North Devon holiday parks report successful summer

Operators of some of North Devon’s biggest holiday parks and campsites say they have enjoyed a bumper season, despite the patchy weather.

Wollacombe Bay Holiday Park and John Fowler Holidays said they enjoyed a “tremendous” summer season, reported the North Devon Gazette.

Park bosses put the success down to post-Brexit uncertainty making domestic tourism” hugely attractive”.

Kevin Darvill, sales and marketing director of Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks, said the park had even managed to better last year’s ‘brilliant’ performance after a large investment.
He said: “Our bookings for accommodation were up 2.6 per cent – that may not sound a lot but as we run at circa 99 per cent occupancy every summer then there’s not a lot of extra room for growth.

“Because of that we saw guests book earlier than before to secure their place and so we had to turn many last minute bookers away as we simply did not have any accommodation left.

“Camping and touring customers were not put off by the odd spot of rain with bookings up 11 per cent on last year,” he added.

John Fowler Holidays recorded a 26 per cent increase in visitor numbers this year across its North Devon parks, compared with 2015.

All local sites have been fully booked for the school holiday period and the park’s Cathie Higgs said there had been a rise in numbers for the ‘shoulder’ periods, with June and September proving popular.

Fistral beach in summer Credit: Dune Dreams PhotographyRise in visitor numbers despite the weather

North Devon Marketing Bureau chairman Trevor Stanbury said the despite some patchy weather in the region it hadn’t deterred visitor from flocking to the region.

“It’s been mixed weather-wise but has never really spoilt people’s holidays; I think people accept the weather is changeable and the fact that we’ve had a few wet ones hasn’t put people off coming here on holiday,” he said.

“North Devon has a huge mix of attractions – big and small; the visitors we have spoken to have had cracking holidays here.

“Overall it’s been a good season; there have been some areas that haven’t done so well if we’re being honest and we really do need to get our marketing act together to compete with the others.”

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