PARK HOLIDAYS UK FLEX MUSCLE

PARK HOLIDAYS UK FLEX MUSCLE

PARK HOLIDAYS UK takes its portfolio to 54 locations with the acquisition of Park Leisure.

 

Park Holidays UK has confirmed its acquisition of holiday parks group Park Leisure which owns 11 holiday parks in popular locations in England, Scotland and North Wales. It will bring to 54 the number of parks now operated by Park Holidays UK – and follows the company’s acquisition of nine parks from Bridge Leisure in 2021. The enlarged portfolio, says the group, will provide it with an even stronger national platform from which to serve Britain’s fast-growing domestic holiday market.

Park Holidays UK director Tony Clish said the coming together of the two well-established groups presented exciting new opportunities in one of tourism’s most dynamic sectors: “Both companies have invested substantially in their parks over recent years and created a range of high-quality holiday products which people clearly enjoy,” he said. “Park Leisure’s 11 parks have all gained top five-star tourist board awards and represent the high-quality standards we have been working towards in recent years.

 

“Whether customers are looking to rent or buy a holiday home, we can now offer a wide geographical spread of parks able to deliver a first-class experience at an affordable cost. “We will continue to invest in all of our parks to ensure that that their facilities and standards of service are maintained to the highest possible levels,” said Mr Clish. “The domestic holiday market continues to gain traction in the post-Brexit and post-pandemic market, and we are continuing to see an ever-increasing demand for UK holidays.

“Quality is the main driver of bookings and holiday home sales, and this union will consolidate some of the finest holiday parks in the UK into one single group,” said Mr Clish. Parks in both groups provide extensive leisure facilities and family entertainment, together with carefully managed landscaped grounds in which holiday lodges and caravans are located. Park Holidays UK was formed over 35 years ago, and its parks today span the length of Britain from Cornwall in the west to Moray in northern Scotland. Park Leisure has operated holidays parks for more than 20 years, and has a presence in Cornwall, Herefordshire, Lancashire, Northumberland, Yorkshire and North Wales.

BEVERLEY’S £2M STYLISH INVESTMENT

BEVERLEY'S £2M STYLISH INVESTMENT

BEVERLEY HOLIDAYS has raised the stakes on its Devon accommodation offering.

 

Beverley Holidays has upped the style stakes for staycationing with the installation of a state-of-the-art range of sea view luxury lodges and ultra-modern hot tub holiday caravans. The holiday park group in the heart of the English Riviera has invested a cool £2million in a fleet of fourteen super-stylish holiday homes tailored to guests seeking seaside stays with a sprinkling of glamour.

High quality furnishings and a super stylish decor in the newly launched holiday homes are teamed with a raft of pampering extras such as private sun-decks complete with bubbling hot tubs. With demand for staycations continuing to be high this year, the new state-of-the-art holiday homes are seeing a surge in bookings among guests seeking their very own slice of hot tub heaven.

Beverley Holidays’ Marketing Director Claire Jeavons said: “Long gone are the days when families were expected to be content with a one-size-fits-all type of holiday accommodation. “Today we are reaching out to guests wanting to enjoy a truly unique holiday experience, and our new Collection hot tub holiday lodges and Signature caravans are certainly raising the bar even higher at the luxury end of holiday home rentals.”

PERFECT ANTEDOTE TO TRAVEL WOES

PERFECT ANTEDOTE TO TRAVEL WOES

PEOPLE ARE OPTING for UK holiday park breaks to avoid the hassle of overseas travel.

 

An award-winning Lake District holiday park says that growing numbers of guests are switching to a UK stay this year to escape the hassle of overseas travel. Skelwith Fold in Ambleside reports an uplift in bookings during the recently reported chaos at many British airports, cross-channel route and last-minute cancellations by holiday companies.

The park’s Henry Wild says people are deciding that enough is enough, and they want their holiday memories to bring back happiness rather than headaches. “Holiday parks are proving the perfect antidote to the hassle of travelling abroad,” said Henry whose family’s park sits in 130 acres of countryside near the shores of Windermere. “Many families made this discovery during the pandemic and are now re-booking stays because the experience is so much more relaxing and enjoyable for everyone.

“A lot of our guests live just two or three hours away and can pack their bags in the morning and be starting their Lake District holiday the same afternoon. “For those flying off abroad, that timescale often sees just the start of a journey which is pitted with uncertainty and frustration that can leave people feeling helpless. Skelwith Fold provides glamping accommodation such as fully equipped safari tents as well as cottages to rent, along with pitches for motorhome and touring caravan guests.

SAY GOODBYE TO HARD WATER PROBLEMS

SAY GOODBYE TO HARD WATER PROBLEMS

THE LIMESCALE in hard water is damaging pipes, plumbing and appliances, unnecessarily increasing park maintenance costs.

 

The UK holiday park market has grown significantly as people turn to staycations for their family holidays. As more people search for the perfect holiday park for their break, parks in beautiful locations across the UK competing for customers are being adversely affected by hard water problems. The limescale in hard water is damaging pipes, plumbing and appliances, unnecessarily increasing park maintenance costs and leading to unwanted downtime. The damage scale does is not only the visible, physical damage to pipework and appliances, it can also damage your park’s reputation thanks to its unsightly appearance if it’s left to accumulate, harming your customer’s experience at your park.

Negative online reviews featuring dirty looking bathrooms or limescale laden tea can quickly influence people to choose a different holiday location or invest in another park when purchasing their dream holiday home. So how can you stop the scale-related business costs from mounting up and protect your holiday park from further scale damage? At Watts, we’ve developed the innovative KIWA-approved OneFlow® system to provide unrivalled protection from scale formation without the costs of traditional water filtration methods and it avoids introducing unnecessary chemicals or detergents into the environment.

WATTS HAVE DEVELOPED the innovative OneFlow® system to provide unrivalled protection from scale formation.

 

UNRIVALLED PROTECTION
It’s affordable to run as there are no associated electric or water costs. Plus, thanks to its simple system composition, it doesn’t need salt bags or other chemicals added to maintain it. All the vital minerals remain in the water, so it delivers great tasting water with its natural goodness plus, the lack of additives and chemicals mean it is suitable for any plumbing system, even septic tanks.

The compact, single cartridge system is easy to install and so efficient that, over time, it can help reverse existing scale problems on the plumbing system as well as extending its life without harsh chemicals. Juliana Paradello, OneFlow® Product Champion at Watts explains: “At Watts, we’ve been engineering innovative solutions through our expertise since 1874.We understand how proud you are of your holiday park and how hard your team works to ensure your customers to have the best experience, which is why we’re sharing the fantastic benefits that OneFlow® can bring to your park.”

“By efficiently removing the limescale deposits, OneFlow® can reduce maintenance costs on site as well as providing an additional revenue stream for park owners. It also helps to keep key areas easier to clean by removing unappealing limescale deposits from the water before it can build up on the plumbing or sink.” Paradello adds: “If you’d like to learn more about how OneFlow® can protect your business, visit our dedicated website at www.oneflow-watts.co.uk or contact me directly on Juliana.Paradello@wattswater.com I’ll be happy to demonstrate how we can protect your park from limescale damage.”

Watts Industries UK
Tel 01480 407074
www.wattswater.co.uk

MAKING IT MAGNIFICENT!

MAKING IT MAGNIFICENT!

Windmill Retreat and Spa offer's the 'wow' factor to woo guests...

WINDMILL RETREAT & SPA’S new luxury lodge development

 

Outdoor baths, balconies and fire pits are just some of the features designed to attract luxury-loving guests to Glastonbury lodge resort Windmill Retreat and Spa this summer. All are included in four new state-of- the-art lodges owner Nick Ridgment is adding at his rural Somerset escape and selling exclusively through staycation specialist Hoseasons.

“We’ve always tried to push the boundaries when it comes to what we offer our guests,” Nick says, adding: “There are lodge parks everywhere these days, so it’s vitally important to stay one step ahead and give customers everything they need for an unforgettable holiday experience when they weigh up their options for a UK break.” Panoramic views of the Somerset Levels, roomy open-plan living, and hot tubs also come as standard with these large three-bedroom properties – the addition of which brings to nine the number of beautifully-designed bespoke lodges to choose from at the park, which Nick opened as a newcomer to the industry in 2015 and chose to partner with Hoseasons to bring to market.

 

CONTEMPORARY LIVING styles are offered in both apartment and cottage accommodation.

 

Since then, the park’s high-end reputation has been cemented with the addition of its state-of-the-art Elements Boutique Spa, as well as an accompanying product range available in Holland and Barrett. The on-site Levels Country Kitchen also adds to the cool vibe with delicious breakfast and lunch options made with fresh ingredients sourced from local suppliers. Nick credits his long-established partnership with Hoseasons as being crucial to the success of the site over the last six years. “It’s one thing attracting customers and another staying ahead of the competition to keep them coming back for more,” says Nick.

“We always had the vision to develop our offering but working with the team at Hoseasons has really helped us realise the potential of the business. “They gave us the confidence to believe in our product in the early days and have offered invaluable insight and guidance over the last few years to ensure we get the best return on our investment in this new development.” Much of that guidance has come from Luke Hansford, Vice President Business Development, at Hoseasons who says Windmill Retreat and Spa is the perfect example of a location that knows it has to develop its offer to stay relevant in the modern UK holiday market.

THE ELEMENTS BOUTIQUE SPA is a huge draw for the Windmill Retreat & Spa

 

ASPIRATIONAL QUALITY
“The innovation and diversification we’ve seen in our industry over the last 18 months has been remarkable, with those used to holidaying abroad pre-pandemic now looking for the same level of aspirational quality in their UK staycation. “The data clearly shows people want more from their UK break and that’s exactly what we’re able to give them through Windmill Retreat and Spa and other high-end locations in our portfolio.”

The exceptional standard of lodge and cottage-style accommodation and facilities at Windmill Retreat and Spa recently led to it being one of only five wow-factor locations included in Hoseasons’ new Magnificent Collection - something the staycation specialist has launched to recognise new standards of quality and innovation across the self-catering holiday industry. Inclusion in the new collection means Windmill Retreat is being marketed to millions of Hoseasons customers looking for top quality accommodation design, premium on-park facilities, exceptional customer service and a genuine commitment to sustainability – something Nick hopes will help to mark it out as one of the country’s premier locations for an aspirational getaway.

NICK RIDGMENT AND ILZE PARANUKA are the owners of Windmill Retreat & Spa.

 

“We’re delighted to have been recognised as magnificent enough for Hoseasons’ new collection and are really looking forward to sharing our fantastic location with even more guests over the weeks, months and years to come.” Magnificent has been launched at a time when demand for luxury UK getaways is at an all-time high, and the number of high-end accommodations joining the Hoseasons portfolio continues to grow. Bookings for luxury properties this year are up 27% compared to the same point in 2019, while the size and scale of parent group Awaze’s luxury portfolio through brands including Hoseasons and sister company cottages.com has grown 45% over the last three years.

For more information about Hoseasons’ Magnificent Collection go to www.hoseasons.co.uk/magnificent

 

PLAY AWAY

PLAY AWAY

A wealth of inspiration for outdoor holiday location play...

CLIMBING WALLS are all the trend for both adults and children. Pic. Innovative Leisure

 

The last three years have posed some unique challenges to all sectors of the leisure industry, not least for the provision of play facilities in holiday parks and resorts. So ideal timing, for the presentation of some inspirational ideas, to reinvigorate play offerings at Europe’s premier international attractions conference and trade show at London’s Excel from September 12. Attendees at this year’s IAAPA Expo Europe can expect to discover the industry’s latest products and services, including play equipment, water slides, play structures, and much more. IAAPA - it stands for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions – boasts a worldwide membership of nearly 5,000.

The trade show will feature IAAPA’s signature combination of exhibits from manufacturers and suppliers, food and beverage vendors, merchandising specialists, and innovation leaders that strive to develop the attractions and theme parks of tomorrow. When the education conference opens September 12, it will mark the first return of IAAPA Expo Europe to London since 2011. “We are bringing a jam-packed programme, full of inspiration, top-notch education, and ideas regarding the issues that the attractions industry is facing—such as energy costs, labour shortages, revenue streams, and more,” promises Peter van der Schans, Executive Director and Vice President of IAAPA.

 

A WEALTH OF INSPIRATION is on offer at the IAPPA Expo Europe at Excel this September.

 

JAM-PACKED
“We will showcase the opportunities our members can gain from these challenges, as well as explore trends in technology, sustainability, and guest experience,” Peter continues. “Attendees will learn the latest industry trends from leaders across the world and discover insights to improve campground operations, address holiday resort needs and enhance caravan park offerings.” While targeted events like IAAPA Expo Europe help focus the mind, another vital source of learning is from our fellow holiday park operators.

With the current boom in British staycations following the pandemic and the ensuing travel chaos, many parks are choosing to add to their adventure activities which involve the whole family and attractions such as high ropes and climbing towers are perfect for keeping everyone active whilst having fun and creating perfect holiday memories. The key message is: invest in outdoor play and you will be rewarded with happy families who are much more likely to return to your park – and tell their friends about it.

 

 

EARTH-FRIENDLY
Standing out from the crowd for its eco-credentials, play specialists, Kompan can now deliver a full circular playground using sustainable materials, including ocean waste. Green panels on the company’s BLOQX range are made of 75% post- consumer ocean recycled waste. The dark teal panels on their green play units and freestanding items are made of 100% post-consumer recycled waste.

All decks for our largest product series are made of 75% post-consumer ocean recycled waste. “We don’t just claim we are green,” declares Kompan’s Gary Wallis. “We want to validate our claims with a third party to be as open and transparent as possible about our green initiatives. “Therefore, we have worked with Bureau Veritas, the organisation behind the global ISO certifications, to verify our calculations of recycling and carbon emission.”

As a member of The British Holiday and Home Parks Association, Sovereign Play understand how important it is to stand-out in such a competitive staycation and leisure market. A Sovereign play area will do just that. Together with construction companies and architects, Sovereign work diligently transform open spaces and dull tarmac areas into exciting environments for all ages and abilities to enjoy. Parents will often take into consideration the available facilities when deciding on where to stay, and research shows that families are significantly more likely to visit a site with a playground. “Having a safe and secure play area for children to socialise, have fun and stay active will keep families on site for a larger portion of their stay with you and increase your value to customers,” advises Sovereign’s Jordan Randall. “If you are unable to find the perfect equipment for your space, we can also work with you to create bespoke and one-of-a-kind items that fit your space and clientele.”

 

SECONDARY SPEND
The perfect business recipe for play success is to create ‘stay and play’ zones where all the secondary spend benefits such as a café and ice cream bar are close at hand and reaching their full potential. During May, June and into July of 2022 the Innovative Leisure team have been busy around the UK coastline installing a whole variety of adventure equipment at UK resorts. Many of these are now open and being enjoyed by customers. Back in 2020, Innovative Leisure were part way through installing their Sky Trail High Ropes and Sky Tykes Junior Ropes Courses at two Haven Holiday Parks when COVID-19 first struck.

Despite the pandemic, the new attractions were well received by guests when the parks were able to open. Simon Palmer, Head of Activities and Leisure at Bourne Leisure explains: “These new high ropes activities fit in with our strategy of improving the on-site offering to our owners and guests. They create an exciting focal point for family groups and allow us to do more hourly capacity than previous traditional versions. “The junior courses have already performed well at two other Haven sites. Innovative Leisure has supported us throughout the projects and helped overcome some unique pandemic challenges.” The high ropes courses each have a capacity of 25 participants, allowing for approximately 50 people per hour throughout the day, and are suitable for all but the very youngest of visitors. The Sky Tykes junior ropes courses are seven pole courses and feature the exciting Sky Rail Zip element.

With a capacity of 15 participants at any one time, the Sky Tykes low ropes courses offer a fun, safe experience for adventurers as young as two-years- old, as well as being an excellent introduction to the excitement and challenges of ropes course attractions. Park Holidays have introduced Innovative Leisure Climbing Towers into their range of attractions at two sites and John Flack, Head of Entertainment and Security comments: “Bringing climbing walls to our holiday parks, has brought new energy and excitement to what we can offer our guests at our parks.” John shares: “The value the walls have brought to our entertainment programme has been immense and it is wonderful to see three generations of families enjoying the climbing walls. Innovative Leisure have made the process so simple and helped us at each step of the way.”

 

Due to the high demand for exciting new attractions and experiences,World of Rides have upgraded their twin seat soft-Impact Bumper Cars and Bumper Boats, which are recommended to be suitable for use by eight-year-olds and upwards or as a ‘Parent & Child’ family ride. Bumper Boat Aqua-Football and Bumper Car Bumper-Ball are also a very popular variation game, by including a large inflatable ball into the pool or track and erecting goal areas at either end. The Bumper Splash Boats can either be used in a free-standing above-ground pool or on roped-off area of an existing lake or pool. The self-programmable digital timer unit can easily program the speeds, length of time of ride, and price of play as well as alter the volume of the sound effects. They can also be run on cash or tokens, cashless, or on free play at all-inclusive priced parties, and the current UK price of play is £2 to £3 per three-minute ride! However, a number of major UK resort and holiday park operators have been testing the market at £4 per three-minute ride since Easter 2022.

 

FUN FACTOR
Meanwhile, Devon-based Beverley Holidays has upped the fun factor with the opening on its brand new £300k Land Ahoy Adventure Island, complete with seaside-inspired play park and mini golf course. The all-new £300k attraction is a welcome addition to the family run holiday park group in Paignton, where guests can practice their putting skills surrounded by giant ice creams or slide down a life-size lighthouse.

Designed by Greenspan Projects Ltd, Land Ahoy Adventure Island allows little ones to let their hair down on a selection of slides, swings and climbing nets, or pose for a picture on the giant Beverley deckchairs. The accompanying mini golf course scores highly in the fun stakes, with putters put through their paces around a seaside-inspired course complete with a giant sandcastle and other beach- themed favourites. Beverley Holidays director Claire Flower tells us: “It’s great to see our guests making a beeline for our brilliant new Land Ahoy Adventure Island which opened just in time for Easter, with our very own Beverley Bear and Sandy Starfish mascots being the first to give it a whirl.

“It’s a great addition to our holiday parks, providing a safe and secure space where families can get out in the fresh sea air and create holiday memories they’ll treasure forever away from iPads and TV screens. The feedback has been fantastic and the mini golf really is the best by par.” Project consultant Matt Young of Greenspan Projects Ltd says: “It’s been an absolute pleasure working with the team at Beverley to design and build such and inspiring play space, not just for young ones, but for all ages to enjoy.”

 

 

GREAT TIMES
The project concept was developed around the history of Beverley Holidays’ from when they started out in the late 1950s, by incorporating nostalgic seaside elements from that era, into both the golf and play areas. Matt adds; “We are extremely pleased that the launch has been a huge success and hope that the attraction will provide fun and enjoyment to all for many years to come.”

Claire, whose family has owned Beverley Holidays for almost 65 years, continues: “Holidays are all about creating memorable experiences that stay with you forever.” “There’s absolutely no doubt that letting your hair down and enjoying the company of other youngsters in a safe environment has a massive part to play. “That’s why we have always put a big emphasis on giving children a great time, be it joining our organised park activities or having fun in the pools. Claire adds: “Our new play zone was a big investment, but we’re delighted with the results – and happy that it also gives parents the chance to enjoy a well-earned breather!”

Unfortunately, the days when children played out on the street all day are long gone. For many children today – especially families without gardens – outdoor play only happens on trips to the park or on holidays. From conventional playgrounds and rides to more nature-based facilities, the onus is on holiday park owners and operators to ensure the play facilities they offer are the best they can be.

 

Adam Henson, of Countryfile fame, heads a rural business portfolio initially started by his father, Joe in the 1940s. The award-winning Cotswold Farm Park boasts a variety of outdoor play equipment such as pedal tractors, swings and two large sandpits – one for the smaller tots and one for the bigger kids. Visitors can climb through a combine harvester attraction and test their balance across a log assault course. They offer heaps of fun to be had in two new areas broadly termed as Aerial Play and Quarry Play. Whilst the grown-ups grab a coffee and an ice cream from Dolly’s, the kids can work on their acrobatic skills on the popular Bouncy Pillows feature - gauging who can jump the highest and who has the best star-jump form!

Beverley Holidays
Tel. 01803 843887
www.beverley-holidays.co.uk

Cotswold Farm Park
Tel. 01451 850307
www.cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk

IAAPA Expo Europe
Education Conference: Sept. 12-15, 2022
Trade Show: Sept. 13-15, 2022
www.iaapa.org/iaapaexpoeurope

Innovative Leisure
Tel: 0116 271 3095
www.innovativeleisure.co.uk

KOMPAN
Tel: 01908 201002
www.kompan.co.uk/sustainability

Sovereign Design Play Systems Ltd
Tel. 01702 804299
www.sovereignplayequipment.co.uk

World Of Rides
Tel. 0191 492 0999
www.worldofrides.com

BARKING BRITAIN

BARKING BRITAIN

A ruff guide to welcoming those furry friends...

COFTON WAS SHORTLISTED in the iTravel Staycation Awards 2020/21 for Dog- friendly Accommodation of the year.

 

This autumn, Lola, my much-loved three-year-old spaniel, and I, will be undertaking an extended East then West coast tour of England and Scotland, plotting a map of dog- friendly stays to break the journey there and back. We will have plenty of canine company. Thousands of holiday makers will enjoy UK holidays with their furry friends this year. If we have booked carefully, we know we can expect a warm welcome of a comfy bed, fresh towels, and delicious homemade biscuits – and that is just for the dog!

Mapping out our journey, preparation has included basic checks such as rules and regulations per stop, access to dog-friendly areas including restaurants as well as a quick survey of outstanding nearby walks including beaches and coastal walks. Our on-line research offers up plenty of choice. There were more than 3,000 locations willing to accommodate one or two dogs with their human guests. Perhaps not surprisingly, only 172 would take a booking for three dogs and a mere eight locations willing to welcome four of more dogs.

 

WHY NOT ESTABLISH a link with your local vets to provide guests with holiday advice and information.

 

BIG BUSINESS
A nation of dog lovers, dog accommodation is big business not overlooked by the industry’s biggest players. For instance, Haven offers mile upon mile of countryside and coastline for visitors to explore just a stone’s throw from their 33 dog-friendly parks. They can offer a list of dog-friendly beaches that will welcome dogs all year round while making its Saver, Bronze and Silver caravans are all accessible for humans and their four-legged friends. When it comes to the best locations for a dog-friendly caravan holiday, the Haven park that stands out is Lincolnshire’s Golden Sands. At Golden Sands, the pooch facilities are second to none.

Equipped with a Bark Yard obstacle course, your Fido doesn’t even need to leave the park to be entertained. Golden Sands is also surrounded by pooch-perfect places to visit, from the Lincolnshire Wolds with its Rolling hills, hidden valleys and gentle streams to Mablethorpe Beach, a nearby paradise with a Blue Flag Award to its name. Multi award-winning holiday park Cofton Holidays has invested £300,000 in four new dog-friendly lodges to cope with record demand for staycations from dog owners. Shortlisted in the iTravel Staycation Awards 2020/21 for Dog-friendly Accommodation of the year, the family-run holiday park, situated close to Dawlish Warren’s Blue Flag Beach, has added to its existing luxury hot-tub lodge collection with four dog-friendly Kingfisher lodges close to the coarse fishing lakes.

 

COFTON HOLIDAYS has invested £300,000 in four new dog-friendly lodges.

 

ONLINE SEARCHES
The launch follows research conducted by Cofton which showed that online searches for UK dog-friendly holiday destinations increased by 665% year on year between May 2020 compared with May 2021. Helen Scott, Director of Cofton Holidays, is looking forward to welcoming owners and their dogs to the new lodges, Cofton’s latest investment: “Lockdown has seen a huge rise in dog ownership, and that’s driving unprecedented demand for dog- friendly holidays. “As dog owners ourselves, we know just how important it is to be able to take your dog on holiday with you. That’s why we have gone the extra mile to ensure that Cofton is leading the way in dog-friendly breaks.

The introduction of our new lodges is our latest response and builds on our collection of pet- friendly cottages and holiday homes.” Offering all the creature comforts, the Kingfisher dog-friendly hot tub lodge collection offers two-bedroom lodges from £428 for a four-night mid-week break, £474 for a three-night weekend break, and £651 for a week break. The decking areas are safely enclosed with one gate at the entrance to the lodge and another separating the hot tub area from the outdoor al fresco dining area.

 

DOG-FRIENDLY VACATIONS are big business and not overlooked by the industry’s biggest players. Pic.Whitehill

 

Dogs are welcomed with a pet mat, blanket, stainless steel water bowl and food bowl, whilst their owners can look forward to the complimentary hamper filled with local handmade treats. Guests also have access to a dedicated dog exercise field, miles of cycle paths and nature trails that take you through woodland to Dawlish Warren’s dog-friendly beach. Cofton benefits from the added advantage of the Dawlish Countryside Park right on its doorstep where dogs can run free around its circular walks.

With a minimum of research, you can reassure human guests of a warm welcome for them and their pets, by supplying some pre-arrival tips on making their stay as smooth as possible. Don’t bog visitors down with red tape rules but keep essential messages positive. Offer a check list of essentials such as basic equipment and why not establish a link with your local vets to provide guests with emergency contact advice Encourage guests to walk dogs on a lead, on site, and if walking in dim light, to wear an LED collar. Remind them to pick up poo with bags and use the special bins provided. Perhaps you have provided a few in their welcome packs to help out?

 

DOGS AND THEIR OWNERS are big business which is why thousands of holiday destinations are offering pooch-friendly stays.

 

POOCH PATROLS
The UK is home to plenty of tail- wagging destinations. So you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. A pre-season safety check can ensure you are confident of a safe visit and plenty of return visits. Hidden hazards could include certain mushrooms, compost and over- zealous use of weed killers and other environmental control such as rat poison. Pet owners love spending on their pampered pooches. So, don’t forget to add a few dog toys, including balls, to the site shop.

Add a couple of lines of dog food and treats, even a few collars and leads -- not to mention poo bags. For many, having a holiday with their dog is non-negotiable. Not only is Tewkesbury Park a beautiful family owned resort, boasting an exquisite 28 hole golf course and destination spa, offering stylish, comfortable luxury in the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, it’s also a pet-friendly retreat offering the paw-fect place for a summer staycation for you and your canine companion to enjoy.

 

HUMANS AND THEIR CANINE companions can be sure of a warm welcome on Tewkesbury Park’s Bow Wow Breakaway package.

 

And on top of its already very popular ‘Scrumbles Dog Retreat’ package, Tewkesbury Park is launching a ‘Bow Wow Breakaway’ package, which is suitable for all guests and their pooches. All of Tewkesbury Park’s dog-friendly rooms come complete with a private patio. Double doors open directly onto a grassy patch, which is self-contained so they can snuffle around. Dogs are also welcome in the piano lounge, which means they are able to accompany you while you enjoy a drink or bite to eat.

One small matter of paperwork though; dogs are asked to remain on leads when outside of bedrooms, if only to avoid them chasing after those pesky rogue golf balls. With the Bow Wow Breakaway package, guests can enjoy a luxuriating two-night stay with dinner and a bottle of wine on one night, along with a Cotswolds dog walking booklet from £339 per night, based on two sharing. The tour begins…woof!

 

OUTSIDE OF THE BOX

OUTSIDE OF THE BOX

Get creative with original ideas to attract the UK's staycationers...

With a host of obstacles hindering the prospects of a trip abroad for many, for this summer holidays, they are turning to staycations as the next best thing. Luckily, they don’t have to look far to find there are plenty of incredible places to go in the UK with an abundance of beautiful destinations and picturesque locations right on our doorstep.

 

If we have our marketing right, UK holidays can be just as exciting as jetting off to another country. These days, as a business, you have to be creative to find the best type of offer to provide the best fit for prospective guests. From countryside getaways and beach retreats to town trips and city breaks, there’s lots of options to suit every taste. For those that are looking to offer something a little different, why not think outside of the box and try promoting a staycation with a twist?

 

We did not have to look far for some inspirational business ideas. Southwest Railways analysed the Google ratings and reviews for over 2,600 listings on HostUnusual.com and asked a panel of experts to give each one a ‘unique- ness’ score. Each of these factors was given a weighted score of 0-100, and these were combined to create the full rank. From treehouses and windmills to Romani caravans and authentic American airstream trailers, the ideas were not lacking in imagination.

 

 

 

 

UNIQUE STAYS
The Windmill in Suffolk has been crowned the most unique place to stay in the UK. In this adult-only getaway, visitors get the whole building to themselves. With the original blades of the windmill removed, this historic building has been restored with a modern twist. While it is the third most expensive stay in the top 20 at £325 per night, its unique charm and viewing balcony with magnificent views of the Suffolk countryside means it’s one not to miss.

 

For a remote getaway, The Cantick Head Lighthouse Cottage on the Orkney Islands is the second quirkiest place to stay, according to the research. Set on a 115-foot cliff with nothing but the sea and scenery for miles, the active lighthouse offers a stunning landscape to escape the everyday hustle and bustle. While there is still wi-fi and TV for everyone’s home comforts, the site also boasts a hot tub and a sauna. What’s more - prices start from a reasonable £120 a night.

 

 

WEATHER PROOF
To reconnect with nature, the unusual stay that takes third place on the list is The Wolf Wood Treehouses in Devon. Surrounded by acres of woodland and nestled above the treetops, visitors can stay in their own secluded treehouse with a wood burner and an outdoor jacuzzi – perfect whatever the weather. The most expensive stay calculated per night is The Beach House Smugglers Cove in Cornwall. For £550 per night, this luxurious eight-sleeper holiday home sits right on the beach.

 

With the sand less than a stone’s throw away, this sunny retreat offers an outdoor fire pit and hot tub with sea views. On the other end of the scale, The Aylsham Windmill in Norfolk is the cheapest at just £78 per night. This countryside escape used to be a working flour mill but has now been converted into a scenic holiday home that can sleep up to six people. Far away from the Majorcan beaches of traditional summer holidays, this stay boasts local walking routes, cycling trails and historic sights to explore.

JOINED-UP THINKING

JOINED-UP THINKING

A complete park management and booking system...

Visitors to Folly Farm, Pembrokeshire’s award-winning tourist attraction of 30 years, often commented that you needed two days to do everything on offer. With 100 acres of land to the North of the attraction, the team listened to their visitors and set about creating their own Folly Farm Holiday Park. Offering a wide range of accommodation for the family market to suit all budgets, to date Folly Farm boasts a 43 pitch-touring park, a 20-pitch campsite, four Showman’s Wagons and six fairground themed luxury lodges with hot tubs. A further eight luxury lodges and six safari tents will open soon.

 

 

LOCKDOWN LAUNCH
“We were confident there would be huge interest in our accommodation offering from our strong and loyal customer base but then the pandemic hit and we found ourselves launching our touring park after the first lockdown in July 2020 with just three weeks’ notice,” explains Zoe Wright, Head of Marketing “We achieved a 76 per cent occupancy rate that first August and followed that in August 2021 with 94 per cent.” Ease-of-use was top of the list when Folly Farm was selecting a booking system so the team partnered with the highly recommended GemaPark . GemaPark has exceeded our expectations in terms of a booking system for our touring park and campsite,” confirms Zoe.

“In fact, we also import into GemaPark partner bookings for accommodation we don’t sell directly, because it provides top line booking, arrivals and performance information in a much more user- friendly way than our booking partners’ systems,” she adds. GemaPark is used by many members of the team at Folly Farm. Holiday park wardens use it to generate arrivals reports and to check if customers are returners so they can welcome them back. Office staff confirm all the bookings and chase payments while the marketing team can easily upload or change tariffs and run property performance reports and push any availability. The finance team can easily reconcile payments, run spend-per-head reports and financial forecasts.

EASE OF USE
“Every member of staff finds it easy to use and it’s one of the few software systems we use that the staff don’t moan about,” says Zoe. “Reporting was a key consideration as we’d little to no experience of running accommodation so to be able to easily query occupancy rates, property performance for our different accommodation options and check financial performance has been pivotal to the future development of the holiday park,”

Zoe continues. “CRM was also important as we were building an accommodation audience from scratch. “We would happily recommend GemaPark to anyone looking for a booking solution for their touring site or campsite and the fact they can easily integrate with leading booking partners is a bonus.”

Netguides/GemaPark
T: 01983 282420
W: www.netguides.co.uk
W: www.gemapark.co.uk

SPLASH ATTACK!

SPLASH ATTACK!

Go big, or go small but make the most of those aquatic attractions...

TURN YOUR SWIMMING pool into an exciting aquatic playground.

 

Arguably, the swimming pool is one of the main pulling factors for holiday locations; great for swimming and even better for guaranteed family fun. If you have ticked the swimming pool box with an unimaginative tank of water, you are missing some vital opportunities to stand out from the crowd. The pool should not feature as a stand-alone.

For instance, add a few well-being features and you can be offering your guests a top-notch spa experience. A perfect example is the Plas Coch leisure complex, one of the stand-out attractions at the five-star holiday home park, holders of the Holiday Park Pool Of the Year title in the UK Pool & Spa Awards. The swimming pool, super spa, treatment area and gymnasium are open all year round for customers to swim and relax. The leisure facility has recently undergone some aesthetic works to offer more privacy including a spectacular tint effect added to the glass building to give a beautiful mirror effect from the outside.

 

SWIMMING POOLS are great for swimming and even better for guaranteed family fun. Pic. Ribby Hall

 

With top drawer aquatic access even more of a variety of water-based activities to the regular timetable such as snorkelling, pool kayaks, underwater explorers and private occasion pool parties. Guests can unwind by a tropical pool, take a soothing dip in a hydrotherapy bath, or indulge in a cleansing Dry Salt Chamber treatment, all specially created to provide pampering for mind and body. “During the 2020 lockdown, we all had our fair share of problems to overcome,” says the centre manager.

“We took the time and used it wisely, by working hard at making our Leisure complex the best it has ever been, and one of the best in the holiday park industry. “We had mechanical parts fixed and upgraded in our pool plant rooms, which made opening up to our customers that much easier prior to lockdown.” Wellbeing, beauty and fitness facilities are also among the new features waiting to welcome 2022 visitors at the multi award-winning Celtic Holiday Parks.

 

THE PLAS COCH leisure complex is open all year round for customers to swim and relax.

 

PICTURE PERFECT
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). “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,” says Celtic’s Huw Pendleton. “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.

“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.” “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,” adds Huw. You don’t always have to think big. Cornish holiday park Trevornick, has unveiled a new £180,000 investment called The Splash Zone.

 

USTIGATE are perfect pool partners whether your plans are big or small.

 

It provides a new space within the existing swimming pool complex at Trevornick, where young (and the young at heart!) guests can run, jump, play and splash. The Splash Zone contains two tipping buckets, fountains, water jets, and a raised trickle stream, making it perfect for babies, toddlers, non-swimmers and those unable to access the pool itself. General manager Adrian Tribe says: “We are so thrilled to have opened The Splash Zone after weeks of hard work by all involved to bring it to completion.

“We had a good year in 2021 and re-investing that success back into the park will be great for the guests and for us. It’s a brilliant new addition to the resort and we can’t wait to see the guests really making the most of it this summer.” If you are thinking swimming pools then think water play to give your guests the extra wow factor. Leading aquatic suppliers, Ustigate design and build their water management systems to accompany all of their aquatic schemes whether they are super charged water park attractions. Nowadays a pool experience doesn’t just sit with a pool, it sits with designing a space to maximise the fun to be had for everyone in that footprint.

 

CELTIC HOLIDAY PARKS has invested in well being to complement its swimming pool offering.

 

PLAY PARTNERS
Ustigate encourage you think big when it comes to aquatic play. For nearly 20 years, they have partnered with Vortex Aquatic Structures, offering a portfolio of 300 products, including a vast choice of waterslides, Elevations™ and individual play items to heighten aquatic experiences and to entertain a multitude of guests at every given time.

A waterslide is great as either an open or closed flume, running inside, outside, or both. And now with modern technology, experiences are enhanced with high-definition multimedia technology; enabling an experience to be unique and different at the touch of a button. There are also low-level products that add character and activities for young children such as frog, turtle and fish with their 360° rotation abilities, all suitable for installation in zero and shallow depth.

There are taller features that are designed to arch and spray over pools and lazy rivers and products of varying heights that resemble leaves, trees and flowers that offer a variety of different water movements and effects. Whether you are planning for big or small aquatic attractions, look for the surprise element. Let your imagination match and exceed the expectations of your customers.

 

HEATED SWIMING POOL at Trevornick Holiday Park, Holywell Bay, Newquay, Cornwall