British ‘staycations’ could boost post-Brexit economy and benefit organisations like Piperdam Golf and Leisure Resort
The Daily Express recently covered the story that post-Brexit Britain could be in line for a £27 billion boost to the economy in 2020 as British people lean towards ‘staycations’ instead of holidaying abroad. This comes off the back of a study from Caterers.com where they report 70 per cent of those surveyed in the UK are planning on holidaying in this country throughout the year. With the average person taking two holidays a year, this could provide a strong cash injection to UK places of interest.
The Parliamentary Review engaged with the CEO of Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort David Copley and finance director Donna Copley to get their take on the topic of ‘staycations’ and their impact on the industry. As a background, Piperdam are based just outside Dundee, employ 158 people and receive over 9,000 visitors and clients a year; so certainly well placed to comment on the trend. In their best practice editorial for the Review they wrote:
“Piperdam Holiday parks are a sector of the leisure industry that has changed relatively little since its inception at the turn of the 20th century. It has survived economic fluctuations and thrived during the global financial crisis of 2008. During this period, the market rediscovered the joys and benefits of the newly termed ‘staycation’. It has been boosted by its nature as an alternative to the painful experience of air travel. A market woke up and realised that what it wanted was under its nose all along.
“There have been a few developments over the years, like the addition of electricity and running water and a slight increase to the size of basic accommodation. The technological advances of the last 20 years, however, have made little impact. Wifi is still a luxury in this rural industry. Situated on the edge of the regenerated city of Dundee, we are benefiting from investment in the area. The new V&A museum cost £80 million, and the redevelopment of the waterfront required an investment in the area of £1 billion. We offer short-break holidays, typically three or four nights, and, following the investment in Dundee, this accommodation is highly sought after.”
Reflecting on why holiday parks are so popular, they continued:
“Holiday parks are about people. We are part of Coppergreen Developments, and the aim of our group is to raise the overall quality of available holidays. We achieve this through training and empowering our staff, ensuring that they deliver exceptional customer service. The focus of this is to ensure that every member of staff understands the importance of the customer journey. Employees are our most expensive resource and our most valuable asset.
“There are roughly 4,500 holiday parks in the UK, with less than 10 per cent in the hands of big businesses. The remainder are owned by individuals of varying backgrounds, including farmers, retirees and travellers. We aim to set ourselves apart by drawing from the professionalism of other industries, like hotels and restaurant chains, where a high and consistent level of service is delivered.”
It will be interesting to look back on the immediate impact on Brexit on the UK holiday and leisure industry in a few years to see if this is a long-term trend.