Parks focus as BBC spotlights staycation boom
BBC television cameras zoomed-in on a Wales holiday park this August (11.08.16) to discover why summer 2016 is turning into a bumper year for home-grown tourism.
The report focussed on Meadow House Holiday Park in Pembrokeshire where business owner Huw Pendleton was quizzed by BBC Wales reporter Abigail Neal on his staycation experiences.
Abigail prefaced her BBC News analysis by saying that the fall in value of the pound, together with other events abroad, were behind this year’s rise in domestic tourism.
But what, she wondered, did visitors find so appealing about a holiday on home turf?
At Meadow House, Abigail’s vox pop interview subjects included one of the park’s caravan holiday home owners who explained why he enjoyed his holiday lifestyle so much.
In contrast to travelling abroad, he said, a UK stay was a totally relaxing experience with no need for elaborate planning or the hassle of airports and the risk of delays.
Huw, who is founder of Celtic Holiday Parks which owns three parks in Pembrokeshire, was filmed showing Abigail around a typical caravan holiday home.
Declaring it to be “just like a luxury apartment”, the reporter told viewers that many businesses such as Meadow House had seen bookings rise in the wake of the EU referendum vote.
Huw confirmed that sales of caravan holiday homes are especially strong this year with ever-growing numbers of people keen to invest in their leisure time.
Meadow House is currently developing new holiday home pitches on the park, and has begun work on a major new upgrade to its central facilities building.
These, said Huw, will further enhance the park’s appeal – and added that people buying holiday homes were clearly making a long-term commitment to taking holidays in Britain.
This, he believes, will benefit not just parks themselves, but also the many other rural businesses whose survival – and the jobs they provide – are heavily dependent on visitor spending.
Huw is director of the West Wales branch of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, and last February stepped down after two years of serving as BH&HPA’s national chairman.
Over footage of some of the region’s tourist attractions, the BBC’s news report concluded that the outlook for tourism in Wales was looking very sunny.
This was especially significant, said reporter Abigail, as Wales’s economy was more heavily reliant on tourism that the economies of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.