ARGYLL HOLIDAYS JOIN COVE UK

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

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

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

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 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 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

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

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

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

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