Longstanding Hoseasons partner Hemsby Beach Holiday Park has always been pet-friendly, but owners Richardsons Leisure Limited started to understand the real value of investing in the pet pound in 2018. It was at that point that Chief Executive, Greg Munford, took the conscious decision to increase the number of pet-friendly units at the park from 24 to 44.

Since then and boosted by significant increase in pet ownership during Covid, Hemsby Beach has steadily increased its pet-friendly offering, so that today a total of 116, or 31%, of the park’s 391 luxury holiday homes and lodges welcome guests’ four-legged friends. But it’s not just the number of pet-friendly units that have increased - the quality of those units has markedly improved too, so much so that they are now some of the best the park has to offer, with nearly half featuring a hot tub.

GIVING PEOPLE the chance to be with their pets on holiday obviously comes with a financial benefit.

It’s not a surprising strategy when you consider recent Hoseasons stats showing that owners who take a pet see an average 46% uplift in booking volume vs locations that don’t accept a pet. But Greg says gone are the days when pet-friendly meant sectioning off a few shabby chalets on one corner of the park and expecting people to embrace the experience.

“Our purpose is to create an environment where customers can holiday with family and friends and create memories that last a lifetime. For an increasing number of people that means having their pets with them, and that shouldn’t mean having to compromise on the quality of their holiday experience – quite the opposite in fact, which is why we’ve made the changes and investments we have and why we take our approach to looking after pets and their owners so seriously.”

One example of this is the £10k Richardsons Leisure recently spent on decking gates for its pet-friendly lodges and luxury holiday homes – something that was requested by pet owners keen to maximise security for their pets and in turn enhance their own holiday experience. The park also provides dog-friendly areas in its restaurant and entertainment venues and shares information with guests about the best dog walks in the area, as well as a list of useful contacts including local vets, pet shops and other services.

RICHARDSONS LEISURE recently spent £10k on decking gates for its pet-friendly lodges.

It’s an approach that is clearly paying dividends in terms of bookings, with Hoseasons data showing that the park saw a 24% increase in pet bookings last year compared to the year before, and a massive 106% increase compared to 2 0 1 9. Greg says being pet-friendly also leads to wider benefits for the park beyond the bottom line.

“Giving people the chance to be with their pets on holiday obviously comes with a financial benefit, but it also really adds to the happy, relaxed atmosphere on park too.” Hemsby Beach Holiday Park is part of Hoseasons’ Go Active Breaks+ Collection and sits just 350 yards from the golden sands and rolling dunes of Hemsby Beach. Greg says the national market insight he gets from his long partnership with the brand has been invaluable in making investment choices.

“Obviously Hoseasons provide us a good number of bookings, but the true added value comes from their sector expertise and commercial acumen, both of which make all the difference when considering large-scale investment in specific accommodation types and the right accommodation mix,” says Greg. “The scale they operate at means their data is second to none when it comes to spotting trends and advising owners accordingly.”

GREG MUNFORD, TOOK the conscious decision to increase the number of pet-friendly units at the park from 24 to 44