh which has supplied the static caravan industry for more than 50 years. Lily says: “Ensuring parks look clean and respectable is crucial for good first impressions and returning customers.”
To help park owners create the accommodation and spaces required for their visitors, Arleigh stock everything from indoor and outdoor furniture to storage solutions and lighting.
Made of PVC-coated galvanised steel, Arleigh’s durable storage boxes are ideal for keeping outdoor areas tidy and are even built to withstand coastal environments. There are different size and style options ranging from bike and garden stores to gas storage units.

 

STRATEGICALLY placed canopies will extend use of outdoor space. Pic. Fordingbridge

“Arleigh’s ever-growing range of solar lights and bollards offer a great renewable alternative to traditional lighting and are the perfect choice for illuminating park driveways, paths and car parks.
Adam Collier is the Technical Sales Manager at Fordingbridge which offers a range of canopies, walkways and statement builds to the holiday park sector and others. Adam says: “Tidiness in parks goes well beyond having bins and other street furniture in well thought out locations, or ensuring your soft landscaping is on point. Organising parks so they make sense has a massive bearing on visitor experience too; no guests want to spoil their initial arrival with the stress of finding reception or arranging a suitable meeting point for friends and family.

 

NEAT AND TIDY

“We have installed a number of canopies adjacent to reception areas (and subsequently cafes/bars) which act as clear wayfnders, as well as the added benefit of providing covered space to wait and meet with friends. Clearly arranging and organising equipment is also a key consideration. This could be providing sensible racking for bikes, hire karts and mobility equipment.”
What are some practical ways to maximise the usability of outdoor space? Adam says: “In the UK, weather is the key consideration, so allowing for this, or rather counteracting it, is by far the best way of increasing the year-round usability of outside space. We have seen parks installing canopies over MUGAs, courts and other play areas to act as both a form of shade in the summer, and allowing for play in wet weather.

 

A QUADRANT GAZEBO with winter heater and lights. Pic. Woodberry

“The same is true of covered areas adjacent to restaurants, bars and cafes. Providing a cover instantly turns the outdoor space into an extension of that facility, allowing for greater number of covers throughout the year. Adam continues: “Living roofs are also a benefit in both the customer journey and enforcing company ethos. They further the green credentials of the park and provide a further natural aesthetic to merge any structure with existing soft landscaping.”

 

 

BELLS AND WHISTLES

 

CLEAR SKY SAFARI TENTS sit majestically along a waterside location

 

Sue Hollingshead digs deep into the latest glamping trends…

As we come towards the end of the glamping summer season there can’t be any doubt that it has been a manic year for the sector.
We have seen new product introductions, new campsites, and a generally flurry of activity trying to keep up with the huge demand.
According to the GVR* market analysis report, the global glamping market is expected to grow at a rate of 14.1% (annually) from 2021 to 2028 with a net worth in the region of 3.92billion (GBP) by 2028.

 

THE AWARD-WINNING Melody Farm shepherd’s hut

 

Already valued at 1.7 billion (GBP) by the end of 2021, Europe’s share of the spoils was put at around a third -- 34.8% in 2019.
Sacha Macey, Owner of Yurts For Life, was very clear about the trend: “Glamping has exploded this year! “Gone are the days of the ‘bubble will burst, this is a fad…’ which was the mantra within the industry a few years ago,” Sacha believes.
“External factors, way beyond industry control, such as Brexit and the COVID pandemic have certainly had a positive impact on the industry as holidays abroad have been very diffcult to plan and deal with over the last 18 months. The demand for holidaying ‘outside’ in the UK is unprecedented.”

 

NEW OPPORTUNITIES

The boom has generated the opportunity, and inspiration, for landowners and farmers to enter the market. With existing campsites, holiday parks, and glamping sites looking at ways of embellishing their developments to ensure they stay ahead. Simply adding one more glamping unit to an existing campsite has proved valuable and positive ROI.
There has been a surge of new pop-up campsites, which have been seen as both good and bad for the industry. As we know, the key aspect about glamping is that it focuses on ‘the experience’, something about the holiday must inspire the customer, either with a ‘WOW’ when they arrive and see their accommodation, or with the associated service, or to be fair a mix of both. A new quick pop-up campsite in many cases hasn’t had time to develop the full experience.
Mark Scott, CEO, Clear Sky Safari Tents, shared his thoughts: “I think the number of pop-up sites did rather detract from the quality of the glamping experience as people were advertising, say bell tents, with no services as a glamping experience.”

 

OUTSTANDING SAFARI Tents design and manufacture their own range of premium safari tents.

 

Mark continued: “It is expected that many of these will not ‘pop’ up again next season as bookings, reviews, and repeat rates will discourage the poor-quality sites and encourage the high-quality sites.”
Sacha also felt there was good and bad in the new pop-up sites and commented: “Some sites have managed to get it right straight away by keeping holidaymakers happy in the UK when they would have gone abroad.
We can’t do much about the weather, but if the details of the glamper’s experience are thought through and the appropriate facilities are available, then these pop-up sites have probably saved a lot of families after a tough time with the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, some sites have tarnished the industry as their main intention has been to make a fast buck.”

 

DESIGN INNOVATION

With the experience being paramount, there is always scope for innovation, whether this is within the design of the glamping accommodation, or within the overall holiday experience.
Tom Burnell, Managing Director of Kata Tipis, saw an opportunity in the market, as a slight side-track from their standard offering of Wedding Tipis. Tom explained more: “The technology is moving on at a pace with new innovations and different structures being released into the UK Glamping Market to meet the ever- increasing demand for more exciting and interesting experiences for the increasing volume of guests,” said Tom.

 

DREAMY RELAXING interiors for the dream experience, by Yurts For Life

 

“At Kata Tipis we wanted to transfer the scale and awe of our events tents and designed a glamping tipi that took people’s breath away. We believe that glamping should be an experience, not just in the view, or where a structure is sited, but the structure itself!
“We launched our new glamping tipi, which is unlike any structure on the market and in our opinion takes the traditional tipi design to the next level.”
Clear Sky has also identifed an innovative design they are working on, Mark was willing to share his plans: “There are several new directions that the industry is taking, all based around the enhancing of the glamping experience.
“In particular, we are seeing some great structures based around Stargazing in the black sky areas. We are currently working on a ‘Star Gazer Safari Tent’ with our designers, hopefully, ready for launch next season.”

 

QUIRKY OPTIONS

The experience it offers is paramount, whether staying in one of the quirky options available, such as converted planes, or one of the popular tree houses, traditional pods, stunning safari tents, yurts, tipis, shepherd huts, the list of unit types is continuingly growing.
The Glamper is naturally akin to outdoor living, with a secluded location, hot tub, or outdoor cooking, still ticking boxes. The one key aspect that has changed following the pandemic is the washing facilities. Mark explained, “Accommodations that were able to provide separate washing facilities were at an advantage when the market reopened. Many smaller sites with shared washing facilities fell victim to the ‘one wash area per household bubble’.

 

EXCLUSIVE SETTINGS couldn’t get better than this, by Yurts For Life

 

Those with the separate facility were well placed. We have seen an increase in enquiries from customers about putting bathrooms in their existing safari tents.”
The Staycation is here to stay. Bookings have been high for 2021, with most places reported as fully booked, and into next season. Clear Sky mentioned a Tik Tok video shared by one of their client’s guests, and shortly afterwards their bookings filled through to the end of next season!
On the flip side, Tom did have a few words of caution: “The concern is that UK Glamping site operators may overcharge for their accommodation this year and be seen to be ‘profiteering’ from the demand in the market.
“This, in turn, may frighten guests of for future bookings in the following years – not offering good value for money,” he added.

 

INSPIRED BY THE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE, Safari Tents are fast becoming one of the most popular forms of glamping accommodation. Pic: Boldscan

 

NEWBIE ADVICE

The best tips from Tom, Mark, and Sacha are, firstly ensure that you have all the required planning, processes, and licenses as per your own Local Authority before you start, which may take longer than you expect. Plan, Plan, Plan, and never underestimate the time it takes to organise everything, down to the water, sewage, electric, etc etc.
Understand what you are going to offer, go through the customer experience in detail and make sure it works. Stick with both your budget and your niche market, don’t be tempted to be everything to all people.
Then get your marketing in place, know who you are targeting, and create the destinations and accommodation to suit their needs. Good use of social media alongside collaborations with relevant local businesses work well.

 

IMAGE RELAXING in this environment, a luxurious experience, by Kata Tipis

 

Mark commented: “The best sites are the ones who have committed to the overall experience by offering contactless check-in, high-quality bedding and partnering with the main sales channels such as Hoseasons, Canopy and Stars, or Unique Hideaway. All aspects from booking calendars to easy check-in are important.”
If the stats from GVR* come to fruition then we are in for some busy years ahead, and with that, we will continue to see innovation, including eco holidays, which are clearly on the cards. Young families and couples wishing to connect with the great outdoors, the natural side of our planet, is a great starting point.
In the beginning, glamping accommodation was simply a glamping pod, it can now be almost anything. Innovation such as Clear Sky’s Star Gazer Safari Tent for next season, Kata Tipis beautiful new Tipi and the superb Yurts by Yurts For Life, are great examples. It certainly makes you wonder what we can expect over the coming years.

GVR
Grand View Research
www.grandviewresearch.com

Kata Tipis
Tel: 01780 239 188
www.katatipis.co.uk

Yurts For Life
Tel: 01803 762 370
www.yurtsforlife.com

Clear Sky Safari Tents
Tel: 0333 241 2660
www.clearskytents.co.uk

ICING ON THE CAKE

 

THE FROSTS created a relaxation zone with the hot tub as the focal point.

 

Adding a touch of hot tub luxury pays off for holiday bookings…

With the rise in staycations, Yvonne and Graham Frost, owners of Slayleigh B&B in Matlock, made the decision to purchase a hot tub for their property. A hot tub not only adds a touch of luxury but can also increase occupancy and revenue by up to 60%.
With many choosing to stay in the UK, guests are looking to get away and relax with a hot tub often high on their list. According to Google, holiday cottages with hot tubs was the third most searched holiday phrase this year, up by 300% compared to the previous year.
A hot tub allows families and loved ones to reconnect and spend quality time together. People are also focusing on their wellness much more and a hot tub can help with this – soothing aches and pains, reducing anxiety and stress and relieving headaches.

SUPERIOR WELLNESS engineers fitted a cover to the hot tub which helps save on energy costs.

All reasons that may inspire a customer to book a holiday property with a hot tub.
“We are purchasing a hot tub as they have become more popular and is very much a want from guests as well as ourselves and not just solely for the B&B,” explains Yvonne. “I have particularly wanted one for ages, but other priorities took over; they are an expensive luxury so you really need to want one and we do.”
Yvonne felt the hot tub would make a difference to bookings, occupancy and booking rates. She explains: “We are 9.6 and 5 star rated on review websites so we feel our guests already choose us on running costs and upkeep of the tub, we do not however envisage a mass profit margin more maybe a popularity in guests choosing our accommodation over another.”
Yvonne contacted Superior Wellness who were recommended to her by a relative who has one from them and is obviously very happy.

UNDERSTANDING the workings of your holiday hot tubs is essential.

 

Superior Wellness recommend the Holiday Hot Tub, available as part of its Platinum Spas range, that is ideal for holiday settings from parks and resorts to smaller holiday lets.
This hot tub offers a basic layout no breakable or removable components with and designed for heavy usage. The robust but minimalistic design perfectly complements any garden, decking or outdoor area. The hot tub seats five people with 40 jets and is designed purely for the holiday let market.
Key features include secondary hidden controls, a tamper-proof control panel, in-line chemical dosing and crucially, quick draining.
With no headrests or diverters, the ‘plug and play, 32 amp, can have a WiFi module added so you can monitor the status and access the settings of the hot tub directly from your mobile phone.

WOW FACTOR

“I have to say Superior Wellness, Jordon in the sales team, in particular, has been fantastic in dealing with myself, sourcing my hot tub at short notice and communication.
“They had the hot tub in stock and therefore we could arrange the delivery quickly.
“The delivery team have also been fantastic and I would definitely recommend Superior Wellness. We can’t wait for our guests to start using it.”

THE SUPERIOR WELLNESS TEAM carried out the installation themselves.

 

Yvonne again: “We thought a lot of where to position our hot tub given the UK climate and so our wow factor is very much the area we enhanced once which was once our summerhouse and potting shed.
“We have turned this into a fabulous relaxing space with mood lighting, artificial grass, spa panel interior, grey chic wood panelling, and bi fold doors.
“Guests can enjoy the tub in all weathers as is under cover. There is a seating area to cool down in between hopping in and out of the hot tub where they can take in the view of our beautiful south facing garden, light and airy by day or on a starry night sky,” Yvonne enthuses. “What more wow do you need?”

ADVANCE PLANNING

Gareth Ward, Sales Director, Superior Wellness reveals: “We have seen a huge increase in demand this year for our holiday let hot tub. We have had some in stock but they sell quickly.
“I would advise you to plan in advance and order your hot tub now to ensure it arrives in time for the start of the season for next year.”
Gareth adds: “We work with a large partner network and we can advise you who your nearest one is.”
“If you are looking to purchase a hot tub for your holiday home, we highly recommend a Platinum Spas hot tub.

Gareth point out: “Many people ask about the pitfalls and problems as it surely can’t be all about increasing revenue.
“The constant upkeep, care and maintenance is the biggest downfall. You need to look after your hot tub and ensure you provide the care and maintenance it needs and stick to the guidelines,” he emphasises.
“However, the increase in revenue you will receive in terms of price per night and occupancy will outweigh any time and money spent on the upkeep.”
“We recommend that the hot tub is replaced approximately every five years depending on usage.”
For more information about the Platinum Spas Holiday Let hot tub please visit www.platinum-spas.com/product/holiday-let-5/

YVONNE AND GRAHAM Frost are delighted with the investment on their Holiday Hot Tub.

ECO REWARDS

 

ACQUIRING THE SITE 20 YEARS AGO, 55,00 visitors a year are attracted to the Ullswater location.

 

First UK holiday park is awarded sustainability Queen’s Award…

A family-run Cumbrian resort has become the first holiday park to win a Queen’s Award for sustainability.
The Quiet Site in Watermillock is located near the shores of Ullswater where “green tourism” has been on the agenda for over 30 years.
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development highlights Britain’s most environmentally responsible businesses.
Daniel Holder and his son George have been presented with a certifcate signed by The Queen and the Prime Minister, and a crystal glass vase. The Quiet Site is also now permitted to fly the Queen’s Award flag for the next five years.

 

HER MAJESTY’S LORD-LIEUTENANT OF CUMBRIA, Claire Hensmen presents the trophy to park owner Daniel Holder.

 

PROUD MOMENT

“This is an immensely proud moment for us, and a fantastic spur to our efforts to allow people to enjoy this beautiful region without creating a negative impact,” said Daniel.
“Cumbria’s economy relies heavily on tourism to support businesses and provide jobs, and we believe this needn’t be inconsistent with protecting the natural world.
“For example, we have invested heavily in sustainable technologies over the years, including solar panels and biomass heating, as well as banning single-use plastics.
“We also operate a very popular “zero waste” food shop specialising in Cumbrian produce free from unnecessary packaging, and with the fewest possible food miles under its belt.
“The Quiet Site’s holiday homes, including our underground Hobbit Holes, are highly insulated, extremely energy effcient, and built from sustainable materials.
“At the same time they provide an exciting and memorable alternative to traditional holiday accommodation, and are especially loved by young families.
“Hopefully we are also sending out the message that, by making even minor adjustments to our lives, it’s possible to make a real difference to our environmental impact,” said Daniel.
Since acquiring the park 20 years ago as a simple camping field, Daniel and his wife Anne have created one of the Lake District’s most celebrated parks.
The Quiet Site is attracting 55,000 visitors annually. As well as its 15 Hobbit Holes stays, the park offers 15 camping pods, 15 glamping cabins, holiday cottages and 60 pitches for motorhomes and tents.
Innovative accommodation, marketed as Gingerbread Houses, are new to The Quiet Site for 2021. The 15 units produce more energy than they use so have a positive effect on their environment.

THE QUIET SITE boasts a new zero waste shop.

 

POSITIVE IMPACT

“Holidays should not cost the earth,” emphasises Daniel. “Our hugely popular Hobbit Holes were the starting point in our thinking.
“Gingerbread Houses boast all that works well in a Hobbit Hole being simple, warm and comfortable, with a large, covered deck and private facilities.
“To this we have added a full-size shower, a simple kitchen and the ability to generate its own power. Heating is provided by a remote ground source heat pump and electricity is generated from their solar PV panel roofs,” explains Daniel.

15 GINGERBREAD houses on the site generate more energy than they use.

“The simplicity of this accommodation and lack of soft furnishings lends itself to an ease of cleaning and fogging that makes it incredibly safe,” he continues.
“They will be wrapped in a lovely beach hedge so will become virtually invisible – unless you know where to look! These hedges will become vital to helping our site become more biodiverse.”
Last year, The Quiet Site scooped another major national green accolade when it took a silver in the finals of the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in the sustainable tourism category.

The Quiet Site
Tel. 01768486337
www.thequietsite.co.uk

IDEAL LOCATION AT WELSH PARK

 

TV’S PHIL SPENCER joins John Brookshaw and his wife Sarah in the scenic grounds of Plassey Holiday Park

 

When property guru Phil Spencer wanted to showcase the beauty of North Wales for a recent episode of Location, Location, Location, it was a Wrexham holiday park which ticked all the boxes.
Plassey Holiday Park, Phil’s Channel 4 producers decided, would make the perfect backdrop to a key segment in the show when Phil discusses the options with his house-hunting couple.
That’s why the family-owned park, a winner of multiple quality awards, found itself playing a star role on television’s most popular property programme this autumn.
“We were delighted to welcome the TV crew to our park when the filming was carried out in spring,” said John Brookshaw who owns Plassey with his wife Sarah.
“The park has amazing views across the Dee Valley, and gave Phil and his couple the chance to chat whilst taking in some of the loveliest scenery in North Wales.
“The filming certainly turned a few heads among guests on the park when it took place, but we had promised not to disclose any details until after the broadcast.
“When it did go out in October, we received a flurry of enquiries after the show from people who had been captivated by the views they had glimpsed,” he added.

PALANTINE EXITS VERDANT LEISURE

 

SINCE INVESTING in the business five years ago, Palatine has supported Verdant Leisure to acquire six additional sites.

 

PALATINE Private Equity has exchanged contracts for the sale of its stake in Verdant Leisure, the award-winning holiday park operator, to the management team backed by Pears Partnership Capital. The deal is subject to FCA approval.
Verdant Leisure is a bespoke holiday park operator offering lodge and caravan holidays and holiday home ownership at stunning sites across Scotland and Northern England.
The sale will see Palatine exit the business with a returns multiple of 3.7x, following a highly successful strategy of acquisitions and value creation which has grown Verdant’s annual turnover by 150% since 2016. Since investing in the business in April 2016, Palatine has supported Verdant to acquire six additional sites, increasing its footprint to 10 locations and 3,500 pitches, making it a leading operator in the UK.
Management’s value creation focus has increased both holiday home sales and the proftability of Verdant’s holiday let operations by enhancing on-site leisure facilities and investing in central management functions including a new head office and customer service contact centre.

POP-UP SITES SHOULD CARRY WARNING

MICHAEL PAUL believes pop-ups should warn about their unregulated status.

Families should be warned of the risks if they are planning to stay on an unlicensed camping site, says major holiday parks booking agency Caravan Sitefnder.
Pop-up sites, the company believes, should make it clear that they do not hold a licence from their local authority, and are not subject to the same controls as permanent parks.
Without such a warning people may be in for a bitter disappointment when they find that quality standards fall far below their expectations.
“Allowing farmers to operate a campsite without planning permission for up to 56 days a year during the pandemic was a well- intentioned move,” said the firm’s Michael Paul.
“But the reality has been a raft of complaints from local communities and others about the safety, noise and pollution which these unregulated sites are generating.
“Some guests have also been shocked on arrival to find that aspects such as hygiene standards, proper supervision and distancing between pitches fall far below their expectations.
“There have been widely reported instances of inadequate toilet facilities, excessive noise and bad behaviour by other guests, and no efforts made to keep the site safe and clean.
“Permanent parks, by contrast, are subject to a raft of checks and balances by their site licences which ensure that everyone’s best interests are being served,” said Michael.

£200K SUPER PITCHES INVESTMENT

 

Cofton Holidays has invested £200,000 in 48 new super pitches to cope with record demand for staycations from caravaners and owners of recreational vehicles (RVs).
Named as the UK’s Best Caravan/ Campsite at the prestigious iTravel Staycation Awards 2020/21, the family-run holiday park, situated close to Dawlish Warren’s Blue Flag Beach, has increased the number of super pitches for RVs and caravans from 26 to 74 pitches, almost tripling its offering.
The holiday park experienced a dramatic surge in bookings from guests with caravans and RVs over the peak summer season. Bookings were up 20% on 2019, hitting a record high for occupancy levels. The lift in demand followed news that the number of people buying caravans in the UK has increased by around a fifth, according to caravan trader Robinsons Caravans*.
Solidifying its reputation as an all-weather all-year-round holiday destination, Cofton’s new super pitches feature brick paver and gravel bases which protect each pitch from the rain. To ensure that camping enthusiasts experience a stress-free staycation too, Cofton is also offering electricity access to those with tents during the peak summer season.
The new hard-standing super pitches include water and waste connections and 16-amp electric hook-ups.
Located towards the top of the park as well as close to the popular fishing lakes, users have access to covered washing up areas, a grass area behind the hard-standing pitches, an on-site laundrette, newly refurbished heated toilet and shower blocks, TV aerial points and Wi-Fi at an extra charge. Nearby, the camp shop stocks everything campers might need, ranging from freshly baked croissants to tent pegs.

CLUB EXTENDS CAMPING SEASON

 

CAMPERS will be able to extend their touring dates this autumn and winter

 

Responding to demand, the Camping and Caravanning Club will be opening a number of campsites for longer this winter including those that will enable campers to pitch-up any time of year.
In total, 30 Club sites will be open beyond the traditional camping season, meaning people can still enjoy a much-needed break well into the autumn and winter, and over the Christmas period.
The Club’s Simon McGrath said: “Autumn and winter can be a fantastic time to enjoy your caravan, motorhome or even tent and we believe many people will be keen to continue to enjoy the fresh air on a camping break, even as the nights draw in.
“Given the huge popularity of pitching up on a campsite, we wanted to offer campers more choice of locations later in the year by extending the season of a number of our sites.”
The Club has 13 sites with extended opening:
• Barnard Castle, County Durham; Cannock Chase, Horsley, Surrey; Kendal, Lake District all plan to stay open until November 30th.
• Bellingham, Northumberland; Cheddar, Somerset; Polstead, Sufolk; Sandringham, Norfolk; Scone, Perthshire; Winchcombe, Gloucestershire; Windermere, Lake District; Wolverley, Worcestershire all plan to stay open until January.
A further 17 Club sites remain open year-round along with five Camping in the Forest sites.

EARLY WARNINGS OF HOLIDAY FAMINE

 

A 2022 BOOKINGS SURGE means the likelihood of less choice next spring and summer

 

Park Holidays UK, one of Britain’s largest holiday park groups, says that almost 50% of its bookings are now for 2022 holidays – an unprecedented figure for this time of year.
They say the surge, which usually begins in December, could mean families struggling to get the holidays they want next year if they don’t stake an early claim.
Now, in a move to try and ensure customers get their preferred dates and locations, the group is offering to take 15% of 2022 holiday prices if they are booked and paid for now.
“This summer sadly saw a large number of people failing to secure their dream holiday because of heightened demand,” said Park Holidays UK director Tony Clish.
“They are clearly keen not to miss out again next year, and many others have been reading reports that the UK tourism industry will soon be hanging out “no vacancies” signs for 2022. “With forty-plus parks, we have the capacity to provide tens of thousands of holidays, but even so we are now looking at some centres nearing capacity next summer.
“That’s why we have decided to respond this autumn by encouraging early booking with a substantial discount available until the end of this month.
“It means families can enjoy peace of mind that their 2022 holiday is secure and that they won’t have to compromise on options such as where and when they go, or the type of accommodation”

PAW-SOME HOLIDAYS - DOG FREINDLY

THESE DAYS, family holidays mean including Fido and Bruno. Pic. Park Holidays

Going that extra mile for our furry friends...

This summer, the Great British public reconnected in their droves with our furry housemates – that’s our pets, not the partners who have stopped shaving during lockdown. According to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, a whopping 3.2 million people welcomed a new pet to the family during the pandemic. Switched on holiday parks up and down the country recognise the earning potential and have made themselves ready to host guests and their furry plus ones.

But what makes a truly pet-friendly holiday?

We’ve spoken to experts and holiday parks to find out how they plan to make a dog’s dreams come true this summer - and some other quirky creatures too. Sarah Ferguson is Head of Business at Paws Holidays, a website dedicated to collating information about the UK’s most dog-friendly holidays. So, Sarah knows what a complicated minefield planning a holiday with your pet can be: “Finding a dog friendly resort or destination can be mind-blowing, as dog owners have to think about so much,” she says.

Typical questions on booking are:
• Will the resort have a dog exercise area? And if so, is it enclosed?
• Will they be able to let the dog off its lead?
• Are there dog drinking stations?
• Will there be a designated area where the family can eat but the dog is allowed in too?

And then there’s accommodation which is a massive consideration. Sarah explains: “Some Park operators remove carpets and have just a wooden floor or a very high standard of lino which makes it so much easier if the dog does have an accident. “Dog owners expect the dog to be welcomed as a guest, just as much as they are. They will expect to see dog waste bins dotted around the resort, dog-wash areas and some park operators such as Haven even have a dog playpark.

FOREST HOLIDAYS actively promote its Dog friendly holiday options.

WELCOME PACK
“Forest Holidays provide a Doggy Welcome Pack – containing a healthy biscuit and poo bags. And some parks will provide a dog blanket and dog toys.” Sounds like pure luxury. But does being ‘dog-friendly’ also mean extra cleaning/maintenance? Sarah again: “Most park operators have very high powered hoovers that will pick up any dog hair, and also have a wet and dry hoovers, just in case a dog has an accident. “And the smell of the previous dog can be eliminated before the next guests arrive.” What can go wrong? Sarah points out: “If a guest leaves the dog in the accommodation unattended it can cause the dog stress, and they could scratch away at the soft furnishings, or start to chew, or even constantly bark, which might upset or annoy other holiday guests.” And its not just dogs who are welcome this summer, other pets deserve a break too and there are many pet-friendly places.

CATS AND FERRETS
Sarah recalls: “Over the years, I have seen guests on holiday parks with a cat on a lead or a ferret on a lead. “One holiday guest brought their African Grey Parrot and one family brought a horse and checked him into the holiday park’s stables.” Debbie Dangerfield is the owner of dogsinvited.co.uk and another expert on what makes a holiday great for a pet and an owner. “Visitors especially look for an enclosed area, so they can relax with their dog by their side,” says Debbie. “And many holiday properties supply throws so that they can be put on the furniture to let dogs on. “Dog bowls, towels, and even a temporary dog tag in case they run off are a nice touch too. “For real luxury, some places now supply a warm dog shower to give the dogs a clean after a muddy walk or sandy day at the beach.” Debbie echoes Sarah when she says that dogs left alone are the biggest problem: “Dogs are usually left on their own if they aren’t allowed to go where the rest of the family are going.” So that is what the experts think, but what about a holiday park that does some of the above really well? Caroline Povey is the Marketing Director for the Coppice Spa Lodges at the Darwin Forest Luxury Lodge Holidays. It is a spectacular development of seven luxury pet- friendly lodges designed with pets in mind.

Caroline adds: “Our Coppice Spa lodges are very popular. Each one has a separate utility room and everything you need to pamper your pooch, complete with a doggy shower, hairdryer (fur dryer), towels and space for their bed and feeding bowls, your dog can have its own bedroom. “Stable doors separate the utility area from both the decking and the internal living space enabling you to keep your pet safe and secure.” Another favourite with dog-owners are the Forest Holiday cabins with locations in England, Scotland and Wales. Amy Teige from Forest Holidays explains: “The cabins are the ultimate base for dog owners who want the freedom to explore the forest and woodlands surrounding the locations. “Over half of our cabins are pet- friendly, offering doggy treats, wipe- clean sofas and plenty of space for the animals’ favourite bedding and toys, plus we have the gentle warmth of underfloor heating throughout.” It can be tough finding a park that will allow guests to bring more than two dogs, but Forest Holidays allow up to four pets per cabin. Caroline explains: “It’s usually dogs but other pets are welcome too, and we charge £15 per pet, per night.” Helen Scott is the Director of Cofton Holidays and explains: “We’re set within 80 acres of glorious Devon countryside, and have four dog-friendly cottages on the Eastdon Estate where we’ve designed six of our holiday homes with pet-owners in mind.” Helen continues: “The cottages on the Eastdon Estate are set a short walk away from the main park and boast incredible views of the Exe Estuary and Devon countryside.

“All dog-friendly accommodation features hardwood floors, dog food and drink bowls, a dog mat, a blanket plus some delicious handmade local treats.

“What if your dog fancies an ice- cream? Not a problem! Says Helen: “Our Waggy Doggy Doodah doggy ice cream is served inside our on-site pets- welcome pub, The Swan Inn.” Guests can also look forward to the annual Cofton Dog Show. They offer a dedicated dog exercise field and have developed woodland walks through the Eastdon Estate. Sounds like dog paradise. And there’s more. Helen continues: “Our on-site shop has a good selection of dog supplies and guests can find dog mess bins across the site which are emptied regularly. “Plus, there’s no additional charge for dogs when visiting in low and mid-season and we don’t charge for registered assistance dogs. “We are located next to the award- winning Dawlish Countryside Park which was developed for local dog walkers and is an excellent facility for customers staying at Cofton.

DOG WASH
“We also have a dog-wash planned in the new 12-acre camping site toilet block, and we’re planning four more pet friendly lodges with hot tubs due for launch later this summer.” To quote from the Forest Holidays dedicated dog-blog, 10 reasons why dogs love the forest: “We are a nation that adore our four- legged-friends and love taking them on holiday with us! “Sure, that means staying reasonably close to home, but watching the pure joy on their faces’ as they scamper about, snuffling happily at all those new smells, nose twitching, tail a blurry wag, makes it all worthwhile.” When it is done really well, helping dogs have a good time is just as satisfying for the holiday parks as it is for the guests.

 

SIX-UP FOR CENTER PARCS IN UK

WEST SUSSEX has been identified as the sixth UK village site for Center Parcs with trademark accommodation like these waterside lodges at Elveden Forest.

Center Parcs has confirmed it has identified a site for its sixth UK village having secured an option agreement to acquire 553 acres of woodland off Balcombe Road in Worth, West Sussex. The forest at Oldhouse Warren, near Crawley, has been chosen because of its location (to the south of London) and its excellent transport links. The development is expected to cost between £350m and £400m and will create around 1,500 permanent local jobs once operational, as well as around 1,000 jobs during construction.

Center Parcs anticipate the development will add an additional £40m to the local economy each year. CEO Martin Dalby said: “It’s really exciting to have identified a potential site for another Center Parcs village in the UK. “The proposal we will be submitting will create a significant number of jobs and bring major benefits to the local and national economy.” Center Parcs has five villages across the UK and Ireland; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest inWiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria,Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire and Longford Forest in County Longford, Ireland.

Each village is nestled within 350- 400 acres of woodland with a variety of activities to choose from, restaurants and cafes. There is also a Subtropical Swimming Paradise and award-winning spa called Aqua Sana. As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%. Center Parcs’ villages are sympathetically designed to blend into the existing landscape, with no visual impact on the surrounding area, and the company is committed to both protecting and enhancing the forests in which their holiday villages are located.

Sustainability is at the heart of the Center Parcs ethos and the new village will be constructed and operated in the most sustainable way possible. Hoping to submit a planning application in 2022, work is now underway on rigorous site surveys, detailed designs and pre-planning works to make sure the woodland meets the specific requirements for a Center Parcs village, as well as beginning a programme of community engagement with the local area. In line with the other Center Parcs villages, it is intended that the site at Oldhouse Warren will include lodges, a range of indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, a Subtropical Swimming Paradise, a variety of restaurants and shops and an Aqua Sana Spa.

JABS BOOST FOR LONGER SEASONS

AUTUMN WILL STILL feel like peak season for holiday parks says Caravan Sitefinder CEO Michael Paul.

Vaccinations are giving a shot in the arm to the business hopes of British parks this year – and with every likelihood that the busy season will continue well into autumn. Caravan Sitefinder’s annual spring survey reports more than half of those surveyed (57%) planned an exclusive UK holiday in 2021, whilst around another third (31%) hoped to enjoy both a domestic and a foreign holiday. Almost half (43%) said that the success of the vaccination programme and the sharp fall in Covid infection rates were the main reasons they felt confident of taking a break.

The Caravan Sitefinder website, which has around one million visitors annually, provides booking facilities and user reviews for thousands of camping, glamping and holiday parks. Caravan Sitefinder CEO Michael Paul, whose company is marking its tenth anniversary in 2021, said the survey results contained many positive messages for UK parks: “The faith of people in the ability of British parks to provide a safe holiday environment came across strongly and is testimony to the precautionary measures these businesses have adopted. “But given the unpredictability of this crisis, it’s not surprising that many customers wanted a refund safeguard in place if anyone in their party had to pull out for Covid-related reasons,” Michael continued.

“Parks may also want to heed this concern, and to encourage customers to have a refund plan in place so that their business will be protected from possible revenue losses. “Very encouragingly, almost a quarter of those canvassed said they planned to take a holiday in autumn this year, supplementing in many cases their summer break. “At present, this seems an unlikely prospect – but we should not ignore the possibility that some UK bookings are predicated on the assumption that overseas simply isn’t an option,” said Michael.

PLANS TO DEVELOP DEVON LAKES

CLAWFORD LAKES RESORT and Spa in Devon is scheduled to open this Autumn

Private equity-backed holiday operator Lakeshore Leisure Group has secured planning permission to develop Clawford Lakes, a stunning 80-acre property in Devon that is set to open this Autumn. Lakeshore Leisure Group is a UK leisure brand offering high quality holiday accommodation including self-catering rental cottages and lodges, hotel accommodation and privately owned lodges across three Devon locations; Otter Falls, Lakeview Manor and Clawford Lakes.

Acquired in 2019 with initial investment from Kings Park Capital, Clawford Lakes in Holsworthy, north west Devon is an holiday resort comprising of 17 man-made fishing and recreation lakes and 24 self- catering units, as well as a large bar and restaurant. With planning permission now approved, work is now underway on the major redevelopment which will include the build of 144 luxury lodges, 13 bespoke angling pods, seven unique luxury cocoons, nine floating lodges, and a Scandinavian- inspired spa with swimming pool and treatment rooms, set aside a stunning central lake. Lakeshore Leisure Group has also secured exclusive rights to the luxury cocoon units in the UK.

The new luxury holiday lodges will be available for both holiday rentals and for purchase as pre-furnished holiday homes, available to use year-round and with the option of subletting on a managed site. The refurbished Apple and Grape bar and restaurant will showcase dishes created using a variety of local produce and will also welcome local visitors. There will be a small provisions and fishing tackle shop on site, to support the high-quality fishing lakes, which have been invested in and restocked. In addition, leisure water sports will be added in 2022 including paddle boarding, kayaking, open water swimming and canoeing, and the new swimming pool and spa will open, all forming part of the visitor experience.

HAVE LOO BRUSH – WILL TRAVEL!

PATRICK LANGMAID hopes holiday guests will step up to join his toilet cleaning chain gang.

Guests taking holidays at a major Cornwall holiday park this summer are being asked to help keep the park open – by swapping the beach for a toilet brush.

Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park in Padstow says staff shortages could force the closure of his toilet blocks and is trying to rally a volunteer army of loo legionnaires. More than 20 people have so far stepped forward with offers to help, according to Patrick Langmaid, owner of the 30-year-old family business.

“Like many tourism providers we are desperate to recruit staff, but the staycation boom and the easing of lockdown has created more jobs than there are people to fill them,” said Patrick. “Unless we can find enough volunteers to give up part of their holidays to keep our toilets spotless, we could have to start cancelling stays already booked for this summer.”

TRIPLE TRIUMPH FOR BEST OF BRITISH

SOUTH LYTCHETT MANOR won the overall gold title in the Camping and Caravanning Park of the Year

The family owners of three Best of British holiday parks are celebrating after winning top honours in the year’s South West Tourism Excellence awards. The awards drew hundreds of contenders from across Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and the Isles of Scilly.
South Lytchett Manor in Poole, Dorset, won the overall gold title in the Camping and Caravanning Park of the Year category.
In the same hotly-contested category, Polmanter Touring Park in St Ives, Cornwall, took the silver trophy for the standard of excellence it provides to holiday guests. Owned for over 50 years by the same family and run today by husband-and-wife team Phil and Becki Osborne, the seaside park provides spectacular views along the Cornish coast.
In the Holiday Park of the Year category of the awards, Ladram Bay Holiday Park in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, came away with one of the main awards. The Carter family has owned the park for over 60 years and, like the two other BoB winners, has received many regional and national awards for its high standards and welcoming atmosphere.

ON LOCATION featuring Long Hazel Park

TOURERS AND CAMPERS can be assured of well spaced pitches on the spacious Park.

GOLD STANDARD
Located in glorious South Somerset, Long Hazel Park has been awarded 4 Pennant Gold from The AA in their most recent Park inspection. This is a first for the park operators Alan and Pamela Walton who have been part of The AA’s prestigious inspection scheme for many years, beginning their journey as a 3 pennant Park in 2005. “Our new groundwork, installation of new fully serviced pitches and shower block upgrade has been influential in our new ranking this year,” explains Alan. “The 4 Pennant Gold accolade puts us in the category of the best of the best of small caravan and camping parks, based on our facilities, grounds and customer experience,” he adds. Open all year, Long Hazel is an adult- only caravan and camping park with ample space for RVs, motorhomes, caravans and tents of all sizes. A new serviced touring caravan and motorhome hardstanding pitches available for 2021 while a shower and toilet block was completed in May this year.

PAMELA AND ALAN WALTON show off their latest award

FULLY ACCESSIBLE
Long Hazel also offers two self- catering holiday lodges providing accommodation for up to four people and are available all year for both long or short breaks. Long Hazel provides one of the only fully wheelchair accessible holiday lodge rentals in Somerset and the South West with their fully adapted Blackforest Lodge. Both holiday lodges have parking directly outside together with decking areas for al fresco dining The lodges have double glazing, are substantially insulated and fully heated for your comfort in all seasons. Fully furnished and equipped, the Park provides duvets, pillows and blankets but ask guests to provide their own bed linen and towels. Free WiFi with HD ready Freeview colour TVs are available in each lodge.

A NEW SERVICED touring caravan and motorhome hardstanding pitches are available this year.

QUALITY SCORE
AA Hotel Services Inspector Chris Pike awarded the Park a 90% Quality Score during the impromptu inspection. Mr Pike noted: “The purpose of this visit was to verify the standards of maintenance and cleanliness were consistent with the Quality Standards requirements. “Extensive work has been carried out in the last two years. The facilities were spotless with detail paid to the cleaning and top-grade fixtures and fittings. “In reading the list of the enhancements to the park, I have no hesitation in recommending Long Hazel Park 4 Pennant Gold status with a quality score of 90%” Alongside their fantastic 4 Pennant Gold achievement, the Park is also celebrating success in this year’s Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards where they have won a Gold Award in the Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year category, as well as becoming an award-winner in the Theo Paphitis Small Business awards last month.

“For us, being “green” isn’t a new thing; even our logo reflects how running an eco-friendly business is at the centre of our values,” says Pamela. Over 24 years at Long Hazel Park, the couple have planted over 2000 trees. Since 2019, they have worked on filling planters with plants more suited to tropical weather. Their plants are primarily watered with rainwater collected in large water butts and they use a special built-in, water saving formula in our hanging baskets to ensure that the highest amount of water is absorbed. Pamela again: “In the recent shower block overhaul, we switched to LED lighting throughout and changed over to eco-friendly hand driers to avoid extra paper waste.We have push taps and showers throughout to ensure that taps aren’t left running and our showers and washing areas are clad with recycled plastic.

We used local tradesmen and suppliers to help with our makeover.” “In 2019, they installed environmentally friendly solar panelling and the shower block is now successfully run on solar energy. Any energy not used by us on site is fed back to the National Grid.” Opting for eco-friendly cleaning products throughout the shower block and lodges with custom-scented air fresheners even use natural oils rather than aerosols, theWaltons sell their own eggs on site from their own chickens whose byproducts are used as an eco-friendly fertiliser for our plants. They also use grass cuttings as mulch around the trees and hedges and homemade bird boxes for the trees. Many of our hedges also house insect hotels to ensure sustainable pollination from wild bees with several hedgehog houses hidden away in hedgerows. “A particularly long-lived feature of our park is the recycling system and we are always over the moon when our guests help reduce, reuse and recycle too,” says Pamela who adds: “We are experiencing a wonderfully busy summer season already, bouncing back from closures last year and are enjoying welcoming guests old and new back to Somerset.”

 

Long Hazel Park
Tel. 01963 440002
www.longhazelpark.co.uk

ENGINE ROOMS - HOLIDAY POOL LOCATIONS

THE PICKAQUOY CENTRE Trust offer the complete swimming package for campers making the long trip to Orkney.

Plant rooms are the power houses behind top holiday park pools...

It may be the shots of happy swimmers that fill the glossy advertisements but the real heroes of our holiday park pools are hidden behind the scenes. Packed with automatically controlled, and remotely monitored, water and air quality technology, today’s modern plant rooms are almost a match for a NASA flight deck. A hidden technological treasure trove beneath the pool surface, the vital role of the plant room should never be underestimated. Combining the iconic Butlins, Haven and Warner brands, the mighty Bourne Leisure has been undertaking a £3.5m upgrade of its swimming pool plant rooms. “By the very nature of the beast, many holiday location swimming pools are 30 to 50 years old,” points out Craig Valentine, Bourne’s Regional Health & Safety Manager. “A lot of pool equipment is inherited and, of course, you inherit the problems that go with them. “A future-proof wish list would need a budget between £16 – 20m which we cannot do in one hit so we spread it over several years.” Temporarily halted by the pandemic, Bourne’s current investment programme has included remedial work on 16 of its pools with upgrades planned on 17 more pools next year. Craig says: “We identified our worse performing pools and worked our way up the list to generally raise the bar across the swimming pool stock.”

POOL UPGRADES
Phase one of those upgrades has involved installations of UV water treatment equipment, sand filter changes and the additional of updated chemical controllers. Phase Two will concentrate on updating pipework. Craig explains: “Some were performing at circulation rates of four to five hour turnover and have now been switched to 1.5 hours to two hours which enables us to not only comply with industry guidance but to keep the pools open for longer.” A significant plug of £300k has been invested in leak detection, halting water wastage on a few badly performing pools. “Some people forget about the plant room which is the engine room of the swimming pool, because it is covered up; out of sight and out of mind. “Instead they concentrate on the aesthetics -- but really you have to get the equipment right before you think about the design, because that keeps the swimming pool running efficiently,” he continues. “Generally, the industry has an issue with pool plant sizes,” says Craig. “Sometimes, rather than throw good money after bad; it requires a major strategic rethink in order to tackle plant room issues.” Craig advises choosing equipment that is fit for purpose with improved eco- performance, using less chlorine and less water as well. “Make sure, if you buy new equipment, that it is compatible with what other equipment and don’t just go for salesmen speak,” advises Craig. “Look at new things coming up and try to minimise your chemical handlin,” he adds. “Look for alternatives such as salt chlorination,” he adds. With no laws, regulations or British Standard concerning swimming pool water, it is not always obvious how to demonstrate to customers and staff that you pool is fit for purpose. A free online Code of Practice that codifies the information in the authoritative book Swimming Pool Water published by the Pool Water Advisory Group. (PWTAG). The publication provides pool operators with a structured plan for the technical operation of their pool.

PEACE OF MIND
It makes sense to follow the PWTAG guidance because, if anything does go wrong at the pool, you will be able to demonstrate - in court if necessary – that you were following the best available guidelines.Without this protection, you are vulnerable. It is incumbent on everyone involved in the provision of holiday packages and accommodation to ensure that pools and spas at their destinations are fit for purpose. “We use PWTAG as guidance setters but I get frustrated at people quoting the law at us.” Craig points out. “If you have robust system; good testing; good plant policy and an emergency action plan then you can prove you are adopting best practice.” Craig has worked with Bourne Leisure for 33 years including in his present role for 21 years. “We learned some lessons through restricted pool use during Covid,” Craig reveals. “We understood that some people like to have a structured day and want to know when they are going to swimming and for how long while others want a more relaxed approach. “The pools have not been the problems but the changing facilities. “Getting the guests in the pool and spreading them by 2m in changing rooms – that by their very nature are confined spaces has resulted in a lot more labour, sanitising and ultimately asking people to arrive swim-ready.

BIOMETRIC CONTROL
When it comes to swimming pools, there are plenty of examples of good practice around the UK’s holiday parks. Completed in 2019, the swimming pool at Seldons Golden Gate Holiday Centre, in North Wales, is used by holiday home owners and holiday makers.  Consideration for the build included environmental impact, aesthetic appeal and user experience. The pool hall is an energetic space with high ceilings, a glass facade and clean lines. Sub-floor ventilation voids omit the need for an overhead ventilation infrastructure and provide advanced energy efficient climate control including pool water heating. The pool timetable includes owner- only, adult-only and family swim sessions, along with a lively programme of activities including Water-Walkerz, Water-Peddlerz, RC Watercraft, pool parties and swimming lessons. A bespoke booking system provides customers with the control to use the facility to best suit their requirements. A ‘state of the art’ chemical dosing system ensures water quality is optimal at all times. The integrated Spa areas allow adults to relax and unwind using a variety of bubble stations and high pressure jets.  An integrated children’s pool accommodates safe play incorporating a huge mushroom fountain whilst being at the heart of the pool hall. The pool and changing village access is biometrically controlled allowing ‘real time’ information of users, identify booking trends and peak user times and ensures only pool users are granted access.

HAFAN Y MÃR’S Splashaway Bay pool is the largest in North Wales.

RACING SLIDES
Complete with parachuting penguins, three, 100m flumes and a four-lane racing slide the Hafan y Mar Holiday Park’s Splashaway Bay swimming pool has benefited from a major upgrade. The £3.1m investment included the addition of a new toddler pool, multi-lane swimming pool and food outlet. The wave pool, rapids, main pool slides and flumes were all refurbished, as well as introducing additional fun filled water features. The Lady’s Mile Holiday Park in Dawlish, Devon, removed the old boiler system on its swimming pool and replaced it with brand new eco-boilers. They added new energy efficient pool covers fitted to maintain the temperature of the pool, which in turn reduces energy consumption. They have also purchased a pool hoist, allowing customers with mobility issues to gain access to our pool. Regularly investments in your water features, especially the plant equipment, will ensure your holiday park pool remains the jewel in your visitor crown.

 

ARRESTING POOLCOP EFFICIENCY

When it comes to enhancing the energy efficiency of a pool, the key is good management. Taking care of a pool has never been easier thanks to GC PoolCop Genesis – available from Golden Coast.
The system remotely monitors every aspect of a pool, from temperature, lighting and water levels, to filter status, dosing and disinfection. “GC PoolCop Genesis offers holiday park owners complete visibility of their pool 24/7,” says Adam Clark, Sales Director at Golden Coast. “For example, you can see how much electricity is being used by the pumps, lights and heating, and you can adjust them accordingly in order to reduce energy consumption, water waste and running costs.”
When a fault is found, or something in the pool requires attention, the system sends alerts via a web interface. This enables engineers to act quickly, helping to minimise downtime and lost resources. “Keeping holiday park guests happy means being able to guarantee the use of the swimming pool,” says Adam.
“With GC PoolCop Genesis, you can proactively manage your pool, as you’ll always be able to see how it is performing. You won’t have to worry about unexpected technical problems, pool closures, or disappointed guests.”

Golden Coast
Tel. 01271 378100
www.goldenc.com

FIFTH MVP AWARD FOR VORTEX

Available in the UK via Ustigate, Vortex has received a Most Valuable Products award in 2021 for its Astra collection, as voted for by the readers of Aquatics International Magazine.
The new Astra offers three unique Splashpad® experiences, each with its own fun. Astra No.1 and No.3 provide a halo of water which rains down from above for children to run through. No.3 also features a Twirltec™ ball so children can rotate the water stream to create a beautiful spiral pattern. With three spilling Seeflow™ buckets, Astra No.2 encourages social interaction. Many children can play at once, and anticipation builds as the children see the buckets fill up before they spill.

Ustigate Water Play
Tel. 01322 424445
www.ustigatewaterplay.co.uk

LOCK IT OR LOSE OUT - CYBER SECURITY

Cyber-crime prevention advice from Compass Insurance...

Parks are far from immune when it comes to cyber security breaches and attacks. If something like this happened to you and your business, what would you do? Could you handle it internally? Or would you need help? If so, where and who would you turn to for support? If you can’t immediately answer these questions, you may be unprepared to deal with a cybercrime incident. As almost half of UK businesses (46%) have reported a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months, there’s unfortunately no doubt that park businesses like yours could see their own IT systems compromised in the future.

CRIPPLING EFFECT
The damage a cyber breach/attack could inflict on your park business cannot be overstated. They can cripple operations by interrupting normal services and it can be very expensive and time consuming to put things right. The average annual cost to small and micro businesses which lost data or assets after breaches is £8,170. For medium to large businesses, this average rises to £13,400. Losing information or being held to ransom is bad enough, but on top of this, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) could levy a fine of up to 4% of your turnover against you if you’re found to have lost customer information. Additional issues, such as the bad PR that can come with the loss of other people’s personal information means there will be any number of things you’ll need to manage quickly and skilfully if you fall victim to this kind of attack. As cyber criminals evolve and hone their techniques all the time it’s a huge challenge to consistently prevent breaches and attacks. Keeping up with cyber crime ‘trends’, learning how to protect your IT systems and training ALL staff to be vigilant is key. Nevertheless, the sad fact of the matter is that it’s near impossible to make an IT system 100% safe from the determined cybercriminal.

REMAIN VIGILANT
This is just one of the reasons why more and more businesses are turning to bespoke cyber insurance cover as their ‘second layer’ of protection. You may well already be insured against some cyber risks, though this is more likely to be through your general commercial insurance policy rather than a cyber-specific one. A comparison table above gives an indication of the likely differences between the two different types of cover. As can be seen from the table, a cyber policy will take care of a lot of the things that most of us wouldn’t really know where to start. Technical support, forensic analysis expertise and help with communications are particularly important aspects of specialist cyber cover, as these benefits would help to get your business back on its feet in the quickest and best possible way. The financial assistance will also be of real value. If you don’t have enough money in the bank to fund a recovery and/ or or the specialist skills to respond to an attack and any corresponding reputational damage your business could literally find itself on the edge – or worse. An insurance account executive should be able to run through the levels of cover provided in your existing policies and highlight any areas of cover that you might need to consider.

What suits your business will depend not just on size, but relative risk. However, a cyber-specific policy would be especially useful for parks which:
• hold sensitive customer details such as names and addresses or banking information
• rely heavily on IT systems and websites to conduct their business
• process payment card information as a matter of course

GOOD NEWS
Add-on cyber insurance cover is widely available, but as with all insurance, quality can vary. From a cost perspective, it would be sensible for parks to seek out add on products that complement their existing cover. The good news is that there is a lot of support out there, including a wealth of free guidance to assist you in risk assessing and managing their IT security.

Areas to consider will include:
• Keeping IT inventories
• Keeping up-to-date records on IT systems access
• Conducting regular IT Health Check
• Keeping on top of IT management – who is responsible for supervising and checking all the above?

Remember holiday / sickness / maternity cover. The BH&HPA also provides a wealth of specialist information and guidance to park business. Do contact them for more information.

Compass Insurance
Tel. 0344 274 0276
www.compassparks.co.uk

To read the full aritcle please subscribe online here

 

CLOUD-BASED SOLUTIONS

GemaPark cloud-based booking and park management system offers you not only an easy-to-use solution for taking and managing bookings and owner information, but also security and peace of mind that your data is protected and backed up. Cloud-based booking systems like GemaPark reduce the risk of data be lost or stolen by keeping it off site, secure and well backed up.

A standard GDPR data processor agreement requires us, the cloud solution provider, to protect your data appropriately for the data type being stored. Multi-factor authentication is enforced on all admin system logins ensuring all devices accessing the GemaPark system are verified using a second authentication method at least every 90 days. Multi-factor authentication is the number one way to protect against unauthorised access to data. The weakest link in most systems is that people need access.

Passwords can be guessed or stolen but multi-factor authentication will also verify the access using a token or authentication method usually linked to your email or mobile phone. This means even if someone has your password they still can’t access your system from an unverified device. This does not have to be onerous, for example a device could be verified once a month rather than every login, once the device is verified it can be used to login without using the second authentication method until the required period expires.

GemaPark is developed by Netguides Limited, based in the UK we have been providing web-based solutions for over 20 years.We make the transition to a new system as painless as possible by providing a full setup service including importing data from existing systems, we follow this up with first class easy to access support and training.

GemaPark
Tel. 01983 282420
www.gemapark.co.uk

BALANCING ACTS - OUTDOOR ACTIVITES

FROM SEGWAYS to paddle boarding, there are a host of holiday based activities to offer guest appea

Emily Martin on serving up the best outdoor entertainment recipe…

Offering a holiday that suits the whole family can be a tricky game of swings and roundabouts. Excuse the pun. Making a holiday stay fun for the adults, the younger children and the teenagers too, is a delicate balance. Never have we been more grateful for the use of our outdoor space than coping with the challenges of the pandemic. Outdoor play, outdoor activities, outdoor entertainment – have all become part of the Al Fresco holiday menu.
Don’t take our word for it. We’ve spoken to some outstanding UK holiday parks that strive to make sure there’s really something for everyone, Covid- distanced, when guests book in. And they are constantly coming up are some great ideas on how to get that balance just right. Richard Silver is the owner of Ilfracombe Holiday Park on the beautiful western shores of England. “We get all ages visiting us and we’ve spotted a really big current trend where grandparents will pay to take whole family away. “In terms of entertainment that means putting on what is appropriate for the right age group at the right time. “There are a few options for family entertainment – something a spread of ages will enjoy are things like: a magician or mind reader, maybe a family quiz. “We have a movie area, a games hall with table tennis, snooker and badminton. Plus, we have lots of games and activities for younger people, sports competitions, quizzes and even a teens got talent night.

ADDED VALUE
Ilfracombe strategically aims to add value to entertainment areas by putting restaurants or cafes nearby so the adults have something to do, while younger children play. Richard explains: “We have a restaurant and bar near where entertainment is. And we also have a soft play area for younger children, but in the same area we’ve put a sports hall for older children and teenagers which has all kinds of things going on.” Richard thinks there are important things to remember when trying to entertain the whole family. “You certainly need the right type of accommodation and location but crucially you need staff with lots of energy and ideas. “Every day has to be different and you’ll know if the children are having fun, because then so are the adults.” Torie Wilkinson is Chief Marketing Officer at Lovat Parks.With parks across the UK in Cornwall, Kent, the New Forest, its Green Hill Farm Holiday Village in the New Forest does things particularly well when it comes to entertaining a range of age groups within a family group. Green Hill offer activities such as archery, target shooting, laser clay, Segways, bungee trampolines and mini golf. There’s also den building, fire building, woodland art, bug hunting, bird boxes, orienteering and nature trails. And that’s just some of what’s on offer for families who like to stay busy. Torie says: “We offer a range of activities aimed at guests aged four right through to adult and this summer we’re introducing new activities for the under-fives too.

GREEN ACTIVITIES like Forest  Schools have never been more popular. Pic. Haven

DEN BUILDING
“We try and balance the mix we offer with lots of the Ranger activities being suitable for ages 4-10. And the activities like using the Segways or practising archery are more appealing to age eight through to the grown-ups. “However, what’s great about many of our activities is that the whole family can take part and build memories together. Green Hill is set in the New Forest and so many of our activities use this as inspiration. For example, our den building is done using fallen wood. “We offer bike hire on site with traditional and e-bike options allowing guests to explore the local area including routes that take in local business, pubs and restaurants.We get fabulous feedback particularly for our Ranger scheme, with many families returning to the park and booking their favourite activities in advance.” “Children get the chance to try new things and learn skills with our Ranger team building their confidence and creating unforgettable memories.We aim to relate as much as we can to our natural setting and offer guests something they might never have done before or could not at home.

COMMUNITY MATTERS
And it is not just for holiday makers. The local community plays a part in Greenhill’s offering too. Torie explains: “We have a partnership with a local primary school where we offer days on the park taking part in the Ranger programme across the year. “The activities are open to those of all abilities and the team also offer private sessions which can be tailored to a child’s particular needs. “ When it comes to planning things to amuse young people, what’s Torie’s advises: “Be inspired by your local area and natural surroundings, include a mix of fun and learning and try and create something shared for all age groups.” Covid safety is a massive consideration when hosting families and Torie adds: “We currently have a maximum of six participants per session, we observe social distancing at 2m where possible and our staff always wear masks.We also have hand-sanitising at all activity stations and all equipment is cleaned after each use. “Furthermore, just for general safety we carry out frequent risk assessments and have fire extinguishers and practices. The team hold monthly refresher courses as a group so they can learn from one another and at Lovat Parks we support the team by sending them on specialist training, for example if wider guidance for an activity changes and we need to incorporate that into our ways of working.” Cofton Holidays is another destination which has put some strategic thought into getting the balance right for families. Director Helen Scott says: “Cofton is an excellent toddler-friendly destination. Our facilities include a splash pad area - part of the heated indoor pool, a soft play area, outdoor play spaces include a play area with new equipment aimed at toddlers, and a Kid’s Club where little ones can meet Cofton’s mascot, Digby the Dinosaur, and participate in a range of activities. “In addition to all of this, we’ve created a host of kids’ clubs that run outdoors such as survival skills and nature trail experiences.”

ZIP LINES
Cofton’s £50,000 Woodland Adventure Area features a 25m zip line, a climbing cage, rope ladders, a balance beam, balance lines and scramble nets. Young guests can enjoy fishing experiences on the five coarse fishing lakes and we offer pond dipping experiences too, which are always hugely popular. There are miles of cycle paths and nature trails that take visitors through woodland to the golden sands of Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve. There’s a gym, fitness studio and added entertainment opportunities, such as the bowling alley Helen continues: ‘We’re always looking for fun ways of engaging with our young visitors. In July 2020, guests were given complimentary duck-whistles to alert other guests to their presence whilst out and about on site maintaining social distancing. Children visiting really loved it and TV and national papers even picked-up on the story.’ With potentially only a week (or maybe two) breaks in the year, holiday parks don’t have long to impress their guests. To ensure everyone has a good time and, crucially, to secure a rebooking or a recommendation, parks need to think about layout, adding value, and providing activities that families can enjoy together in a safe and stress-free environment, in order to foster and help create those precious memories. You need the right staff team and to create those precious opportunities for families to make special memories together. If you can crack that, then you’re on to a winner.

(*All COVID guidance being observed by the parks featured was correct at the time of writing).

KOMPAN offer a huge scope of play offerings across multiple age range

MORE MEANS MORE FUN!

HAPPY CHILDREN equal happy and relaxed parents and carers.

In an increasingly ‘more is more’ world, businesses, especially holiday venues, are starting to realise the benefits of developing their sites to provide more than just a one-off experience.We are seeing more and more business owners begin to invest in a well-designed play area to not only attract customers but retain them for longer providing them with a greater return on investment.

External play areas can:
• Attract families to your site - External play areas are no longer an after-thought but are fast becoming essential in all redevelopments as operators understand that play facilities are a key driver and drawcard for families.
• Increase dwell time – Research has shown that children’s play facilities influence customer’s decisions on where to visit, dine out or holiday. Installing a well-designed play area illustrates how businesses are working to improve the customer experience.
• Boost foot traffic - Parents often use the promise of visiting a play area as a motivation to visit somewhere more frequently.

As the play areas are safe and secure it gives families peace of mind to allow their children to play. It’s also an inexpensive option to entertain the children, whatever the occasion. As any commercial operator will tell you, happy entertained children mean happy and relaxed parents! An exciting and challenging play area gives children somewhere to let off steam and make new friends. Investing in new or existing play equipment is a great way to show customers that your commercial establishment caters for families with young children who want to be entertained and have fun. HAGS, a world leader in outdoor play equipment helps clients understand how to design play spaces that attract customers to your destination.

HAGS
Tel. 0845 2601655
www.hags.co.uk

PLAY REMAINS CRUCIAL DRAW

FAMILIES STILLWANT TO ENJOY traditional playground facilities

Independently commissioned research by leading outdoor play and sport provider Proludic has shown that the public still wants to see high-quality outdoor play facilities at leading leisure attractions across the UK. In 2018 Proludic researched what adults thought about play facilities at leisure and hospitality venues. The results were revealing and showed a clear relationship between the availability of play facilities and time spent at leisure venues. Furthermore, it led to greater loyalty.

There is a clear desire to see play as an integral part of the offering. Three years have passed since the last research. We wanted to revisit it to see the current situation, particularly in the aftermath of the global pandemic. We, therefore, asked the same questions to a randomly selected representative sample of 1000 adults. Over half (51%) of the respondents said play areas were an important consideration for them when visiting a pub, holiday park, or visitor attraction. Furthermore, 41% said they were more likely to book a UK holiday park vacation if they had made good provisions for children’s play.

As you would expect, this was more of a factor for families (83%) with children under the age of 16. The results clearly show that, despite the pandemic, families are keen to get out and about to tourist and leisure attractions with play facilities.

Proludic
Tel. 0115 982 3980
www.proludic.co.uk

MAGICAL PLAY FOR ALL AGES

KOMPAN believe in working together when it comes to designing and building playgrounds for children, sports arenas for teenagers, effective outdoor fitness equipment for adults, and stay fit solutions for active seniors. KOMPAN achieve this through developing playful and inspiring solutions that trigger the fantasy and curiosity of children, and drive adults to become fit for life.

To makes users stay for longer and visit time and time again, we pack playgrounds full of high variety and increasingly challenging play features, so it keeps on being fun, adventurous, and stimulating. The designers at our Design Studio are ready to customise a unique concept based on your local vision, enabling you to say something important about where you live.We use the highest quality playground materials and advanced engineering to ensure that they last a lifetime. In the years ahead, today’s children will be able to enjoy the same KOMPAN activity area with their children.

KOMPAN
Tel. 01908 201002
www.kompan.co.uk

STAYCATION TREND DRIVES GROWTH

FOLLOWING ITS LATEST accquisitions, Landal GreenParks boasts ten resorts across the UK.

Back-to-nature holiday brand Landal GreenParks has expanded its growing UK portfolio with the addition of a three new holiday resorts, as it continues to be one of the fastest growing lodge holiday brands in the UK and capitalise on the surge in demand for staycation holidays. Welcomed into the group are Landal Barton Pines in Devon, Landal Rockingham Forest in Northamptonshire and Landal Vale of Usk in Monmouthshire – the brand’s first holiday resort inWales – and brings the number of parks to ten across the UK since their launch in 2017.

Landal GreenParks originated in Holland in 1954 and now offers over 100 locations across nine European countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Austria, and the UK is the 9th territory for Landal GreenParks to launch into. “We are delighted to welcome our latest additions to the Landal family,” said Paul Hardingham, Managing Director of Landal GreenParks UK. “When we brought the concept to the UK we were confident it would appeal to British holidaymakers, as there wasn’t anything offering the same experience, but we’ve been astounded by the popularity our current locations.” “The next stage for us was to add more resorts within the UK to build on our successes, so we are pleased to announce plans for three new locations this year and have more in the pipeline for the near future.” “It’s been a challenging 18 months for the industry, but it is evident that holidays which bring guests closer to nature and give them the chance to explore the diverse outdoor space in the UK is exactly what guests want right now.”

Landal’s seven other sites are spread across the UK including the Peak District, Kielder Water & Forest Park, the Cornish coastline and Scottish countryside. The company offers 15,000 holiday homes, has 3,000 employees and provides 14.5 million overnight stays to 2.8 million guests per year.

VALLEY RESORTS ADD TO CORNISH CREAM

VALLEY RESORT’S has taken its Cornish portfolio of luxury resorts to fou

Millendreath Beach Resort near Looe, has recently been acquired by Valley Resorts, a growing Cornish luxury holiday resort business, for an undisclosed sum. This popular Cornish beach resort comprises a collection of luxury self- catering apartments, a south-facing beach, and 65 acres of private woodland. Its location, on Cornwall’s south coast, is perfectly situated to complement Valley Resort’s growing portfolio of Cornish holiday parks. This purchase will strengthen Valley Resort’s offering to holiday makers and holiday home owners, looking to Cornwall as their destination of choice, and will take its portfolio of resorts to four; including Towan Valley, Porthtowan; Leycroft Valley near Perranporth and St Merryn Park, near Padstow.

CEO Andrew Clark’s commented: “We are delighted to announce this fantastic new acquisition.We will be taking Millendreath under the Valley Resort’s umbrella, enabling our guests and owners to ‘live the Cornish dream’ on the south coast. Millendreath will be run with the same ethos as our existing parks –providing luxury self- catering accommodation in stunning locations, while maintaining the resort’s own unique atmosphere that guests have come to know and love.” Valley Resorts sets out to be a friendly and professional holiday home business that always has the needs of its guests and customers mind. It offers both holiday homes for sale and self-catering holidays.

BEACON PARK SELLS FOR £11M

THE BEACON FELL VIEW is licensed for 419 caravans with planning consent for further lodge development.

One of the UK’s biggest holiday park deals so far this year has seen Beacon Fell View, in Lancashire, sold off a guide price of £11 million to a cash buyer. It has been sold to Hill Brothers Residential & Leisure Parks, an expanding UK parks company that is looking to grow further, in an off- market deal negotiated by sector specialist Colliers on behalf of Hagans Leisure UK Ltd.

Tom Hill, of Hill Brothers, commented: “I would like to thank Hagans Leisure. We see it as a great opportunity to expand our portfolio in the Ribble Valley, as parks of this quality and size don’t often come to the market in the North West, and we look forward to further expansion in this sector.” The 4* holiday park is set in around 35 landscaped acres overlooking Dilworth Upper Reservoir in the picturesque Ribble Valley. It is licensed for a total of 419 caravans and has planning consent for further lodge development. Facilities include an indoor swimming pool, a bar, an amusement arcade, a gym, and an entertainment venue with food and beverage offer.

COFTON SCOOPS STAYCATION TITLE

PRAISE FOR COFTON Holidays and its directors (from left) Mellony Kirby, Helen Scott, and Chris Jeffery.

Experiencing the busiest summer in its history, with occupancy rates running at 98%, up 8% on 2019, Devon’s multi award-winning Cofton Holidays has been named the UK’s Best Caravan/Campsite at the prestigious iTravel Staycation Awards 2020/21. Having been shortlisted in more categories than any other tourism business in the UK, the team at Cofton attended the virtual Staycation Awards, held to celebrate the cream of the crop within the tourism sector. After receiving more than 1,000 nominations and entries across 14 fiercely competitive categories., the virtual ceremony, hosted by Countryfile’s Sean Fletcher, whittled the list down to the final champions, with winners coming from as far North as Loch Lomond in Scotland, right down to Penryn in Cornwall. Facilities include a heated indoor pool with a splash pad area and hydrotherapy loungers, a gym, restaurant, pub, steam room, sauna, fitness studio, soft play area, playground, sports wall, outdoor pools and much more. Guests also have access to five coarse fishing lakes, miles of cycle paths and nature trails that take visitors through woodland to the golden sands of Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve.

 

COVE COMMUNITIES FAST TRACK REOPENING

THE NEW OWNERS of Bunn Leisure fast-tracked the park’s re-opening this summer.

In 2019 international holiday park operator Cove Communities, which runs 28 sites across the US and Canada, announced its plan to take over West Sussex-based holiday park Bunn Leisure. Banking on the growth in UK staycations, the acquisition of the 265- acre site in Selsey was the company’s first step in developing a premium UK holiday offering as part of a substantial investment in the UK holiday park sector. By April this year, the new owners faced a race against time to ensure its 800 team members were prepared and fully trained to welcome back the 11,000 holidaymakers and holiday homeowners the park hosts each year.

The objective was to ensure that the parks opened safely and that all team members had received the appropriate training. Erango software was chosen because of its speed of deployment and its ability to make HR managers’ lives easier by giving them access to reliable data on employees. Ross Cumming, Software Development Manager leading the deployment of Erango commented, “Park Managers were under pressure of deadline to reopen the parks safely. Erango was chosen to help track employee skills and competencies for many reasons. These included the speed of deployment and its ability to help with health and safety compliance.” Erango can be set up and deployed in most instances in less than a day. The intuitive platform is easy to navigate and so far, it has been used to track 350 employees who have completed food safety courses, hygiene training and accreditations, health and safety training courses, GDPR compliance and allergy training courses.

 

HOBURNE NEW CEO CONFIRMED

JIM FORWARD has taken the reins of the Hoburne Group

The Hoburne Group has confirmed the appointment of Riviera Travel chief commercial officer Jim Forward as its new CEO. He will take over from Rod Tucker, who will be retiring from his position of managing director at the end of this year after seven years of leading the family- run business.

Forward has worked in the holiday sector for over 25 years and has held senior management positions at companies including HF Holidays,Warner Leisure Hotels and Butlins.Most recently, as chief commercial officer of Riviera Travel, Jim has taken his team and the business through the challenges of COVID while maintaining his strong commitment to doing the right thing for customers, an approach that Hoburne has also taken through the pandemic.

“Hoburne has a fantastic history and as a family-run company, it genuinely believes in respect and integrity,” said Jim. “From my experience of meeting with team members, I am already impressed by their enthusiasm and concerted efforts to offer an outstanding level of customer service.”

 

SAT NAVS SET FOR NORTHWALES

THE RWST holiday lodge park in North Wales opened to guests this summer.

The picturesque North Wales market town of Llanrwst is welcoming the launch of ‘Rwst’, a luxurious new holiday lodge park. The £1.8m development opened its doors to its first guests in July, just as North Wales topped the charts as the UK’s most popular staycation destination, overtaking the coastal and rural charms of Devon and Cornwall for the first time, according to a survey by Sykes Holiday Cottages. Rwst occupies a prime location on the edge of the historic town, with scenic views across the River Conwy to the Gwydir Forest and Snowdonia mountains beyond. The park, which is a high-end redevelopment of the much-loved Trem Gwydir holiday village, includes 22, five-star holiday lodges, with one, two, and three-bedroom single-storey lodges available for holiday rentals

BRITS BULK BUYING UK HOLIDAYS

THERE IS A RUSH ON UK holiday bookings in case providers are forced to ration their accommodation.

Many families are now ‘multi- buying’ holiday breaks in Britain this year in case providers are forced to ration their accommodation later in the season. Camping, glamping and holiday park agency Caravan Sitefinder says that almost one in ten of the bookings it receives are now for two or more stays. The firm’s CEO Michael Paul believes that the diminishing prospect of foreign travel this year is fuelling concerns that there simply won’t be enough UK holidays to go around: “Our bookings website covers thousands of parks, but it’s not a bottomless well - and many operators say some summer weeks are already near capacity,” he said. “They would normally be reporting this much further into the season, so the prospect of “no vacancies” notices going up in the near future is very real.

“The shortage is also being exasperated because a lot of parks are deliberately operating under capacity in order to ensure the protection of staff and guests. “Many people these days choose to take short breaks at different locations in the UK throughout the year – so they clearly want to stake their claims while there is availability. “We’re certainly unlikely to see many last-minute deals this summer, so those who in previous years have gambled on an eleventh-hour bargain will risk disappointment. “The good news is that there is little evidence of parks raising prices in response to demand, and the majority of stays are pitched at around last year’s price levels,” added Michael. Parks in England re-opened from April 12th as part of the government’s ‘roadmap’ post Lockdown. “May and June are already looking like peak season on many parks, and autumn and winter are also popular with those booking more than one holiday,” he says. The Caravan Sitefinder website, which has around one million visitors annually, was established 25 years ago and provides user reviews for many of the parks it features.

NOVELTY IMPORTS CELEBRATE 20 YEARS

VISIT THE NOVELTY IMPORTS ‘glowroom’ or view video clips on-line

About to celebrate 20 years in the event supplies industry, Staffordshire based Novelty Imports supply a broad range of fast-selling novelty lights to many market sectors including, theme parks, schools, pantomimes, circus and funfairs. Covering the whole of the UK network with their 24-hour online ecommerce website and telephone mail order service, Novelty Imports also boast a customer showroom at the heart of all the major motorway networks, where all the latest and best-selling light up event novelties, inflatable prizes, carnival festival items and pocket money toys can be found.

Owner Nigel Browne comments: “We are not an ordinary everyday warehouse who sells pots n pans and knick knacks; we sell light-up novelties, inflatable prize toys and carnival festival items all year round. It is what we do best! “With all the doom and gloom hopefully coming to a distant end now,” Nigel continues. “We can see a much brighter future with people making up for lockdown by treating their children and spending a lot more on gifts and novelty products in the UK holiday market this year.”

Novelty Imports strive to make sure their products are reliable, fast selling, great value for money and of course most importantly safe with CE EN71 toy safety testing certificates gained for every item imported.

You can call Novelty Imports or order online where the light- up novelties have video clips, so you can see them in action before placing your order. Alternatively, call to arrange a visit to the company’s dedicated Midlands ‘glowroom’. The future looks set to be good for Novelty Imports as their range of goods and customer database grows bigger every year. Here’s to the next 20 years! Happy Birthday Novelty Imports!

Novelty Imports
T: 01543 732008
www.noveltyimports.co.uk

INSERT COIN HERE

YEAR-ROUND WINNERS, arcade-based games offer multi-generational appeal.

On-site strategies for added income revenue...

On-site activities can mean the make or break for keeping the punters spending, both indoors and outdoors. Whether it is a soft play zone or an under-cover sit ‘n ride track, parks and resorts that offer thoughtful on-site entertainment are sure to stand out from the crowd. We are approaching the centenary anniversary of the creation of amusement arcades. Having totally outgrown their ‘penny arcade’ nickname, coin-operated machines have matured into a valuable added income stream that only the foolish would ignore. While penny fall coin-pushers, fruit machines and crane claw cabinets have stood the test of time, others, such as pinball machines and air hockey tables have made way for video-based games that can offer everything from Formula One motor racing experiences to the adrenalin rush of combat zone warfare. First introduced in the 1980s, top performing video games like Donkey Kong were still crowd-pleasers at a recent Haven stay as youngsters queued to compete in the weekly resort tournament.

VIDEO GAMES
Arcades tend to be crowded spaces filled with the roar of engines, gunfire and dozens of surging music tracks. People gather around to watch the top players vie for leaderboard positions. Spot the health and safety elephant in the room. Covid has put arcades under intense compliance pressure in the face of the pandemic. Controlling visitor numbers, regular wipe-downs, hand sanitisers and masks, have all become a regular routine that for some, has failed to pass the risk-assessment test, with many simply putting up the temporarily closed barriers. May 17th is the date that should see the arcade curtains raised. Don’t be caught diary watching though. Use the time wisely to refresh your thinking on arcades by planning the layout of your offerings. Remember ‘change’ machines are essential to keep the coins flowing while a couple of strategically placed vending machines, offering soft drinks and snacks, all add to the return on investment potential. A redemption counter, with a wide range of prizes to be exchanged for tickets won on the games, could be a focal point although, in reality, is often shoved to the back of the arcade room.
Holiday Park operators can either buy the games, or can lease machines on a time-limited basis, to ensure the arcade’s appeal is frequently refreshed. Others go the whole hog by bringing in specialists to operate their games room as a complete turnkey solution, picking the games, putting them on site and managing the arcade on a profit-share basis.

GAMES LIKE THE COIN-PUSHER penny falls have stood the test of time.

BUY VS LEASE
Launched in 1985, B.R. Leisure is the UK’s longest established, leading suppliers of licensed coin-operated kiddie rides, vending and amusement machines. A family-run business based in East Sussex, the company prides itself on a wide range of quality interactive entertainment machines available on a profit share or buy basis. “Offering exceptional service, we oversee everything from installation to maintenance,” says BR’s Brian Riley. “All customers have to do is supply a power socket and then sit back and watch their turnover increase,” Brian adds. “We work with shopping centres, amusement parks, family attractions, play centres, property developments, holiday parks and resorts all over the UK.” Over the last few decades, coin- operated kiddie rides have been constantly evolving and new machines are being produced all the time to keep up with the latest child obsession. From Postman Pat to Bob The Builder.

PRESS REFRESH
Machines can be rotated and replaced regularly to maintain children’s engagement as well as appeal to different age groups. Alternatively, BR Leisure offer a range of new and used machines and equipment available to buy from carousels to kiddie rides and from vending to amusement machines. “There are many benefits that coin- operated kiddie rides can have to your business, including an additional avenue of revenue and over time an increase in your profit,” says Brian. “However, there is so much more that kiddie rides and entertainment platforms can offer to your venue, and more importantly your customer,” he points out. “Once customers have inserted a coin, they have ‘invested’ in the machine and want to get their money’s worth. “They will stay for the duration of the whole ride, from start to finish, all whilst keeping the customer in your venue for longer.” World of Rides, the UK’s longest established family-owned manufacturer and distributor of children’s rides celebrated their 50th Anniversary during 2019. In addition to their world-beating 72 model range of 12v and 24v battery rides, they are also long-established UK manufacturers and distributors for many other award-winning themed ranges of 240v static children’s rides and games too with six new models already in pre-production development, largely due to the high demand from holiday park operators.
World of Rides are also the UK’s leading source of turnkey themed battery ride attractions for holiday parks, such as pollution free ‘parent and child’ Bumper Boat Aqua-Ball Pools, Bumper Car Tracks and Bumper-Ball Pitches, Go-Kart Tracks and Outlander- Adventure Trails, as well as full Driving Schools and a complete children’s play park and custom rides design service… to ensure family fun For everyone’ after the pandemic. Further to the Government’s ‘road map’ post-pandemic, the UK’s leading holiday park and holiday resort operators have already been drawing up their plans for reopening. Andrew Robinson, World Of Rides Sales Manager comments: “Always thinking ahead, holiday parks have been placing their orders since last winter for pollution-free battery rides in their parks, knowing that however short the season turns out to be for 2021, their attractions will almost certainly still achieve pay-back plus a profit, based upon their past-experience ofWorld of Rides’ hugely popular and profitable attractions. “The days of putting only one or two old battery rides on a track are now thankfully long gone,” says Andrew. “Especially as visitors demand shorter queuing times and the excitement of an unforgettable, fully interactive and highly competitive experience.”

SUITABLE FOR INDOORS OR OUTDOORS, go karts offer long-term appeal and revenue earners. Pic.World Of Rides

WISH LISTS
As a result, they have constantly remained high on the wish-lists of many of the leading holiday park operators with many of whom still claiming that their existing attractions fromWorld of Rides are still their top earners. “All UK holiday parks will need to be placing their orders in the coming weeks, not months,” advises Andrew. He adds: “Whilst our delivery timescales still-remain achievable at around five weeks, in order to beat the even longer delivery timescales, already being forecast throughout the whole of our industry, due to the unprecedented demand for high quality and environmentally friendly attractions to offer to their visitors.” Because of the enforced Lockdowns, The Bank of England have predicted the public have amassed savings of between £150 and £250 billion pounds. Much of that cash will be splashed on their leisure pursuits. Return on investment will be a rich reward for those who invest wisely in their weatherproof entertainment attractions.

 

Company Contacts:

BR Leisure
www.brleisure.com

World of Rides
www.worldofrides.com

BIBLICAL CHALLENGES

Insurance companies respond to unprecedented times...

It has been an unprecedented period for holiday park operators with challenges of biblical proportions as they faced floods, a global plague and a stop-start famine then feast on bookings. It is a period that has also challenged insurance cover suppliers to step up for their holiday park customers. Given the extraordinary circumstances of Covid, one of the hottest insurance topics has been Business Interruption (BI) cover. Long-awaited clarity about how BI claims should be handled came with the publication of the Supreme Court judgement on 15th January 2021. Not all customers will have the specific cover the test case referred to, which means that not all customers’ policies will be expected to cover Covid. The process of assessing BI claims is a complex one, and there are steps that need to be followed in order to submit a valid claim. Specialist insurers are working with the holiday trade who had the relevant policy coverage to confirm and assess their claims as quickly as they can. Champions of the Park Protect Scheme, David Moffat, Associate Director, of PIB Insurance Brokers says: “Unfortunately the pandemic has coincided with a significant hardening of the insurance market with insurance rates for certain types of insurance increasing markedly in recent months.

PARK PROTECT
“This often happens at a time of uncertainty as it usually comes with increases in claims and the insurance market reacts accordingly,” David explains. “Insurers have seen increasing claims costs, particularly from natural disasters but also due to an increasingly litigious society,” David continues. “As insurer profitability declines, they either decide to exit unprofitable markets or increase premiums.” Meanwhile, Leisuredays have been working hard, often behind the scenes: “We worked hard to educate caravan and lodge owners that their units remained at risk during lockdown using press releases, online content and through our advisers,” says Gareth Walker, Head of Leisuredays Development. “Covid, may have meant parks were closed for long periods but the winds still blow, rivers still flood, thieves still steal and pipes still freeze,” Gareth continues. “We calculate over 90% of claims could still occur even when units are unoccupied and parks closed, with storm and flood, fire, vermin damage and theft topping the list of claim types,” says Gareth. With parks’ income drying up overnight, it was clear that specialist insurance companies needed to do whatever we could as quickly as possible to help customers through the lockdown period. Compass were quick out of the blocks, developing a tailored product, Compass Essentials, which was offered to all holiday park businesses from May 2020. The product was designed to ensure all park customers, existing and new, could be offered a discount or refund of some sort. It largely worked on the premise that parks’ insurance needs changed, as a direct result of being closed to the public. For many, this meant liability covers could be reduced without putting the park business at risk. By further eliminating less critical covers such as frozen food cover and accidental damage, many parks were able to secure immediate premium refunds of up to 25%.

HOME OWNERS
Several Compass insured parks have experienced flooding in the past six months, and a few have been very badly affected. Over half of the claims that Compass handles relate to flood and storm. One of the biggest lockdown issues for holiday home owners has been their ability to comply with insurance policy conditions. Holiday caravan owners also need to think about their sums insured as pressures on the supply chain mean that the cost of replacing caravans is likely to increase sharply, if only for the next 12 – 18 months “Coronavirus has had a significant impact on the way in which holiday caravan and lodge manufacturers can operate,” Richard Walker, of Compass points out. “Coupled with supply chain issues, this has resulted in fewer units being produced at a time when staycation bookings and new caravan/ lodge sales have boomed. “The high demand for the units that are available could potentially impact any total losses experienced by parks and their customers in the next year or so. “The fact that the dearth in available units is driving up prices may also be relevant, as will the increased costs of many of the materials used in caravan/ lodge construction,” Paula adds. Once parks re-opened, Leisuredays say they dealt with a record number of insurance enquiries as parks enjoyed healthy sales of new units.

RECORD NUMBERS

“For those suffering temporary financial difficulty as a result of Covid, we were able to defer payments or waive cancellation charges,” says Gareth. “If a customer asked to cancel their policy but was intending to keep their unit uninsured, we would do everything possible to keep them insured because the last thing they needed on top of everything else was an uncovered bill for a caravan repair or replacement. The closing of parks at the end of October also brought difficulties for customers to drain down their units for winter in line with insurance policy terms. “We were able to offer flexibility for customers to arrange for their parks to drain down within an extended timeframe yet maintain full cover until this was completed,” he adds. Leisuredays set about making it even easier for park customers by offering a new online renewal portal so they could renew 24/7. Gareth explains: “To ease any stress, we provided an up to 10% uplift to policy sum insured at no charge. “This was beneficial to customers on a new for old policy who have to insure at the price of a brand-new equivalent unit.” In effect, the Leisuredays approach meant the customer could renew and be sure their caravan would be fully replaced with a new one on the park – it also reassured the parks that the customer would have sufficient funds to replace their unit via them.

SUFFICIENT FUNDS
“If anything, our way of working with parks has worked extremely well during the pandemic,” Gareth emphasises. “Because our parks work with us as Introducer Appointed Representatives they effectively introduce the customer to us for us to quote, then setup and administrate policies. “When parks re-opened in July 2020, many parks were keen to maximise sales so they bundled our free insurance offer with new units as a deal sweetener. “This proved extremely popular for new owners who wanted everything to be provided as part of the purchase package.” Gareth believes Covid has made self- administration of customer insurance even less attractive for holiday park operators. “We’re even more confident the route of introducing to a specialist like ourselves delivers better results,” says Gareth. “Letting a specialist such as Leisuredays do the insurance admin lets them concentrate on their core business. Gareth adds: “We firmly believe they’re in for a bumper season of demand for holiday caravan sales and holidays so they need to make hay whilst the sun shines in that regard – why let insurance get in the way?”

COMPANY CONTACTS

Compass Insurance
Tel. 0344 274 0276
enquiries@compass.co.uk
www.compassparks.co.uk

Leisuredays Insurance
Tel. 01422 396 693
parkoperator@leisuredays.co.uk
www.leisuredays.co.uk

PIB Insurance Brokers
Tel. 01422 358 525
david.moffat@pib-insurance.com
www.pib-insurance.com/business/hospitality/caravan-and-holiday-park-insurance

FLUSHED WITH SUCCESS

IT PAYS TO KEEP UP TO DATE with washrooms trends.

It pays to invest your washroom facilites pennies in wisely, as Emily Martin investigates...

The average person uses the bathroom 2,500 times year and for about 20 minutes every day. Apparently, that works out to a whopping three months of the average lifetime sitting on the proverbial throne. That timing may vary, of course, because the more features your smart phone has, the longer you sit on the toilet! Whether it is holiday parks or restaurants, or both, I always judge a venue by the standard of its toilets and it would seem, I am in good company.

SPOTLESSLY CLEAN
Filtering the all-singing Trip Advisor by toilet blocks, Holiday Park Scene found numerous reports of a ‘spotlessly clean’ facility at one outstanding site, the Macrihanish Holiday Park, near to Argyll in Western Scotland. Offering a variety of accommodation from camping and touring to camping pods and lodges, Macrihanish boasts a block of eight brand new individual toilet and shower rooms similar to the standard you would expect in an ensuite hotel bedroom. “I think the fact that we have private rooms is the unique point,” says Macrihanish’s Ewen MacDonald. “Parents with younger children love the facilities for getting the whole family sorted in the morning and ready for bed at night,” Ewan continues. “When we installed the block, we knew that it would be several years to realise the investment but it has been worth every penny. “It’s without a doubt the most important thing customers are looking for when visiting holiday parks,” Ewan emphasises and adds: “You can have the best pitches, the best views and the best staff in the world but if your toilets aren’t clean or appear scruffy then none of your other hard work is worth anything, you’ll just be remembered for your grubby loos!” Macrihanish Holiday Park is also cracking COVID considerations on health and safety measures implemented since the pandemic. ‘With Covid, last year, it meant we could operate very safely as individual blocks are perfect for social distancing. They are normally cleaned up to five times a day, with hourly buff ups,” says Ewen.

HEALTH AND SAFETY
‘We can also easily isolate each room to fumigate or fog which is something else that we have been doing periodically each day throughout the pandemic.’ Clearly a lot of effort goes into keeping these loos sparkling clean. Does Ewen think it has been worth the investment? “Without a doubt,” Ewan responds enthusiastically. “We have guests rebooking several times a season and now returning as a result of our facilities.” Browsing the internet for getaways, potential customers might prioritise fabulous views, comfortable accommodation, attractions nearby, children’s entertainment, catering… the list goes on. But forget those wash facilities at your peril.

ECO-FRIENDLY
James Feltham from Aaztec.com, a leading installer of holiday park wash- blocks, and asked how much holiday parks tend to budget for the toilet block or washroom and, how important is being eco-friendly to his typical holiday park client?
‘We have completed wash-block projects ranging from a few thousand to over a hundred thousand pounds,” says James. “Caring about the environment is at the forefront of our design. A recent installation at the Lake District National Park included environmentally friendly options such as recycled-plastic vanity units. Other outstanding examples include Flamingo Land in Malton that was designed geared up for a mechanical feel with chequered race-car style cubicles and real tyres for the hand basins. Other Aaztec projects that amplify luxury finishes include the Vale of Pickering in Pickering and Don Amott in Derby James believes customer expectations are constantly changing with guests expecting more, more and more. “Gone are the days when going camping in the UK was about getting stuck in the mud,” he says. Clientele of holiday parks now desire the glamping experience when it comes to facilities.Whether it is a long hike in the forest or a day chilling on the beach, holiday makers want to come back to the park for a hot shower in privacy with all the home comforts.

FAMILIES FIRST
James continues: “Many holiday parks are now opting for unisex and family orientated wash-blocks, where full height cubicles and space efficiency create the feeling of separation from the guest in the cubicle next to you. “It is important to make the most of the space available and depending on capacity requirements, some wash- blocks can feel small because too many cubicles or basins are placed close together. “It is key to remember guests will spend a lot of their holiday using the facilities provided and it’s not just a quick stop like at a service station, thinking about choices of colours and theme are also fundamental when making a washroom feel cosy.” So with cleanliness at the top of the washroom pops, what other tips can James share? “Holiday park washrooms can be subject to intensely high footfalls at peak times of year so you need durable decor and technology that will ensure your wash-block lasts a lifetime,” James emphases, advising strength and sturdiness when it comes to washroom design.

.

GAME CHANGERS

THE BRIDLINGTON CENTRE has proven to be a huge success with an estimated 50,000 plus people visiting the facility in the first six weeks alone.

With more than 100 aquatic installations under their specialist belt, Ustigate’s aquatic play schemes are assembled for a variety of budgets. Experience and expertise enables Ustigate to respond efficiently to all enquiries, carrying out prompt site surveys, calculations and designs to allocated budgets for all sizes of projects both indoor and out. In conjunction with long term aquatic partner Vortex International, Ustigate’s product portfolio includes waterslides, Elevations™ play structures, the award- winning Water Journey™ collection and over 300 individual and interactive Splashpad® play items, with the majority being available with the Safeswap™ Anchoring System. Particularly thought-provoking for holiday destinations, the Safeswap™ Anchoring System provides clients with the ability to exchange features for alternatives in the future, without the need to break the ground again.

FRESH APPROACH
This system enables all water play facilities to stay fresh and modern for years to come and it also enables a water play facility to be built in phases. Each anchor can be capped, provided with a ground spray or home to an above ground feature. The Safeswap™ system is particularly helpful when building a water play project according to budget constraints as it enables the infrastructure to be placed in year one and an array of aquatic play products can be purchased annually and assembled over the course of, for example, a five year plan. A multi-site holiday park operator can also alternate products of the same flow rates between locations to keep visitors intrigued and entertained. Alternatively, or additionally, the joy of Splashpad® is a trend that has encompassed the nation and its popularity continues to grow. An area dedicated to a multitude of water play items, a splashpad is set in a zero standing water environment, making it entirely inclusive and 100% safe without any lifeguard requirement. The trend is fuelled by the inclusive pleasure involved and the fact aquatic play product development has come on a very long way. Twirltec™ enables children to turn products 360° and Orbs and Twistnozzle™ feature widely throughout the award winning Explora range, enabling children to move, twist, spin, splash and change the direction of the water jets.

DIPPY’S SPLASH ZONE has been successful at extending the length of a visit and has increased park revenues through added value sales

WATER JOURNEY
Ustigate Waterplay and Vortex have also recently added “bouncing and splashing” to their offered activities via “Hop” from their Water Journey™ collection. Hop encourages children to physically jump on three soft, padded stepping stones to be rewarded with a bigger and higher splash from the ground up. Water play has been proven to promote water confidence, happiness, excitement, exercise, cognitive behaviours and group play. All factors that aid and promote good health and social development. Interactive aquatic play is being incorporated indoors and outdoors to promote water confidence at a young age and to deliver good health and wellbeing for all ages and abilities. Being with friends and families and being active indoors and outdoors is what makes us happy, fit and strong and the pandemic has taken its toll on everyone’s physical and mental wellbeing because we have never spent more time at home indoors and away from our loved ones and activities. The negative impact of Covid closures has been great on humanity and the leisure, hospitality and aviation industries given all was brought to a standstill in 2020. The roadmap out of the Covid pandemic must also remain cautious to ensure we continue to move in the direction of a healthier and more positive future. Exercise and staying outdoors have been recommended the whole way through. An outdoor Splashpad® with several features and a recirculation system is certainly a safe, clean and exciting place to be. Inclusive water features such as the KirkleathamWalled Garden set the scene for peace and tranquillity, a shining example of Ustigate’s inclusive aquatic play schemes promote happiness and physical fitness for everyone involved.

Ustigate Ltd - Water Display Specialists
Tel. 01322 424445
www.ustigate.co.uk
www.ustigatewaterplay.co.uk

CROWD PLEASERS

PROSLIDE’S KIDZ RIDES can be accommodated in either indoors or outdoors

Keep ahead of the competition, with stand-out attractions….
In an often crowded market, holiday parks and resorts understand the need for differentiation. More and more destinations are setting themselves apart with attractions like high-performance water rides that deliver impactful return on investment and draw in the ever- important guest demographic: families. Water parks have been shown to differentiate parks and resorts by increasing guest satisfaction, occupancy rates, perceived value, and secondary spending on things like concessions. ProSlide’s KIDZ Rides are part of its WaterKINGDOM suite of water rides and attractions and are purposefully designed to cater to a park and resort’s family guests, leaving them with an exciting and memorable Experience that keeps them coming back. ProSlide’s KIDZ Rides provide families the excitement of a water ride with the comfort and safety envisioned and designed for kids. They offer a ‘graduated ride experience’ that allows younger guests to aspire toward a more advanced ride as they age, while still providing distinctive, high-performance water slides that also mirror their adult counterparts in design and experience. This ensures that no matter the age, there’s always a ProSlide ride for every age group.

SMALLER FOOTPRINT
ProSlide’s KIDZ Rides also boast an array of benefits that make them the ideal fit for holiday parks and resorts. The ride’s smaller footprint allows them to fit any vision and topography. Add to that an easily customisable ride path, ProSlide’s KIDZ rides can be accommodated in either an indoor space or an outdoor one. Being able to customize the rides means they’re also the perfect attraction to add to an expanding family entertainment area. ProSlide’s latest KIDZ Ride additions have made some of the most impactful debuts imaginable at world-class water parks around the world in the past 12 months. The world’s first KIDZ RallyRACER at Atlantis Aquaventure in Dubai, UAE, brings the pinnacle of a competitive water racing experience to young riders for the first time ever.
Utilising ProSlide’s patented RallyPOINTS – portions of u-shaped flume with low divider walls – that appear at multiple sections throughout the ride, young riders can see and hear their competition as they race side-by- side. The exclusive design merges the excitement and action of the original RallyRACER® with the industry-leading design considerations present in ProSlide’s KIDZ rides. The debut of the KIDZWAVE® at Soaky MountainWaterpark in Tennessee, USA delivered the park an iconic water ride purposefully designed for its family customers. Like the KIDZ RallyRACER®, its design and experience are inspired by its larger counterpart, the TornadoWAVE®. By incorporating ProSlide’s award-winning TORNADO® technology, the KIDZWave sends young riders on a thrilling journey up the arched wall.
During 2021, ProSlide has even more exciting installations of KIDZ Rides coming up in parks all over the globe. Europa-Park’s Rulantica in Rust, Germany is set to install an industry leading aquatic play structure with multiple ProSlide KIDZ Rides like serpentine TWISTERS and the competitive, multi-lane ProRACER®. UP AND COMING NovaHills in Mui Ne, Vietnam will also enjoy an array of KIDZ Rides, like the KIDZ ProRACER® and KIDZ TWISTER, with their brand new dedicated KIDZ Zone coming this summer. ProSlide’s KIDZ Rides are making a dramatic impact at hotels and resorts around the world, increasing guest satisfaction and ROI, while also cementing themselves as the ideal destination with world-leading water ride attractions to set any park or resort apart.

ProSlide
Tel. +1.613.526.5522
info@ProSlide.com
www.ProSlide.com

ACTION STATIONS

PARK HOLIDAYS ARE WELCOMING BACK holiday home staycations at Landscove in Brixham, Devon

Sue Hollingshead reports on the surge in UK holiday bookings post lockdown...

The Great British public has a new-found love of holidays in the UK and exploring the great outdoors has been high on their agenda. They have come to appreciate the beautiful home locations that are available across the UK, and how relaxing it is to avoid the hassle of airports! The savvy park operator hasn’t missed the opportunity, and many have been hugely busy during lockdown with new marketing plans, new websites, new development phases, even purchasing new parks. Having been given the green light for re-opening holiday parks, the consumer certainly wasting no time! Since the roadmap announcement by Boris Johnson back in February, holiday bookings have soared, with people keen to get their holiday break into the diary. In addition to the normal holiday break, there is also a trend to catch up on the missed family Christmas, special birthday, anniversary, or other lifestyle events. The UK Staycation boom has been a hot topic over the past year, and with the latest travel restrictions for holidays abroad looking set to be in place for some time yet, holidays in the UK are very much in favour.

BOOKINGS BONANZA
As we progressively see the vaccine levels increase, we are seeing consumer confidence grow, which has been demonstrated by their actions and confirmed by some latest statistics. For park operators, there has been a flurry of activity to ensure everything is in place and ready for visitors. Laura Miller, Head of Marketing and Insights at Away Resorts, comments “The demand for new bookings is already up 50% year- on-year along with autumn bookings seeing a rise of 31%. When we came out of lockdown last summer, we saw an increase in bookings by 44% year-on- year.” Tony Clish, Director at Park Holidays UK, also confirms that holiday bookings are currently very strong. Tony added: “This must be seen in context with the substantial shortfalls in income suffered last year, as we would normally run at near full capacity during the holiday season. In addition, we will be entertaining many bookings this year which were postponed from last year.” Cool Camping is an Online Travel Booking Agent working with hundreds of campsites throughout the UK. James Warner Smith shared their stats with Holiday Park SCENE. “Across the board, we have witnessed a dramatically higher number of early bookings compared to previous years,” says James. “In February, bookings were up by 525% on last year, with the busiest day falling, perhaps unsurprisingly, the day after Boris Johnson announced the roadmap out of lockdown in England. March, too, is already up by over 400% on 2019,” he adds.

VENUES LIKE COGHURST HALL are providing the ultimate family getaway. Pic. Park Holidays

CHANGING TRENDS
The stats certainly demonstrate that the Staycation is on the rise, and supported by press activity over recent months, with many news articles relating to the UK holiday boom and their predictions for the future. However, what about trends, are we seeing any changes to the holiday habits of the British public? At Cool Camping, they are noticing quite a few trends. Firstly, for the location, with people particularly interested in Cornwall, the Lake District, and the New Forest. They have also witnessed their customers reacting very quickly to positive news from the government. The key date being in February when the road map was announced for England on 23rd February then also forWales, on 12th March. Interestingly there was also a surge of bookings when the vaccine was officially licensed for use in the UK. They have also noticed people booking longer holidays and spending more than in previous years. Similarly, Park Holidays have noticed a demand for top-end holiday accommodation such as luxury lodges, again an indicator of those replacing their holidays abroad. They have also noticed an increase in demand for holiday home sales, which is currently buoyant. Laura, at Away Resorts, says: “Naturally, consumers are responding to Government advice and we are seeing a huge volume of bookings post ‘Step 4’ when all restrictions are expected to lift.” Despite the surge in bookings, it would seem there is availability across the board for this summer, although it is to be expected that places will fill up quite quickly. Park Holidays are seeing bookings close to Christmas and even into 2022. Probably one of the biggest issues that any holiday booking platform has had to contend with and adapt to since COVID restrictions began in Spring 2020, is their cancellation policy. It would be fair to say that a complete revamp of policies had to be undertaken.

CANCEL COVER
Companies now need to offer a Coronavirus Booking Guarantee, with the option to move the break to a new date, or a full refund, when related to COVID. Those not offering this won’t fair well in the market. Park Holidays and Away Resorts certainly offer this guarantee. Laura, at Away Resorts, summed it up nicely: “We recognise that we are all living in uncertain times, so it is important to have something special to look forward to as a family and we want to ensure customers feel safe and confident when booking with us.” Cool Camping being an agent are in a different situation however recruited more staff in their customer service team to handle the enquiries relating to the policy. Generally, the cancellation policy would be with the campsite direct, however Cool Camping took the initiative to introduce a Cool Camping Coronavirus Booking Guarantee which was then offered to campsites to enrol into. This was rolled out with huge success. There is a theory that due to lockdown and Coronavirus Guarantees, prices will rise for 2021, however prices seem to be reasonably static at present. Considering that many bookings for this year are postponed from 2020, and although there is a huge demand, holiday parks do still need to be competitive. In fact, Park Holidays took the initiative to offer a discount to customers who had to postpone from 2020.

GOOD SUPPORT
From the point of overall support, including financially, most holiday parks seem to have weathered the Coronavirus storm reasonably well considering. Luckily, there are several industry bodies, including The British Holiday & Homes Parks Association, that have worked endlessly with the government to ensure firstly that the government understands the needs of the sector, and secondly, that park owners are provided with the maximum advice and guidance available. Tony, of Park Holidays, agrees: “The government has listened very attentively to our representations throughout the pandemic, and we are very grateful for the guidance received from them and our trade body, as to what steps to take to ensure staff and customers remains safe.” Laura adds “The impact of Coronavirus on this industry has been huge and financial support has been critical to ensuring we protect the business and our staff.”

INSPIRATIONAL FUTURE
Tony of Park Holidays, shared their activity with Holiday Park SCENE: “We have remained very busy during the closed months, and have just opened a new section of our website which previews 14 new holiday home developments across our parks. “These offer more than 200 new luxury lodges, villas, and holiday caravans. Visitors can view state-of- the-art images and tour the interiors on our website. “We have also added new indoor pools and entertainment venues to some of our parks as well as acquiring three more parks in recent months”. Laura, Away Resorts, also had investment news to share: “It has still been a busy time behind the scenes with Away Resorts investing in the UK tourism and staycation sector. “We have recently added St Ives Bay to the portfolio ahead of the peak season and recently completed the purchase of Boston West Hotel and Golf Course in Hubbert’s Bridge, Lincolnshire,” says Laura and adds: “Phase one plans have begun at Mill Rythe Coastal Village, on Hayling Island, as it undergoes an exciting £10million transformation.” James, of Cool Camping, said: “It has been fantastic to see the new business in the industry and the speed in which many companies have responded and adapted. “We have also witnessed a growth in new ‘pop-up’ camping and glamping sites, operating under the 28-day planning rule (extended this year in most areas of the UK),” James continues. “Many of these sites are people within the events industry reacting to the cancellation of festivals, utilising the accommodation they would normally provide. “Our success in supporting businesses and bringing in high volumes of bookings over the last year has led to an increase in new businesses joining our platform.” At the end of a long year, it is good to reflect on how key companies in the sector have responded. Companies like Park Holidays, Away Resorts and Cool Camping have risen to the challenge, seen an opportunity in the market, and invested in opportunities.

COMPANY CONTACTS
Away Resorts
Tel: 0330 127 7962
www.awayresorts.co.uk

Park Holidays UK
Tel: 0191 256 0795
www.parkholidays.com

Cool Camping
Tel: 0207 820 9333
www.coolcamping.com

Holiday Park Operator Focus featuring Haulfryn Group

The 20-strong Haulfryn Group is celebrating its 85th birthday…

THE WARREN’S PRIVATE BEACH LOCATION boasts golden sands and soul-reviving views of Cardigan Bay and Snowdonia

The origins of the Haulfryn Group date back to the early 20th century when Frank Minoprio, the son of an Italian immigrant entrepreneur, invested in the beauty of the North Wales coastline. Having spent holidays enjoying the outstanding scenery of the region, Frank invested in his very own piece of land on which he built a fine granite house. He called it Haulfryn, meaning ‘sunny hill’. Over the years, Frank continued to invest and build up his estate in North Wales. He believed strongly in giving back to the community and with this in mind he built the primary school in Abersoch alongside many other philanthropic activities. In 1935, The Haulfryn Estate Company was officially founded with the aim of developing the land at TheWarren, just down the road from the family holiday home at Abersoch.

By the start of the 1960s, TheWarren had become a popular destination, setting the standards for holiday parks across the country. Replicating the success of The Warren elsewhere, The Haulfryn Group continued to invest in holiday parks in outstanding locations. The 1970s and 80s were years of further expansion with Gimblet Rock and Crugan added to the portfolio, among others and further investment at The Haulfryn Group’s flagship park, TheWarren. Expansion beyondWales followed, including strategic moves into the South West of England. Today, the Haulfryn Group’s estate includes 20 holiday parks throughout England andWales. The Haulfryn Group’s CEO since February 2020 is Echo Lu.With an impressive CV spanning over 20 years and senior experience within national and global brands including Tesco, Homebase and Holland & Barrett, Echo oversees the Group’s 500 team members. David John, Group Operations Director joined The Haulfryn group back in 2013, bringing with him a wealth of experience in Leisure and Hospitality, most notably Nutfield Heath, De Vere Hotels and Leisure, as well as early years spent in Local Authority.

caption: David john, Group Operations Director

The Group continues to invest in its portfolio to ensure Haulfryn resorts continue to meet the high expectations of its growing and loyal customer base. The Group’s leisure and entertainment venues, facilities and services are widely renowned as among the best in the business. David John comments: “The 85th birthday of the founding of the company is a fantastic milestone to achieve and testament to the company ethos and the hard work of every member of our team at every level. “As a company we’re extremely proud of everything we have achieved so far and look forward to welcoming holidaymakers new and old to our parks to create more special memories to last a lifetime,” he adds. “When you strip everything back to basics, the core of what we do today is the same as it was 85 years ago. The family values on which Haulfryn was established are as relevant today as ever, and these coupled with our outstanding locations is what brings holidaymakers and buyers back to us time and time again,” he emphasises. “Our main driver is to bring joy to every moment of a customer’s stay with us and we’re proud to have been doing that since 1936!” The Haulfryn Group offers a wide choice of accommodation for all tastes and for all ages. Popular holiday lodges provide home-from-home comfort, many with added luxuries such as wine coolers and hot tubs.

caption: Haulfryn Group Locations

For those seeking a modern twist, a selection of glamping pods provide quirky, comfortable accommodation bringing you closer to the outdoors. Some of Haulfryn’s long-standing suppliers include Lissett, Prestige and Omar whilst more recently they have partnered with Aspire and Armadilla Pods. The Group’s original site, TheWarren, is often thought of as Haulfryn’s flagship park but David insists: “We firmly believe each and every one of our parks are flagships. “Whether it’s ancient woodland, lakeside living, beautiful beaches as well as charming scenic settings - we always provide the accommodation and facilities to complement the surroundings environments.” TheWarren’s private beach location boasts golden sands and soul-reviving views of Cardigan Bay and Snowdonia. A boat launch ramp accesses internationally recognised sailing waters alongside first class leisure, sports and spa facilities. Haulfryn’s Delamere Lake offers a beautiful oasis in the midst of the Cheshire plains. Situated in Cheshire’s largest area of woodland, with incredible views over the sparkling lake, Delamere is located within easy reach of Manchester and Liverpool. Finlake Holiday Resort is set within 130-acres of Devon woodland, Finlake is an exclusive Devon holiday home destination for all the family. On-site facilities include a gym, spa, sauna, swimming pools, including flumes, slides and fountains, a restaurant and bar, tennis courts and more. Praa Sands is situated on the edge of turquoise waters and golden sands on the furthermost tip of west Cornwall. The resort is ideally located to make the most of the spectacular local area including beautiful beaches, walks, and cycle tracks. On-site facilities include a gym and heated indoor swimming pool. Before 2020, the Haulfryn Group’s biggest challenge would have been continuing to exceed customers’ expectations. Since the pandemic hit, Haulfryn’s overriding objective has been the safety of local communities, their teams and owners.

 

caption: contact the Haulfrun Group today

STAYCATIONERS ANXIOUS ABOUT HOTEL STAYS

New research from investment holding company MBH Corporation shows nearly one in 10 people (9%) plan to take a caravan holiday in the UK for the first time this year as tourists worry about potential COVID risks when on vacation. That is three times the number who took a UK caravan holiday for the first-time last year and points to a boom year for caravans which are set to be more popular for holidays than UK hotels.

MBH Corporation’s nationwide survey found that of those people who have already booked a holiday for later this year, 14% have opted for static or mobile caravans in the UK narrowly ahead of the 13% booking UK hotels, and just behind the 16% who have booked cottage stays.

The study for MBH Corporation, which owns caravan dealer Robinsons Caravans as part of its portfolio of successful, strong-performing small to medium enterprises, found 41% of people who have already booked their holidays are put off hotels because of worries about being among large groups of people. The study found caravan ownership is also growing with nearly one in 20 people (4%) considering buying a caravan. Robinsons Caravans has already seen a surge in demand for pre-owned caravans and has launched caravans4cash. co.uk to help source more used caravans and offer a simple, speedy, and honest service to value and buy people’s touring caravans.

The UK caravan industry contributes more than £6 billion a year to the economy, and usually around 50 million nights are spent in caravans each year. There are currently over one million leisure caravans in the UK but, based on the research, this is expected to increase dramatically.

SELF-CARE IS THE NEW HEALTH CARE

CAPTION: Self-care is the new Health care

The UK wellness retreat industry is predicted to boom following the relaxation of Lockdown restrictions, according to experts. Demand for wellness retreats has steadily been on the rise over the past decade, with a 1605% increase in online searches for the term since 2015, including an 81% increase from 2019 to 2020. The Health Retreat growth has been seriously on the rise for the last 20 years and these are now taking over from classic holiday destinations. Almost all countries which usually invite the family holiday groups will offer a health and wellness retreat.

“Self-care is the new health care,” says Yvonne Wake, a wellbeing and lifestyle consultant who hosts her own retreats. “I don’t see how the industry cannot continue to grow. There’s absolutely no reason to stop an industry where the earning capacity is getting higher by the year.” “Healthwise it’s important to just stop, which is what wellness retreats provide.” Activity retreats are among the fastest-growing in the industry after having experienced a 928% increase in online searches from 2019 to 2020.

Camptoo’s Head of Wanderlust, Ed Bassett, is expecting a similar uptake in interest this year as the UK gradually begins to ease out of lockdown. “Activity-based holidays are among the fastest-growing in the industry, and there’s never been a more exciting time to be involved. “The benefits of a wellness retreat are endless, but we really believe that adding something activity-based in the UK - whether it be kayaking, hiking, surfing, wild swimming, climbing, mountain biking - will take that experience to the next level.” He added: “The industry was booming prior to lockdown last year and despite being locked away, we can see that enthusiasm has not dropped and with everyone desperate to get out of their homes, it’s the perfect time to get out and explore the great British outdoors.”

PUSHING £20M STAYCATION BUTTON

PARK HOLIDAYS UK is investing £20m on new facilities as staycations continue to boom

Park Holidays UK is investing more than £20 million in its 30-plus parks this year as families seek top-end experiences in the UK as an alternative to going abroad. The company’s shopping list includes an order for 350 luxury-grade caravan holiday homes which has been placed with British manufacturers, hard-hit by the pandemic. New leisure centres, swimming pools, landscaping projects and children’s activities are also being developed as advance bookings recently reached a new record peak: “We’re braced for the busiest season in our 30-year history, and we’re determined to give guests and holiday home owners the best possible time,” said director Tony Clish. “Bookings across our parks tell us that we’ll not be waiting until summer before the holiday year starts in earnest – spring is already looking like peak season. “News of parks re-opening on 12 April, the ban on overseas travel, and the success of the vaccine roll-out has given an extra shot in the arm to the UK’s tourism industry. “That’s why our board of directors has authorised a spend of more than £20 million on hundreds of top-grade accommodation units, and new guest facilities.

RAISING THE BAR
“Our aim is always to constantly raise the bar on both the quantity and the quality of what our parks provide to people on both short breaks and longer stays. “This is especially important to us now because many bookings are coming from families who took a staycation with us in 2020, perhaps for the first time in years. “They clearly enjoyed the experience, so we want to welcome them and everyone back with facilities and attractions which will prove that UK holidays really are unbeatable,” said Mr Clish. Work is almost complete, he said, on a new £2 million pool at Dovercourt Holiday Park in Harwich, and a £1 million entertainments venue at West Mersea Holiday Park on Essex’s Mersea Island. Mr Clish added that sales of holiday homes are also rocketing, and that more than 200 new luxury lodges, villas and holiday caravans have just been released on new park developments.

INVESTORS SWOOP ON UK MARKET

DUE TO THE COVID crisis, UK holiday parks are attracting a new group of higher- spending consumers.

The revenue of the UK’s top 25 holiday parks has increased by 65% in the past five years, validating major investment in a sector that has performed strongly during the pandemic, says New Street Consulting Group, the leadership and people solutions consultancy. The incomes of the Top 25 holiday park groups have increased from £1.61bn in 2014/15 to £2.67bn in 2019/20. Even before the lockdown, warmer summers and a weaker pound are factors that have contributed to the rise in popularity of staycations in the UK, increasing by 14% between 2014 and 2019*. New Street Consulting Group says this long term rise in staycations has been one of the major factors behind the investment of private equity firms in this sector. Blackstone, the private equity giant, recently acquired Bourne Leisure, the UK’s largest holiday parks provider, whose estate includes Butlins. US based private equity fund KKR purchased Roompot, one of Europe’s leading holiday parks providers, in June last year, whilst Away Resorts is now owned by UK based private equity house Bregal Freshstream. New Street Consulting Group says holiday parks have been a surprise winner of the Covid crisis, having attracted a new group of higher- spending consumers who have been unable to or opted against going on cruise holidays or travelling internationally. The low density of guests at holiday parks makes them particularly suitable for social distancing, with groups being able to stay in separate buildings from other holiday-goers.

PRIVATE EQUITY
Several private equity houses that own holiday parks are embarking on large scale capital investment programmes in order to cater for increased demand. Parks are undergoing significant programmes of premiumisation in accommodation, food service and activities to ensure that clients gained in 2020 are retained when the market for cruises and other overseas holidays reopens. Investment is also being made into apps and digital enablement that allow customers to order food and book activities/entertainment without having to leave their lodges or mix with other guests. Richard Lindsay, Director at New Street Consulting Group, says: “Despite its fair share of challenges and impacts on income, the UK staycation sector is booming, with the holiday park industry in particular being one of the strongest performing parts of the leisure sector during the Covid crisis.” “Private equity funds’ interest in the sector is only going to continue. PE houses see holiday parks as a long- term growth prospect and not just a flash in the pan during the year of coronavirus.” “The changing demographics of those who visit holidays parks is likely to increase the speed of change in the sector. The opportunity to improve the perception of parks for the long term through major capital investment programmes is now likely to accelerate as we head towards summer 2021.”

Holiday Snaps - featuring Graham Hodgson

Founder and Chief Executive of Verdant Leisure Limited and runs a group of 10 parks in North East England and Southern Scotland. Born in Morecambe, Lancashire, Graham is married to Louise and they have two sons, Martin and James.

WHAT WAS YOUR CAREER PATH INTO THE INDUSTRY?

As an HSBC Bank Manager I had several caravan park operators as customers, one of whom was John Morphet and his business, South Lakeland Caravans. In 2001, John tempted me away from the bank to join him as Chief Executive and so started my second career in the caravan industry. We quickly set about improving and professionalising the business before selling it towards the end of 2007, just before the financial crash, at a handsome profit. This enabled me, alongside Bev Dixon, who was then Operations Director, to set up Verdant Leisure in 2010, with a new Finance Director, Andrew Wall.

HOW HAS THE MARKET CHANGED?

The quality of both the parks and the accommodation that we offer in this industry has improved on all levels. Fundamentally, our customers still want the same thing, a place of their own to relax and get away with family and friends and our strap line ‘Relax, Explore, Experience’ remains as relevant now as it was when I started.

HOW DO YOU THINK THE INDUSTRY HAS RESPONDED TO COVID 19?

I think our industry has reacted fantastically to the pandemic to date. There was a lot of work going on collaboratively between the larger park operators including ourselves, and our trade bodies including the BH&HPA, NCC and UK Hospitality. I think that this coordinated approach was instrumental in enabling parks to re-open quite quickly following Lockdown.

BEST PIECE OF INDUSTRY ADVICE?

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” While I think that this applies to life in general, it is equally appropriate to anybody in business. Too many people are focused on an end goal but that is just one moment in time. Whilst I certainly have a plan, I try to enjoy each experience as it comes, and, with hard work, success has followed.

HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR OUT OFWORK TIME?

I have always enjoyed lots of sports although playing has been replaced by watching over recent years! I spent 22 years as a Director of Morecambe Football Club, and this remains a big passion of mine

IF WE COULD GIVE YOU THREE GUESTS? WHO WOULD LIKE MOST LIKE TO SIT DOWN TO DINNER WITH AND WHY?

Winston Churchill – A flawed leader who achieved the most amazing things; Peter Kay – Always hilarious and would lighten the mood if the conversation became too intense; Mohammad Ali – One of the greatest sports personalities ever – and much more besides

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO BE LISTENING TO IN THE CAR?

Often ridiculed! I enjoy the classic groups from years ago – Dire Straits; Fleetwood Mac; Queen and the like. The music I grew up with has never really left me – some would say I should move on

ANY CLAIMS TO FAME?

I can juggle!

WHERE DO YOU PREFER TO TAKE YOUR HOLIDAYS?

Barbados is my ‘go-to’ destination. I love it and hope to be able to return there soon.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

HIT THE RIGHT TARGETS with your social media campaigns

Social media should form a key part of marketing your campsite or glamping business. Using Lisa Bullen’s personal experience of running a successful campsite, you’ll learn how to identify your target customers and promote your business to them using social media. Lisa understands how important it is to market your business to the right crowd, but also how time consuming and overwhelming it can feel. So, without further delay, Lisa Bullen presents a new course available to you for just £149! Please get in touch to discuss in more detail.

Social Media Sussex
www.socialmediasussex.com/courses

VERDANT CELEBRATE IN STYLE

Bespoke holiday park operator Verdant Leisure recently celebrated its 10th birthday in style with gifts for staff and holiday homeowners. Through its social media pages, Verdant gave away 10 holidays to one lucky family who has a child that turned 10 years old in September. Verdant Leisure runs ten UK holiday parks in spectacular locations across South East Scotland, Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire, Perthshire & North East England offering a wide range of accommodation from self-catering caravans, deluxe lodges to camping pods, glamping pods and touring pitches at selected parks.

BEATING HEART

Customers and staff have been at the heart of the business since it was born in 2010 – the brainchild of founders CEO Graham Hodgson, Commercial Director Bev Dixon and Finance Director Andrew Wall. The company employs over 300 staff and is passionate about building a solid team, who are invested in the brand and deliver exceptionally high customer service. As a testament to their engaged and happy employees, Verdant Leisure were awarded 13th Best Company toWork For in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies List in 2020, 3rd in the North East and 9th Best Company in Scotland. “We value all members of the Verdant Leisure team and really treasure the people who make our company what it is. It has been the same since 2010 and each and every one of them has played a large part in our success, today is really about them and our customers – both new and existing,” says CEO Graham Hodgson. Verdant Leisure’s service levels ensured that 2019 saw 60% of guests booking again and the latest customer satisfaction survey results show that 95% of holiday guests would recommend Verdant Leisure to family and friends. “The 2020 customer base has shifted slightly, we’re welcoming lots of new customers into the Verdant family, many of whom may not have enjoyed a British holiday park break for a number of years,” continues Graham.

A significant number of new customers are also deciding to purchase holiday homes on Verdant Leisure’s parks as the post-Lockdown staycation uplift sees no signs of abating. Verdant Leisure was founded in September 2010 following a management buy-in of Dunham Leisure Limited, owners of Pease Bay and Thurston Manor Leisure Parks in South East Scotland. Verdant went on to purchase Viewfield Manor Leisure Park in Ayrshire in July 2011 and Riverside Leisure Park in Northumberland in 2012. Kingfisher and Heather View Leisure parks in Wear Valley, and Coldingham Bay were then acquired. Scoutscroft Leisure Park was purchased in February 2018 followed by Queensberry Bay in Dumfriesshire in October 2018. In January 2020 Verdant Leisure purchased Erigmore in Perthshire bringing Verdant Leisure’s portfolio to ten parks across Scotland and North East England. This deal continued the company’s growth strategy to create a strong regional group with significant scale, and Verdant Leisure remains keen to add further parks to its group over the next 18 months.

Verdant Leisure
Tel. 03300 535524
www.verdantleisure.co.uk

ALL THE WORLD IS A BLUESTONE PLAY STAGE

BLUESTONE TURNED TO KOMPAN

Pembrokeshire‘s Bluestone Resort, turned to KOMPAN to come up with a timber-based play design for an underused area of its Welsh resort. The task was to create a play area that had adventure but also a village theme for the village green area. As this was to attract people into the area, the play area had to be aesthetically pleasing and exciting to draw people into the area time and again. The client wanted an area where they could put on a show and children could watch it from the play equipment. The play area had to be constructed in three weeks, in limited hours of working, and with challenging access.

KOMPAN designed a village area that centred around a raised stage. The stage had pipework in it so that electrical cables could be channelled. The play area was constructed in three weeks by KOMPAN installers, on budget and on time. The village houses cater for very young children and children up to the age of 12. There are small houses as well as a large house with a 3m high net! The village coffee shop and public house has seen an increase In popularity and sales since the installation. The artificial grass surfacing made it inviting for people to sit or lie on. It has become the focal point of the village, where parents and caregivers can enjoy a coffee or two whilst the children play in the village green

WYBOSTON INVESTS IN SUSTAINABILITY

WYBOSTON has invested in 24 charger points for its Bedfordshire resort

As Bedfordshire’s Wyboston Lakes Resort continues to search for opportunities and to introduce initiatives to be more sustainable, it has installed ten more electric car supercharger points for guests to encourage electric car usage. There is now a total of 24 charger points on the site. This latest development supports Wyboston Lakes Resort ‘2020 Green Objectives’ initiative, which includes reducing its carbon footprint by 50 per cent by 2025. The resort recently partnered with The Energy Check, specialists in minimising energy usage costs and CO2 to increase energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint as part of the strong commitment to its sustainability strategy.

Some of the initiatives already in place include the reduction of energy consumption throughout the venue by upgrading the lighting across site to the latest energy efficient LEDs which are turned off by movement sensors when a room is not in use, and ensuring energy ratings are considered as part of the purchasing decision for all new heavy equipment. The resort recycled over 20,000kg of cardboard waste in the last year, is continuing to fulfil its ‘Zero waste to landfill’ promise for the fifth consecutive year and actively supports the #20percentless campaign to cut back on single-use plastics each year

CLS WINNERS ANNOUNCED

SHARON AND DEAN PHILPIN

The Caravan and Motorhome Club has unveiled the winner of its Certificated Location of the Year Award 2020 as Woody Kiln Farm, near Milford Haven in beautiful Pembrokeshire. Certificated Locations (CLs) are privately-owned, maximum five- pitch sites found across the UK, open exclusively to Caravan and Motorhome Club members. The sites entered for the CL of the Year Awards are nominated by Club members, recognising the very best sites and rewarding hard-working owners who pull out all the stops for guests. Set on a small farm in the heart of the Pembrokeshire National Park, the only coastal National Park in the UK, Dean and Sharon Philpin opened Woody Kiln Farm CL in 2015. “Our aim is for visitors to be enjoying their holiday, relaxing and to be connected to all services within 20 minutes of arrival,” commented Dean and Sharon Philpin. “Visitors tend to really enjoy the farmland, which can be accessed for a daily stroll, or to exercise dogs and totals over 10 acres which is all lawned. “This includes a large pond, which has ducks, moorhens and swans at different times of the year.” All pitches are surrounded by peaceful paddocks where horses and sheep graze. There is a small orchard adjacent to the park and guests are welcome to sample the fruit. The site operates with hardstanding pitches which are well maintained.

PEACEFUL PADDOCKS

Dean and Sharon Philpin continued, “We have continued diversifying from agricultural activities and in August 2019 set up a hair and beauty salon in a traditional stone building just outside the grounds of the CL. This has been incredibly popular with visitors – to the degree that a number of our visitors book on the CL and stay to coincide with hairdressing appointments.” Nick Lomas, Director General of the Caravan and Motorhome Club said: “The Certificated Location (CL) of the Year Awards celebrate owners who truly go above and beyond to give visitors the very best holiday experience. “Our network of around 2,300 CLs provide Club members with the opportunity to stay at unique locations throughout the UK. CLs are the jewels in the crown of our nationwide campsite network and we are delighted that over 80 new CLs have joined the network this year. “I’d like to congratulate all of the winners and wholeheartedly thank our CL owners for their hard work and dedication that helps to make lifelong holiday memories for our members.”