Interviews

Indulgent multi-million pound investments heat up holiday park operator’s sales

3 min read

08 June 2016

Former deputy editor

British holiday park operator Parkdean Resorts has experienced a sales sizzle, which follows on from a £25m investment commitment to modernise and enhance the luxury of its sites, introducing hot tubs and more to make trips more glamorous for travellers.

With 72 locations across the UK, covering everywhere from Scotland and Yorkshire, Essex to Kent and Devon to Wales, the hospitality firm boasts a nationwide presence.

The business was formed when a merger of Parkdean and Park Resorts was completed in November 2015, and marked the start of 2016 with a commitment to make £25m investments of the indulgent variety for guests.

Last year, the company introduced luxury offerings to customers with the arrival of glamping (glamorous camping) products such a safari tent villages. The success of the launch has meant popular demand and more will be rolled out this year.

To prepare for 2016, Parkdean revealed this year would see £5.5m spent on “major refurbishment” of entertainment, bar and restaurant complexes at six parks. Other revamps have seen the introduction of arcades and indoor swimming pools.

As the safari tents proved to be particularly well received, luxury lodges with hot tubs and self-catering caravans with mod-cons such as double glazing and central heating are also part of Parkdean’s agenda.

All of that has resulted in the firm revealing revenues for 2015 rose to £400.7m from £370.7m the previous year, while EBITDA was up by 15.7 per cent to £106.6m.

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In addition to the return on investment from the luxury focus, Parkdean achieved growth from holiday home sales, holiday sales and on-site spending. Indeed, owner income was up 9.4 per cent and hire revenue by 11.5 per cent. Over the year, the group claims to have experienced 492,000 holiday sales and two million customers accommodated, while 5,300 homes were sold.

To ensure the growth continues, the firm has said: “In the current year, we will continue to invest in a pipeline of revenue enhancing development and expansionary opportunities across the estate, investing c. £40m.

“This will include 400 replacement and upgraded caravans and lodges, c.200 additional caravan and lodge hire fleet, an additional 240 pitches for holiday homes and upgrades of retail facilities.”

It highlighted sites in Northumberland, the Lake District, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Essex as areas for “major retail projects.” The investments will remain to “enable the parks to have longer, more productive seasons”.

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