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

PUSHING £20M STAYCATION BUTTON

PUSHING £20M STAYCATION BUTTON

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

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

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

ROLLER COASTER YEAR

ROLLER COASTER YEAR

The ups and downs of 2020,as the Holiday Park Scene team reports...

It was emotional to witness the end-of-week show at a leading UK holiday resort just before the start of England’s second Lockdown. Not knowing if they were going to get the opportunity to perform in December, the outstanding entertainment team burst into festive song for their encore, just in case they never get the opportunity to stage their Christmas show. The disappointment and uncertainty was tangible. A roller coaster year of famine, feast then famine again, Covid-19 has taken its toll on morale across the UK holiday sector through 2020. A short reprieve from Lockdown this summer meant many holiday parks were able to fire up and get back to some form of business as usual, albeit with restricted booking numbers to comply with new safety measures and a great deal of logistical thought going into communal areas and social distancing.

SECOND WAVE

As the next wave of this pandemic continues to batter Britain, a second enforced national Lockdown has forced holiday parks to cancel bookings and close once again, with staff left fearing an uncertain future. All is not lost. With overseas travel restricted and families desperate to fit in a winter break, December and January are shaping up as the new peak season months. Helen Scott is the Director of Cofton Holidays in South Devon. A family-run business established over 40 years and usually booked year-round with guests enjoying the luxury cottages, lodges, bubbling hot-tubs and static caravans; the bustle of busy restaurants serving Devonshire cream teas. As she spoke to Holiday Park Scene magazine, the resort lay still, silent, empty - with almost 95% of its workforce on furlough.

Our staff are like our family,” says Helen, “We are all so close and work together well as a team, so we are feeling sad. “Nobody knows how this will play out or what the future holds,” Helen continues. “The uncertainty of not knowing if there will be further Lockdowns in the future is something that worries us all and, as we’re usually open 365 days a year, this second national Lockdown has hit us hard.” After months of hard work to make sure guests could visit safely, this Lockdown has been such a blow to places like Cofton. Helen says: “Our team worked tirelessly after the first Lockdown to secure bookings for November, so to see them cancelled is a real shame. It seems so strange for us to have to send our customers away once again.”

SOUTH DEVON’S family-run Cofton Holidays is usually booked year-round with guests.

December could be one of the busiest months of the year at Park Holidays UK after hundreds of families learned that their hopes for a November break had been dashed. The latest Lockdown means that the company has had to cancel all November holidays, but director Tony Clish says that many guests have opted simply to delay their stay. “Under our coronavirus guarantee, customers can book with confidence because we promise a full no-quibble refund if they are forced to change their plans.

TIME-SHIFTS

“In fact, we’re finding a large number of couples and families are asking if they can time-shift their break until December – and we’re happy to make the changes without cost. “Added to the high volume of existing bookings we already have, I think it’s likely that December will be as busy as high season across our parks. “It’s great news for everyone, including Britain’s tourism economy, but it means people will need to be fast on their feet if they want to enjoy an escape next month. “Some of our parks are already approaching capacity, so we must work on the basis of first come, first served,” said Tony. Instead of closing after the October half-term, a total of 13 of the group’s 30-plus parks are this year continuing to welcome guests until the week before Christmas. Despite the heavy demand, says Tony, off-season prices will apply.

During December, and guests will stay in luxury lodges and premium grade holiday caravans. The holidays are all being offered on an “accommodation only” basis with many of the parks’ usual facilities remaining closed or operating on reduced hours. “There’s going to be a very relaxed atmosphere across our parks, and I think that’s exactly what people will be wanting after another month of Lockdown,” said Tony. “Roads, towns and visitor attractions will all be less busy, and you can enjoy beautiful coast and countryside walks with the feeling that you’ve got it all to yourself. “It will be a great chance to chill – but also to stay snug as all our holiday homes have super-efficient central heating and high levels of insulation.”

The owner of a Cornwall holiday park has spoken of his ‘gut-wrenching dismay’ at having to cancel more than 130 free holidays for Lockdown heroes in November. Patrick Langmaid of Mother Ivey’s Bay in Padstow had pledged to give key workers the holidays as a massive ‘thank you’ for their bravery and commitment during the continuing Covid crisis. But with the second Lockdown, the no-cost stays are having to be put on ice. “I am so desperately disappointed that we are having to cancel the free holidays that we had planned and were so looking forward to providing,” said Patrick.” We had hoped to be welcoming staff from the NHS, police, fire service, local foodbanks and care workers for their richly deserved breaks. “Now, instead of preparing for their arrival, we are contacting them to let them know they can no longer come with their families and spend time with us,” he said. Throughout November, 137 key workers from across the UK were to be welcomed at Mother Ivey’s, and a further 21 in December at its sister-park, Martha’s Orchard in Constantine Bay.

“I have great respect and admiration for those who have kept Britain going during these challenging times, and it’s so sad that they are not going to be able to have the benefit of these holidays. “Key workers need respite too, and their personal wellbeing seems to have been forgotten during the recent announcements.” Patrick is calling upon the Government to make special provision for key workers and their wellbeing during this new Lockdown, including giving them the important downtime to relax. “Everyone needs a break, and especially those who have been tirelessly working on the frontline for the past six months,” says Patrick. It is not easy for the on-site owners who, Cofton’s Helen Scott says, have been very understanding, or the customers, many of whom have had rearranged trips cancelled yet again: “Our customers are very sad to see us closed but understand this is what needs to be done,” Helen says. “Cofton Holidays is their haven; their get away from it all. Helen says they’re using the time as best they can and trying to look ahead positively: “We are making the most of being closed and progressing with work that we would have found difficult to achieve with customers staying on site.

SUPER PITCHES

“We want our customers to really see the difference when they return. During the last Lockdown, we improved our roadways and footpaths, developed our beautiful wildlife corridors, introduced new super pitches and increased security with the installation of ANPR barriers. We know that next year will be a bumper season for staycations. We’re already seeing a significant increase in our bookings for 2021.” Helen remains pragmatic about the government handling of the crisis. “I just keep thinking, who would want to be in their shoes? Would any of us do a better job? “The furlough scheme has been a godsend and has helped us protect the jobs of our Cofton team, which is extremely important to us. “Looking back to earlier this year, I wonder if the first national Lockdown was too harsh, especially on Devon and Cornwall which was not as affected by the Coronavirus compared to other regions.”

 

“LOOKING BACK TO EARLIER THIS YEAR, I WONDER IF THE FIRST NATIONAL LOCKDOWN WAS TOO HARSH, ESPECIALLY ON DEVON AND CORNWALL WHICH WAS NOT AS AFFECTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS COMPARED TO OTHER REGIONS.” - Helen Scott, Cofton

STRATOSPHERIC SEASON AHEAD

STRATOSPHERIC SEASON AHEAD

Park Holidays UK is plunging £2 million into the building of a new luxury pool at Dovercourt Holiday Park in Harwich – and says its bracing itself for a staycation year ‘like no other’ in 2021. The group reports that it has given the green light to new investments across its 30-plus holiday parks as bookings for next year hit ‘stratospheric’ levels. “Make no mistake, Britain will be the place to be on holiday in 2021 and we are going to be ready for it,” says Park Holidays UK director Tony Clish. “Families will be seeking-out top quality experiences in this country as a substitute for going abroad, and that’s just what we intend to deliver,” he continued. “The group will be investing heavily this winter both in its leisure facilities, and in top quality accommodation such as luxury lodges, so nobody will feel they are getting second best.”

Many of next year’s bookings are from families who took a staycation this year and were amazed by how much more enjoyable it was than an overseas holiday. “Less hassle, less cost, beautiful countryside and coasts, and so much more for kids to enjoy - the time is now right for Britain to play up to its greatest strengths” said Tony. Work on Dovercourt’s new swimming pool began this month, and it’s planned that park guests will be dipping their toes in the water from next March with the complex’s interior decked out in a nostalgic seaside theme, plus pool-side relaxation areas and cascading slides.. Next year is likely to be the park’s busiest on record, according to Park Holidays UK. ”We do normally start to receive a flow of bookings around autumn across the group for the following year’s holidays, but this time it’s turned into a deluge,” said Tony. “We are responding by channelling major investments into our parks this winter and making sure that guests will have all of their expectations exceeded.”

Park Holidays
Tel. 0191 256 0795
www.ParkHolidays.com

STAYCATIONS SPARK HOLIDAY HOME BOOM

STAYCATIONS SPARK HOLIDAY HOME BOOM

Park Holidays UK is reporting an explosion in demand from new holiday home buyers with enquiries soaring fuelled by the likelihood that overseas holidays will be a no-go this year and possibly next.

Park Holidays UK director Tony Clish says his group hopes to avoid rationing the distribution of holiday caravans and lodges among its 31 parks. “We do carry good levels of new stock at present, and existing owners trading-up to 2020 models means that we should have plenty of pre-owned holiday homes to offer,” he said.

“Sales enquiries slowed in March when government ordered the shutdown of parks – but they’ve since been escalating to a phenomenal extent throughout spring. “I think there’s the realisation that one of the best ways to enjoy staying in the UK is by owning a holiday home where you can take breaks throughout the four seasons.

“That, of course, and the fact that a park is perhaps the safest of all holiday destinations with completely selfcontained accommodation set at least five metres apart. “The staycation trend was already well entrenched before this present crisis, and I think it is going to come back with a vengeance,” added Tony.

Platinum Plaudit For Park Holidays

Platinum Plaudit For Park Holidays

ABOVE: Only genuine guests are allowed to offer opinions – and their glowing reviews won platinum for the group

Verdicts from customers staying with Park Holidays UK have resulted in the group receiving the highest possible rating from a leading independent reviews website.

The company is now the proud bearer of the 2020 Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award, based on the number of glowing reviews posted by park guests. The honour comes after three successive years of Park Holidays UK gaining gold status from Feefo as a result of attracting consistently favourable verdicts from families.

The top-level platinum award is held by only a small elite of holiday firms which allow customers to post unedited reviews via Feefo, and receive an exceptionally high scoring.

In 2019, said Feefo, almost all of the guests summing up their satisfaction with Park Holidays UK gave it a rating of 4.5 or 5 – the maximum score – based on their experiences. Tony Clish, director of the group which now has 31 coastal parks in Southern England, said that all members of the staff team should take a bow: “It’s always our aim to provide guests with the best possible holiday memories, and we are delighted to be exceeding their expectations in so many different ways.”

Bookings for 2020 have got off to an extremely strong start, he reports, and sales of holiday caravans and lodges look likely to set a new record high this year.

Thomas Cook Staff By The Seaside

Thomas Cook Staff By The Seaside

ABOVE: Thomas Cook staff and families will be provided with no-cost stays including entertainment and attractions

Park Holidays UK has invited more than 600 Thomas Cook staff and their families to enjoy a weekend by the seaside. The holiday park group will pick up the accommodation tab in fully-equipped holiday homes for up to three nights, and will lay on free entertainment. Scene of the huge reunion party will be Broadland Sands Holiday Park, near Lowestoft, which the group is opening up especially for the event from November 8-11.

Park Holidays UK marketing director Geoff Barnes said it would be a chance for staff to swap memories and let their hair down after Thomas Cook suddenly went into liquidation in September. “As members of the holiday industry ourselves, we were also deeply saddened by the news and wanted to reach out to try and soften the blow in some way. “We thought the best way to help would be to open one of our most popular parks, Broadland Sands, for a long weekend and to offer free stays to staff and their partners and children. “Within one day of making the opportunity known to Thomas Cook staff, we were delighted to have taken bookings for all of the park’s 150-plus holiday homes,” says Geoff. “It means that we’ll be welcoming over 600 guests in total for between two and three nights, and we hope it will create a truly memorable experience for everyone. “I’m sure there will be some nostalgic moments, but overall we simply want all the Thomas Cook team, and especially the children, to share a very happy time,” added Geoff. As well as the free accommodation, guests will have use of all of Broadland Sand’s leisure facilities, including a recently opened £1.6 million swimming pool complex. Charges will also be waived on some other activities usually paid for by holiday guests, such as the climbing wall, adventure golf course and Segway Scooters. In addition, Park Holidays UK will be laying on a full no-cost entertainments programme in the park’s clubhouse featuring professional family-friendly acts.

Five Star Holiday Nature Trail Unveiled

Five Star Holiday Nature Trail Unveiled

Five Star Holiday Nature Trail UnveiledOn the southern edge of the beautiful New Forest, Shorefield Holidays’ five-star Shorefield Country Park has direct access to miles of peaceful forest walks, as well as a series of walks and nature trails on its 100 acres of landscaped parkland. Following three years of careful planning, the Shorefield gardening team has created a new woodland nature trail in a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, which links up with the park’s existing woodland walk, as well as a network of paths owned by Milford Parish Council. Classed as ancient woodland, the area is carpeted with seasonal wildflowers and features a huge diversity of trees and wildlife. The new trail also gives guests and holiday home owners at the park better access to the surrounding area and nearby seafront. Head Gardener Ian Colverson says: “This is one of the biggest projects our gardening team has undertaken. The nature trail winds under a canopy of trees, and there is an abundance of wildlife and woodland flowers. Since we’ve completed the path, it’s become apparent just how many bluebells are emerging.” Shorefield Holidays is an award-winning family run business operating eight holiday parks across Hampshire and Dorset. It contributes more than £27m a year to the local economy and has won a number of conservation awards over the years. Formed just over 25 years ago, Park Holidays UK has its headquarters in Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex, and in high season employs some 1,600 full and part-time staff. Prior to joining Park Holidays UK, Richard spent five years as divisional director of Enterprise Inns plc, Britain’s largest pub company with around 5,000 properties.

 

 

Added Value

Added Value

added value pic 5Think back to your earliest holidays… or even your most recent one. Chances are your memories include at least one desperate attempt to strike it lucky on a coin - flipping machine or prize grabber. It’s no wonder really. Amusements like these inject fun and excitement into a family’s holiday experience – keeping them wanting for more. While we all want our guests to enjoy themselves, our main objective is to generate revenue. And amusements, attractions and ride-on equipment do just that by allowing you to increase your sources of income. It’s important to remember, however, what a big investment holidays represent for most families. Here in the UK, research from travel booking site Expedia found that, on average, a nine day holiday comes with a £2,417 price tag. Importantly, this figure includes the little extras, such as a flutter on the fruit machines or enjoying activities together. And those extras can quickly add up to something significant.

BOTTOM LINE
That’s why it’s important to identify the right mix of amusements and attractions to boost your bottom line. While there are a wide-range to choose from, we look at the latest trends in the hopes that one (or more) will enhance your offering. We Brits love a good amusement or attraction when we’re on holiday. Indeed, at some point in their lives, 72 per cent of adult consumers have played with amusement equipment, according to research from Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC).British Amusement Catering Trade Association, estimates there are more than 310,000 machines in the UK alone played regularly by 14 million people. While many can be found in pubs, clubs and adult entertainment centres (AEC), a large number can be found in the UK’s more than 1000 family-entertainment centres (FEC). Many will be familiar with destination venues, such as Brighton Palace Pier – which attracts more visitors than Stonehenge – and Namco Funscape in London, on London’s South Bank, as well as the multitude of smaller operations, including those at holiday parks.

CASH REDUCTIONS
In the pub, however, some machines are starting to lose their appeal, according to Bacta. “Whilst the Category C AWP remains the most profitable four square feet of pub floor space, the trend is a downward one, accentuated by the proliferation of Licensed Betting Offices and the lure of FOBT (fixed odd added value pic 2betting terminals).” According to some experts, this has cost the sector dearly. There’s believed to have been a 25% reduction in average weekly income from them since 2007 and, so far, it’s cost the industry more than £600 million. Fortunately, all is not lost. Bacta explains: “Advances in technology have seen something of a revolution with pubs featuring the very latest in digital gaming equipment and internet-empowered jukeboxes.” Say the letters G-D-P-R and you’re sure to hear a sigh. However, big data plays a big role in making sure our machine investments pay dividends. “If you measure it, you can manage it. Appreciate the value of your site and machine data,” advises John Dorman, Marketing Manager for Playsafe Systems (www.playsafe.systems) in Bath. The company works with the AGC and FEC sectors to collect, record and secure customer site data, which it converts into the useful information businesses need to drive their amusement revenue streams forward… even when they’re off-site. To get best value from your equipment, John suggests site owners “consider introducing an integrated system of hardware and software that collects and stores all their gaming and machine information to track/measure performance and increase onsite security.” He adds: “And, if you use technology to help secure your site data and cash, you can enjoy better piece of mind – even if you are offsite.”

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CONTACTS:

BACTA
www.bacta.org.uk

BIGAIRBAG
Tel. + 31 20 893 2161
www.bigairbag.com

PLAYSAFE SYSTEMS
Tel. 01707 280 020
www.playsafe.systems

 

Tranquil Escape – Cofton Holidays

Tranquil Escape

tranquil escape mainCofton Holidays has been welcoming holiday-makers for over 40 years..

Nestled in its very own glorious corner of Devon, surrounded by 80 acres of Devon countryside and close to the pretty coastline of Dawlish Warren, Cofton Holidays has been welcoming holidaymakers from far and wide for over 40 years. Guests return year after year to enjoy its beautiful and convenient location, extensive facilities and wide choice of accommodation to suit the needs of all visitors. Purchased by the late George Jeffery in 1975, Cofton Holidays was transformed from what was a basic operation into the stunning landscaped grounds that it is today. The beautiful gardens and established plants that you can see around the multi award-winning holiday park were created by George. Now, Cofton Holidays continues to run under the Jeffery name, with George’s children Roger, Helen, Mellony and Christopher firmly at the rei ns. Cofton Holidays, Holiday Park of the Year at the Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2018, offers a range of accommodation, entertainment and facilities for the whole family to enjoy. When guests drive through the gates of Cofton, they can immediately escape to a tranquil world, leaving the mundane routine of everyday life behind. Guests are greeted by the newly refurbished reception area with the friendly team on standby, ready to check-in visitors to their home away from home. From stylish holiday homes to indulgent hot tub cottages and luxury Georgian apartments, Cofton Holidays offer a wide range of accommodation for guests to choose from. Cofton’s selection of holiday homes is like no other. With two or three bedroom holiday homes available which can sleep up to six guests, there’s plenty of space for the whole family. The dog friendly Dart holiday home is a great example of the high-quality accommodation available at the South Devon holiday park. The Dart features one double bedroom and one twin and also has an additional sleeping space in the lounge with a fold-out bed. Furry, four-legged guests will feel right at home with the addition of a pet mat, small pet blanket and stainless-steel water and food bowls. Suitable for all seasons, the Dart has full central heating and double glazing, ensuring that the family is kept warm and cosy throughout the winter months.

HOT TUB COTTAGES
Embracing the popularity of hot tub holidays, Cofton launched its range of hot tub cottages in 2016. The three exquisite homes can be found on the Eastdon Estate, set away from the main park yet close enough to enjoy its facilities and entertainment. Each cottage has breath-taking views including classic Devon farmland and beautiful views of the Exe Estuary. Newly refurbished for 2018, Cofton’s five holiday apartments are located within the Georgian Eastdon House on the Eastdon Estate. Interior designer Julie Jeffery transformed the apartments into highend, luxury accommodation complete with elegant furnishings, 55” TVs and high-specification kitchen areas. For those who prefer traditional camping holidays complete with roasted marshmallows and their own home comforts, Cofton Holidays offers a range of camping and touring pitches to suit guests needs. Rated number one for Dawlish campsites on Trip Advisor and holding the coveted AA 5 Pennant Gold Award for its caravan and camping facilities, Cofton Holidays offers grass, hard standing and fully serviced pitches perfect for tents, caravans or motorhomes. The fantastic range of facilities on offer at the family-run holiday park is just one of the reasons why guests return year after year. With two pools, one outside and one indoors, guests can enjoy splashing around whatever the weather.

INDOOR POOLtranquil escape pic 2
The heated indoor pool includes a fun splash pad area and hydrotherapy loungers, perfect for parents to relax on whilst the kids play. Other on-site facilities include a gym, restaurant, pub, steam room, sauna, fitness studio, soft play area, playground, sports wall, outdoor pools and much more. Guests also have access to five coarse fishing lakes, miles of cycle paths and nature trails that take visitors through woodland to the golden sands of Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve. Cofton Holidays has recently invested £20,000 in its indoor cycling studio in addition to adding brand-new classes to the gym’s timetable, located within Ashburn Springs Spa and Leisure. Widening its kid-friendly activity offering, Cofton Holidays has also invested £50,000 in a new Woodland Adventure Area which features a 25m zip line, a climbing cage, rope ladders, balance beam, balance lines and scramble nets. Free kids’ club take place each day throughout the school holidays, from Easter through to the October half term.

PICTURE-PERFECT
South Devon is home to an abundance of picture-perfect landscapes and attractions. Famous for its beaches, Devon is THE place to go for sand, sun and fun. Cofton Holidays is only a short walk away from the golden sands of the Blue Flag beach at Dawlish Warren and its fascinating Nature Reserve. Also close by is Teignmouth, the location for the 2017 film The Mercy, starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz. Cross the bay and you will end up in the picturesque village of Shaldon where the ‘Smugglers Tunnel’ is located. Walk through the tunnel and discover the secluded Ness Cove beach, perfect for a relaxing picnic by the water’s edge. Speaking on behalf of the family, Director Helen Scott is incredibly proud of how Cofton Holidays has developed over the years: “As a family business that’s been running for over 40 years, we know how imt98009portant it is to create a customer experience that guests want to share. We invest in our facilities so that our customers can have an even richer experience, encouraging them to return year after year, generation after generation. Throughout 2019, we will continue to add to our offering which includes expanding our dog friendly accommodation offering.” With so much to see and do in this glorious corner of Devon, it’s no wonder that Cofton Holidays has such a loyal customer base. The Warren family said of their recent visit: “We have had a wonderful experience. The site is very clean, all the staff were friendly and helpful, especially the bar supervisor and the entertainment was second to none. We’ll 100% return.” Peter from London said: “The best holiday park we’ve been to in our motorhome. Our children aged two and four love it. Great facilities, entertainment and activities in one of the best parts of Devon.” Cofton Holidays has secured a number of accolades in the last 12 months including Gold Holiday Park of the Year and Silver Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism awards at the Visit Devon Awards 2018, as well as the Hoseasons Diamond Award for Family Run Lodges and Parks. In February 2019, Cofton Holidays will attend the South West Tourism Excellence Awards as a finalist. It looks like 2019 will be another memorable year for the family-run, South Devon holiday park.

Cofton Holidays
Tel. 01626 890111
www.coftonholidays.co.uk