Growth on agenda at holiday parks Edinburgh summit
HOLIDAY PARKS from across Scotland are preparing to meet this week (21 November) for their annual conference following one of the industry’s busiest seasons on record.
Gathering at Edinburgh’s Our Dynamic Earth will be the owners and managers of many of Scotland’s 200-plus holiday park businesses.
The annual summit, which includes senior guest speakers, is organised by the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (Scotland) whose chairman is Elspeth Sutton.
According to Ms Sutton, parks in Scotland generally enjoyed an extremely buoyant year with a high volume of visitors both from within the UK and overseas.
Ms Sutton, who manages Sandgreen and Barnsoul Farm caravan parks in Dumfries and Galloway, said there was also evidence that the length of the holiday season is Scotland is continuing to grow.
The industry’s conference comes shortly after the publication of a new study showing that parks and campsites in Scotland are now generating £772 million of annual spending.
Camping, caravan and motorhomes visitors, said the report, are also helping to sustain over 14,300 full-time jobs throughout Scotland, largely in rural areas.
The figures are contained in a study commissioned from an independent research body by four major organisations representing the outdoor holidays sector.
They are the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, The National Caravan Council, The Camping and Caravanning Club, and the Caravan and Motorhome Club.
The study also revealed that campsites and holiday parks in Scotland provide more than 34,660 pitches, and account for 8.4% of Scotland’s entire tourism income.
As well as discussing the implications for further growth of the Scottish parks sector, delegates at November’s conference will also hear from a range of specialist speakers.
They will include award-winning travel writer Simon Calder who works for The Independent, and is also well known as a television and radio commentator on tourism issues.
Also taking the speaker’s platform will be Karen Christie who is the National Tourism Strategy Project Manager of the Scottish Tourism Alliance.
Delegates will hear too from former Scotland rugby player and executive coach David Sole, and entrepreneur Adrian Webster, as well as other industry speakers.
Running parallel to the conference will be an exhibition featuring the suppliers of goods and services to Scottish parks, the majority of which are family owned and managed.