In or out, tourism will triumph says parks owner
Britain’s pulling power as a holiday destination will remain unchanged no matter which way the EU vote goes in June, a major holiday parks operator has predicted.
Henry Wild, whose family business owns parks in Cumbria and Lancashire, believes that both sides of the debate have “woefully underestimated” the UK’s enduring appeal to overseas visitors.
Skelwith Fold caravan park in Ambleside and Moss Wood caravan park near Lancaster always welcome visitors each year from mainland Europe, he reports.
But although they range in age from young families to older couples, Henry believes their reasons for coming are precisely the same:
“Britain has always been seen as a very different sort of country from most other EU states, both culturally and in the amazing diversity of our landscapes,” he says.
“It’s this which underpins our enormous appeal to continental visitors, not least because people often want a holiday to represent a complete change from what they are used to.
“We’ve mountains, moors and a stunning coastline – and a host of other distinctions from pubs and historic sites to great cities and an incredible artistic and sporting heritage.
“I’ve heard so-called experts from both the in and out campaigns claiming that tourism will benefit from their preferred result – and will suffer if the vote goes the other way.
“The truth, I think, is that Britain’s uniqueness and charm towers way above any decision to stay in or quit the EU, and we’ll continue to welcome our European neighbours regardless,” said Henry.
He says that many continental visitors to his parks use motorhomes or touring caravans, and plan their holidays to take in different coastal and inland regions:
“Other European states have their appeal, but only Britain packs so much contrasting scenery into one compact country – and that’s what visitors adore.
“If nothing else, the EU debate has raised Britain’s profile even higher, and continental visitors know they will always be warmly welcomed whatever the referendum outcome.
“Besides, where else can they go to find a perfect black puddings, fish and chips, and sticky toffee sponges?” added Henry.