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Holiday parks push button on £20m staycation spend

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New leisure centres, swimming pools, landscaping projects and children's activities are also being developed as advance bookings recently reached a new record peak.

Park Holidays UK is investing more than £20 million in its 30-plus parks this year as families seek top-end experiences in the UK as an alternative to going abroad.

The company's shopping list includes an order for 350 luxury-grade caravan holiday homes which has been placed with British manufacturers, hard-hit by the pandemic.

New leisure centres, swimming pools, landscaping projects and children's activities are also being developed as advance bookings recently reached a new record peak.

"We're braced for the busiest season in our thirty year history, and we're determined to give guests and holiday home owners the best possible time," said director Tony Clish.

"Bookings across our parks tell us that we'll not be waiting until summer before the holiday year starts in earnest – spring is already looking like peak season.

"News of parks re-opening on 12 April, the ban on overseas travel, and the success of the vaccine roll-out has given an extra shot in the arm to the UK's tourism industry.

"That's why our board of directors has authorised a spend of more than £20 million on hundreds of top-grade accommodation units, and new guest facilities.

"Our aim is always to constantly raise the bar on both the quantity and the quality of what our parks provide to people on both short breaks and longer stays.

"This is especially important to us now because many bookings are coming from families who took a staycation with us in 2020, perhaps for the first time in years.

"They clearly enjoyed the experience, so we want to welcome them and everyone back with facilities and attractions which will prove that UK holidays really are unbeatable," said Mr Clish.

Work is almost complete, he said, on a new £2 million pool at Dovercourt Holiday Park in Harwich, and a £1 million entertainments venue at West Mersea Holiday Park on Essex's Mersea Island.

Mr Clish added that sales of holiday homes are also rocketing, and that more than 200 new luxury lodges, villas and holiday caravans have just been released on new park developments.

Formed 30 years ago, Park Holidays UK has its headquarters in Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex, and in high season employs some 1,600 full and part-time staff.

Family holidays in 2021, which start from £98.00 for four nights for up to six people, include free entertainment and use of all the park's leisure facilities including pools.

Holiday homes to  own start from £14,995, and with most of the group's parks open 11.5 months of the year provide opportunities for short breaks and longer stays throughout the four seasons.

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