MIND-BENDING CHALLENGES

MIND-BENDING CHALLENGES

Reporting from the Hoseasons Owners Conference & Awards...

THE ANNUAL HOSEASONS awards were presented at a glittering Gala Awards ceremony.

Hoseasons, one of the UK’s leading self-catering accommodation specialists, with more than 30,000 British destinations in coastal and countryside settings, gathered for its much-anticipated annual conference and awards event recently. From lodges and parks, to boats, cottages and apartments, the Hoseasons brand offers the widest available range of self-catering holidays in the UK accommodating 2.1 million holidaymakers and more than 170,000 pets every year and is part of Awaze - Europe’s leading managed vacation rentals and holiday resorts business.

More than 600 delegates gathered at the prestigious Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales, in November and were rewarded with a packed conference programme and supportive trade exhibition. Many of the conference presenters were from the Awaze in-house team with an impressive injection of expert business and motivational speakers - all topped-off by a star appearance from comedian Tom Allen who co-hosted the Awards presentations.

Lead presenter, Daisy McAndrew, talked about the ‘mind-bending’ challenges holiday park operators had faced in the past ten years following Brexit, the pandemic, war in Ukraine, or five Prime Ministers and the cost-of-living crisis. She set the stage with Hoseason’s Simon Altham. Catherine Smith and Kris Penny gave an insightful talk on revenue management emphasising the importance of effective revenue management strategies for maximising revenue.

SPECIALLY SELECTED TRADE suppliers at the Hoseasons conference including Compass Insurance.

Andrew Goward and Luke Hansford shared key insights and industry trends that are shaping the industry’s future. Daniel Hulme (PhD), an AI and tech expert, shared mind-blowing insights into the future of AI technology before Martin Rovsing and Blake Carroll Fulford-Brown showcased innovative product designs and future technology that will enhance customer experiences. John Crosby’s presentation on Hoseasons’ marketing achievements highlighted the impactful campaigns and strategies Hoseasons have implemented.

Guest presenter, Tori James took delegates on an incredible journey of resilience and determination. Her storytelling was captivating and reminded us of the power of perseverance. Jamaine Campbell from Elite Dynamics, the Headline Sponsor, shared valuable insights on how the company’s partnership has truly elevated holiday park experiences. Adam Boulton, a renowned political broadcaster, discussed the impact of politics on the tourism industry.

His analysis shed light on the challenges and opportunities we may face. Rupa Patel, Laura Smith, and Dan Taylor provided an update on regulatory changes affecting our industry. Their work shapes the new rules to benefit our owners. The business development team discussed innovation and industry trends. They highlighted the importance of collaborating with Hoseasons for new developments.

THE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Panel is a popular part of the annual Hoseasons Conference programme.

Jason Fox inspired delegates with his session on resilience and overcoming challenges. He reminded us that the right mindset can conquer any obstacle before the impressive day-long programme was round-up by Hoseasons CEO, Henrik Kjellberg. Delegates included Gregg Mumford, Chief Executive of Richardsons Group that offers varied accommodation at its Hemsby Beach Holiday Park as well as holidays afloat on a fleet of over 200 boats on the Norfolk Broads.

Greg said they offer a combination of direct bookings and bookings through Hoseasons with slightly more coming through Hoseasons for the dry holidays and 60 per cent booking directly for boats. He confirmed “One of the main things you get working with Hoseasons is that you get the overall picture of the domestic tourism market including insights, such as which accommodation types are booking and how well they will yield,” Greg shared when he talked to Holiday Park SCENE magazine.

“The Conference enables everybody to come together and share your insights individually and there is always a great line up of presenters.” Hemsby Beach Holiday Park will offer close to 400 units this year following the addition of pet-friendly lodges with hot tubs. The resort also offers a popular Clubhouse, a show bar that seats 420 people, restaurant and family entertainment centre. The Hemsby team also work with Hoseason’s Go Active scheme offering climbing walls, and high ropes.

DAISY MCANDREW set the stage with Hoseason’s Simon Altham.

“One of our biggest challenges is predicting the market year on year and Hoseasons are great with statistics and advice on this,” Greg adds. “The external speakers are very good but it is equally important to hear from the Hoseasons team and I value the panel discussion they have.” Sarah and Jeremy Barber, now working alongside son-in-law Richard Broome, began diversifying their 357 acres of rolling farm land in 2016 adding just three holiday lodges and evolving up to a current stock of 16 holiday lodges with hot tubs.

“We have only booked through Hoseasons right from the start,” said Jeremy. “Although they book through Hoseasons, we like to offer the personal touch and make an effort to give each lodge plenty of space and a friendly greeting on arrival,” he continued. “We did not come to the conference at first because we did not release how much was on offer,” he said. “We have really appreciated the Hoseasons involvement and the return on holiday lodge investment has been colossal,” he added.

Love2Stay owner, Mark Debb, of Salop Leisure was an enthusiastic supporter: “The Hoseasons reach is phenomenal,” says Mark who says the stand-out resort still manages to retain its individuality while benefitting from the multi-million Hoseason reach. “We want as much return as possible to reinvest as much as feasible,” says Mark who says with raw materials increases it is now taking two and a half years to see a return on investment of a £45k lodge compared with 12 months pre-pandemic.

DELEGATES MINGLED with a host of selected trade suppliers for a complimentary exhibition.

BEST IN BRITAIN
A prestigious roll of honour at the evening awards presentations heard Henlle Hall Woodland Lodges, near Oswestry, had scooped the Best in Britain Award for the Small Park category for the second year in a row. The park was also named Best Small Lodge Escape destination in the Heart of England.

Commenting on the park’s success, Cosmo Lloyd and Keeta Thomas, Joint Owners of Henlle Hall Woodland Lodges, said: “We were really pleased to be recognised with the regional award, but being named Best in Britain for the second-year running has really blown us away! In the end it all comes down to the hard work the team puts into looking after our guests. They do a fantastic job when it comes to providing excellent holiday experiences and that’s why we have so many happy customers.”

Henlle Hall Woodland Lodges is part of Hoseasons’ Magnificent collection – encompassing six locations across the UK featuring the highest level of luxury accommodation, service and innovation. Another hat-trick winner was Selsey Holiday Park, named Best in Britain for the quality of its food by staycation specialist Hoseasons. The park also won the Customer Choice Food Award for Family Fun Destinations as well as the award for the Best Family Fun Destination in the South of England.

HOSEASONS SURPRISED party-goers as top comedian Tom Allen co-hosted the recent awards.

Andrew Sheerin, Sales & Marketing Director at Cove UK, the parent company of Seal Bay, said: “Winning three awards in one night, including one for being the Best in Britain, has really blown us away! In the end it all comes down to the hard work and dedication the team puts into looking after our guests. They do a fantastic job and that’s why we have so many happy customers.”

Speaking after presenting the awards in front of more than 600 operators, industry suppliers and members of the Hoseasons team, Luke Hansford, Senior Vice President - Supply at Hoseasons, said: “It takes something special to be named Best of Britain at these awards, particularly when you consider the quality of the competition.

SURGE IN LATE SUMMER BOOKINGS

SURGE IN LATE SUMMER BOOKINGS

LANDAL GREENPARKS UK is seeing a surge in late summer bookings at destinations such as Northumberland’s Kielder.

Managing Director of Landal GreenParks UK, says there are several factors as to why people are leaving it later and later to book their summer holiday, he says: “Summer 2023 is looking strong for domestic tourism, but there is no doubt that people have tighter budgets.

The cost-of-living crisis is still at the forefront of many people’s minds, especially when it comes to luxuries such as holidays, and we can see holidaymakers are searching for late availability and deals to help save money.

“I think it’s also fair to say that alongside the airline strike action, the latest heatwave affecting popular European package holiday destinations will leave consumers cautious of booking a holiday abroad. As a result, to avoid disruption to plans, many holidaymakers are opting to stay at home and explore what the UK has to offer.”

The south-west continues to be the best-performing region for Landal GreenParks UK, with new and additional accommodation offering at its resorts, helping contribute to a 30% increase in summer bookings compared to last year. There is also demand in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Scotland due to pet friendly staycations – with bookings up 25% compared to 2022.

MAX OFFERS REVENUE BOOST

MAX OFFERS REVENUE BOOST

AWAZE HAS TEAMED UP with the Hospitality Professionals Association to launch a first-of-its-kind training programme.

Holiday park owners who signed up to Hoseasons’ new revenue maximisation service MAX have enjoyed a strong start to the year, despite the cost of living crisis. Average income is up 35% for those owners using the service compared to the same point in 2019 – a statistic the self-catering specialist says clearly demonstrates the value of its unique revenue management model in a price-sensitive market.

David Groves, Director of Trading Performance at Awaze – the parent company of Hoseasons, says: “We all know people are having to make tough decisions about where they spend their hard-earned cash at the moment. “The Great British public are prepared to cut back on other luxuries if it means protecting their annual break, but they must feel like they are getting value for money.

“That’s why an approach that carefully balances occupancy and price is so important for holiday park owners right now if they want to make the most of their asset.” News of MAX’s success comes as Awaze teams up with the Hospitality Professionals Association (HOSPA) to launch a first-of-its-kind training programme to develop Revenue Management talent for the ever-growing short-term rental sector.

 

PRICE IS IMPORTANT FOR HOLIDAY PARK owners right now advises David Groves, Director of Trading Performance at Awaze.

The company has agreed a two-year sponsorship of the trailblazing programme, which it hopes will provide a strong pipeline of revenue managers with skills tailored specifically for the vacation rental market. Three qualifications are being offered as part of the programme, including the Foundation Certificate in Revenue Management, the Professional Certificate in Operational Revenue Management, and the Professional Diploma in Strategic Revenue Management.

The Foundation course is an entry-level introduction to revenue management principles and practices and is ideal for holiday park owners, on-site teams (such as reception or reservations managers) or operators’ corporate office staff. The Professional Certificate and Diploma - whilst open to everyone - will be mainly suited to those with some revenue management skills, including those with hotel sector experience and those seeking a career in revenue management.

Six Awaze staff have collaborated with the HOSPA Professional Development Team to shape the content for the three courses, which are already proving popular with finance staff from both individual and multiple park operators For more information about the Revenue Management Programme and to apply, visit https://www.hospa.org/professional-development.