Devon MP swaps Parliament for parks summit to learn more of local business’s success story

Pictured at the conference are (from left) Claire Flower, Kevin Foster MP and Gary and Nicola Furneaux

TORBAY MP KEVIN FOSTER met with family members of one of his constituency’s most successful holiday parks this month at a major tourism convention in London.

Kevin Foster was the guest of Paignton’s Beverley Holidays at February’s annual conference of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (06 February).

Held at the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster, just a short distance from Parliament, the event was attended by representatives from many of Britain’s 3000-plus holiday parks.

The MP was welcomed to the conference by Beverley directors Claire Flower, Nicola Furneaux and Gary Furneaux whose family business last year marked its 65th anniversary.

Started originally by Claire and Nicola’s grandparents in the 1950s, Beverley Holidays is today one of Devon’s most thriving park enterprises providing over 50,000 bed nights each year.

It employs up to 180 people in the main holiday season, and maintains 70 full-time posts all year round with training opportunities for those seeking a career in tourism and hospitality.

Kevin Foster heard at the conference how the park was currently investing in new top-end accommodation and guest facilities for visiting families and holiday home buyers in 2024:

“For 65 years, Beverley Holidays has been making magical holiday memories for those who visit our beautiful bay at the heart of the English Riviera,” he said.

“For Torbay, family fun is a serious business, with thousands of local jobs and many businesses supported by our holiday parks.

“They make our bay what it is, and it was great to join the team from Beverley Holidays at the conference to reflect on how national policy can further support them,” added Kevin Foster.

Claire Flower told the MP that Beverley was proud to be able to play a major role in the tourism economy of South Devon, and that its visitors supported many other local businesses.

The conference, she said, had coincided with the publication of a new independent study which examined the economic impact of holiday parks in the UK.

It found that parks generate £12.2bn in visitor expenditure each year in the UK and provide over 226,000 FTE jobs whilst representing 5% of the GDP of all UK tourism.

Claire, who was recently elected as Vice Chair of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association, said her family was delighted that Mr Foster had been able to join them at the conference:

“We know that Kevin clearly recognises the importance of tourism to South Devon, and is aware of the many challenges as well as opportunities faced by businesses such as ours.

“Advance bookings for 2024 are extremely strong, and are grateful for the continuing support and encouragement of our MP,” added Claire.