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Lancashire holiday park launches new activities thanks to £3.5m investment

Bosses at a Lancashire holiday park have been celebrating the launch of their new high adrenaline activities following a massive £3.5million investment.

The activities, which include freefalling experience, “The Jump”, as well new climbing walls, golf course and segways, were unveiled at Haven’s Marton Mere Holiday Park near Blackpool earlier this week.

Olympic gold medallist Will Satch MBE helped reveal the new additions to the holiday park, which, thanks to a £3.5million investment and work over the winter months, also includes indoor and outdoor facilities as well as new accommodation.

Ahead of what’s expected to be another busy summer, the demand for fun and exciting outdoor activities is higher than ever, and The Jump, which was first introduced to Haven’s Craig Tara park in South Ayrshire, Scotland, in 2019, offers guests a thrill-seeking experience by freefalling from two different height platforms onto a massive airbag.

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Officially launched on Monday in front a crowd of eagle-eyed spectators, Team GB athlete Will was in high spirts as he tried out all the new activities.

The rower, who won a bronze medal at London 2012 before claiming gold at Rio 2016, is no stranger to competitive challenges, and said: “I’m such a big fan of adrenaline filled experiences so for me, even on a holiday I want to be active.

“There is so much to do and even as an adult these activities are tons of fun, so I can definitely see why children are eager to try it this summer.”

Despite Will being a highly decorated rower, you don’t have to be an Olympian to get involved in the new activities at the holiday park.

Guests can get on two wheels and explore on segways or bikes, or grab a greater view of the park from the climbing wall.

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General Manager at Marton Mere, Keith Robson, said: “It was amazing to see so many people supporting the launch of our new activities today.

“We’re very happy to be able to bring these fun and exciting additions to the park and we can’t wait to see our guests enjoying them throughout the summer.”

In addition to the new activities, Marton Mere has invested in other areas, with more than 70 new pitches for holiday homes and a whole new location on the park site in Lakemere View near the Marton Mere nature reserve.

There is also a new Burger King as well as new outdoor dining areas providing plenty of space for guests to enjoy the park.

The investments have led to an additional 35 new job roles too, which provided a huge boost to the local area.

By Amy Farnworth

Source: Lancashire Telegraph

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Caravan rental firm snapped up by Sykes Holiday Cottages

A static caravan rental website based in Huddersfield has been acquired by Sykes Holiday Cottages. The deal allows private equity-backed Sykes to diversify its range of rental properties.

UKCaravans4hire was established more than ten years ago and connects holiday makers to more than 6,000 holiday homes located across the UK.

Following the acquisition, the business will continue to be run independently by its existing leadership teams but will sit under a newly formed parent company.

Gareth Irving, chief executive and founder of UKcaravans4hire, said: “This deal represents a new chapter for our business and I know with Sykes’ expertise and support we’ll be able to build on the huge success we’ve already had over the past two decades.

“Looking ahead, we’re ideally placed to reap the rewards of growing demand for affordable staycations, working with Sykes to grow our business and promote our holiday homes to a wider audience.”

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The deal follows hot on the heels of Sykes’ acquisition of Forest Holidays, owner and operator of environmentally sensitive cabins.

The combined group of businesses under Sykes’ leadership, whose own platform provides access to more than 22,500 holiday homes, are estimated to take more than 2.65 million customers on holiday in 2022. The group employs in excess of 1,700 people and is on track to achieve more than £170m of revenue in 2022

Graham Donoghue, chief executive of Sykes, said: “As the UK’s leading provider of static caravan rentals, UKcaravans4hire is the perfect business to have by our side as we enter into this new market, offering UK holidaymakers an unmatched choice of affordable and high-quality accommodation.

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“It’s a transformative time for Sykes as we accelerate our ambitions to become the leading name for UK tourism. We see huge potential in UKcaravans4hire to serve what is currently an underserved market, applying our expertise and market-leading technology to grow the business and catapult it to even greater success.”

Sykes is backed by Vitruvian Partners and was advised by Springboard Corporate Finance, Hill Dickinson LLP and Mayer Brown International LLP on the deal. UKcaravans4hire was advised by Symmetry Corporate Finance.

Source Insider Media

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Easter bookings boom at budget UK holiday parks as airport chaos continues

Families have turned to Easter staycations amid chaotic scenes of cancelled flights and long queues at major airports, travel experts have said.

Budget holiday operators said they are seeing strong demand as families decide to stay at home rather than brave disruption to journey plans abroad.

Haven, which has 41 holiday parks in the UK, is already more than 90 per cent booked for Easter, with nearly half of its 2.5million visitors booking for the first time this year.

Meanwhile Parkdean Resorts, which has 66 parks, has needed to hire 7,000 seasonal workers to keep up with high levels of demand.

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The managing director of Haven Simon Palenthorpe told BBC Radio 4 on Monday: “I think it has made people think a bit more about holidaying at home. More generally things are looking pretty positive for our industry at the moment.

“This Easter for example, Haven – which is actually the UK’s largest domestic holiday business – is over 90 per cent booked, and more generally this year we’re going to be welcoming 2.5million holidaymakers to our 41 parks.

“And we’re seeing more newcomers to Haven, which is I think pretty interesting, more newcomers than ever.”

Parkdean chief executive Steve Richards said his company planned on investing £140m in its accommodation and facilities in the wake of the boom.

“This investment is great news for our customers, staff and the local economies in which we operate,” he told The Daily Mail.

“2021 was a huge year for staycations, and our teams will continue to go above and beyond to deliver phenomenal service for our guests, making sure that 2022 is even better.”

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It comes as tourists faced a ‘manic Monday’ of flight cancellations, scuppering Easter plans for many ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

British Airways axed at least 64 European and domestic flights from Heathrow on Monday to destinations such as Berlin, Dublin, Geneva, Paris, and Stockholm. Domestic flights were also affected.

The airline has been forced to trim its schedules until the end of May while it is hiring extra staff to cope with the surge in demand from passengers.

Meanwhile, budget carrier EasyJet cancelled at least 25 flights to or from Gatwick.

It affected routes to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Milan.

By Josh Salisbury

Source: Evening Standard

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Holiday parks in Cornwall win Hoseasons regional tourism awards

Several Cornwall holidays parks have been presented with top regional tourism awards by UK holiday giant Hoseasons.

Sea Acres near Kennack on the Lizarad Peninsula, owned by Parkdean Resorts, took home Best Family Fun destination, while Mullion Cove Coastal Retreat, owned by Darwin Escapes, won Best Large Lodge Escape.

Ivyleaf Combe Cottages in Bude picked up Best Small Lodge Escape. Praa Sands Holiday Park’s Boathouse Bar & Restaurant was crowned Best Relax & Explore Park for its food and drink offering.

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The awards were received at Hoseasons’ 15th annual awards ceremony – a celebration of the lodge resorts, holiday parks and boating locations in the company’s UK portfolio that have achieved the highest scores in independent customer satisfaction surveys throughout the 2021 season.

Simon Altham, Group Chief Commercial Officer at Awaze – the parent company of Hoseasons – said: “We all understand the importance customer reviews play in influencing holiday choices and it’s clear from the amazing scores Piran Meadows Resort have been receiving, that the team are doing a fantastic job of delighting guests and exceeding expectations.

“The future looks brighter than ever for UK holidays and we are sure this award will help further boost bookings for 2022 and beyond.”

By Tom Harris

Source: The Packet

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Dorset experiencing ‘high demand’ for holidays in 2022

HIGH levels of demand for UK staycations are set to continue next year – with one delighted Dorset holiday provider experiencing a 70 per cent increase in bookings compared to pre-pandemic levels.

As a result of travel restrictions many people opted to ditch their trip abroad this summer for a holiday closer to home.

Now it seems some people who discovered a UK break for the first time, or perhaps missed out this year, are choosing to stick with one for 2022.

“This year has been one of our busiest to date and this high level of demand is being seen ahead of the 2022 season, with a 70 per cent increase in the amount of people who have already booked a staycation in 2022 against the same time in 2019,” a spokesperson for Haven Holidays said.

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“We have always had holidaymakers who return to Haven year after year and in fact 50 percent of our guests do holiday with us again, but we have also noticed that we have had a 41% increase in new guests who have replaced their holiday abroad with a UK staycation at Haven.”

The holiday provider operates three Weymouth sites – Littlesea, Weymouth Bay and Seaview – which are experiencing strong demand for next year already.

Fellow holiday park operator ParkDean, which runs the Sandford, Warmwell and West Bay sites, are also experiencing strong interest, but that is no different than usual for them.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Our three holiday parks in Dorset are among our best-loved resorts in the country, and families have enjoyed a well-deserved staycation in the area this year, providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.

“We’re always fully booked for the holiday season, and this year has been no different.

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“Despite the increased demand, we can only ever be at 100% capacity, so anybody wanting to stay at Sandford, Warmwell or West Bay should book early to avoid disappointment as we don’t see appetite for the staycation waning at all.”

Haven confirmed they have ‘continued to see a huge rise in people wanting to holiday in the UK,’ with that trend carrying over from the 2021 season to the following summer.

Both holiday providers said anyone who is interested in booking a holiday in Dorset next year should book early to avoid any potential disappointment.

By Sam Greasley-Machin

Source: Dorset Echo

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UK holiday homeowners could make ‘£3,000’ weekly if they pick the right property

UK HOLIDAY homeownership has shot up across the UK in the last year, with sales propelled by the popularity of domestic vacations are a result of coronavirus international travel restrictions. But how can those looking to buy be sure they’ve picked the right property?

According to Raoul Fraser, founder of UK holiday park provider Lovat Parks, those looking to purchase a staycation property “shouldn’t think of them as investments”. However, he does note that holiday homes in certain locations have the potential to help owners make money by renting them out.

In the last 18 months, Mr Fraser says some homeowners have managed to attract even more guests than normal, and earn enough money to help cover the costs of their staycation property.

He told “We’ve seen some customers rent their holiday homes for over 3000 pounds a week. We do not say that customers should think of these as investments, but if you think about that your payback can be up to five or six years.”

For Britons just dipping their toes into the world of holiday homeownership, however, the prospect of purchasing may seem daunting.

Luckily, Mr Fraser shared some of his top five tips to help homeowners pick the right staycation property.

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Research the holiday park you are purchasing a home within

Many holiday homes across the UK are housed on existing holiday parks, such as Lovat Parks.

Lovat Parks, for example, has eight holiday parks across the UK – seven of which offer the opportunity for people to purchase a holiday home within the park.

According to Mr Fraser, if Britons are hoping to buy a staycation property, it is vital they look into the park they are hoping to purchase from.

He explained: “I would always as the park operator if they are members of the two trade bodies, The British Holiday Park and Home Parks Association or the Caravan Council because they have rules and regulations that you have to abide by and I think that’s important.”

He continued: “We always say to customers, even if you don’t buy from us, when you’re thinking about it, buy from someone who is financially solvent.

“Buy from someone who treats their customers properly, because that is really important.

“Unfortunately, there are some operators like in any industry, who are often the customers.”

Mr Fraser also advises speaking to other customers on-site to find out what the holiday park is like to spend time on.

He said: “You want to go with a company whom you think does care about the experience and make sure you speak to customers on-site, so that you can hear of their experience and how it’s gone for them.”

Pick the right price point for your holiday home

The cost of holiday homes varies depending on the age, style, fixtures and fittings of the property.

As Mr Fraser points out, newer or custom-built properties can cost far more than a traditional caravan.

He said: “We have different price points on our park.

“You can buy a pre-loved caravan on our site in Kent for £30,000 pounds, or you can buy a new lodge in Cornwall or the New Forest for ten times that.

“We’d always say when thinking about buying a holiday home, make sure you can afford it, because every year, people have to pay site fees.

“That site fee is in return for maintaining the park, and that enables them to keep their caravan on a piece of land.”

Even if you have picked a property within your price range, Mr Fraser recommends thinking seriously about whether this is a long-term purchase you want to make.

He explained: “Just think about it long term. We always say to people, it’s a big decision, and really think about it, we’d never want anyone to rush into making decisions and not think about it.

“Is it something that you want to do long term? There is no point owning it for one or two years and then deciding you don’t necessarily want to own it anymore.”

Decide whether or not you want a custom or fully furnished property

Some caravans and lodges, particularly new-builds, can be kitted out with specific upholstery, appliances of features.

Mr Fraser says, if this is something customers are hoping for, they should think about it in advance.

He said: “If you buy a lodge which comes fully furnished, there is an opportunity to customise the lodge if you give us enough notice.

“In other words, you can literally pick the furnishings, the layout, but it does take longer than if you just buy one off the shelf.”

Pick your location wisely

The location of your holiday home is not only important for personal holidays but can also be crucial to homeowners who are looking to rent out their property in the future.

Mr Fraser explained: “We try and recommend people buy relatively close to where they live so that they can get the most out of it.

“That’s typically a two to three-hour radius. Cornwall is a little different because not many people live in Cornwall.

“For the New Forest, for example, there’s no point buying it and then hardly using it yourself.”

He added: “Generally people need to think about if they want to be closer to the beach or they happy to be inland. If they are inland are there nice pubs nearby or are you close to shops swell so that you’re not too isolated?”

Be prepared to wait

Given demand is sky-rocketing for properties, Mr Fraser says people need to be prepared to wait.

Some of the most popular parks currently have no availability, while those seeking new-build or customised properties will have to sit tight until their holiday home has been created.

He explained: “Because the demand is so high, we always say to customers you might have to wait for your caravan to arrive because the manufacturer is under real pressure to cope with demand.

“We ourselves, on some of our parks are waiting for some of our holiday homes to arrive, so just be patient.”


Source: Express

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