BALANCING ACTS – OUTDOOR ACTIVITES

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

BRITS BULK BUYING UK HOLIDAYS

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

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

BIBLICAL CHALLENGES

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

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.

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GAME CHANGERS

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

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!

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

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

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.