Why holiday parks are the lowest risk option as Culture Secretary declares them front of the queue

As lockdown restrictions ease across the country, the race is on to book a summer holiday or mini break, and with uncertainly and concerns about safety impacting consumer confidence, UK holiday parks are being held up as one of the safest options according to a leading independent travel risk expert.

Lloyd Figgins, Chairman of the Travel Risk & Incident Prevention (TRIP) Group explains why holiday parks are such a low risk option in the current climate: “Booking a caravan or cabin at a holiday park has so many advantages which allow tourists to enjoy a holiday, while being able to comply with the government’s COVID-19 recommendations. For a start, social distancing can be maintained as each unit has its own plot, allowing you and your family to avoid coming into contact with those outside your bubble. As opposed to hotels, you won’t have to do the two metre shuffle as you walk down a corridor to get to your room.

“With everything included within the four walls of your holiday park rental your holiday can be exactly as safe as being at home. There’s also the advantage that many holiday parks are situated in stunning locations, allowing you to get outside and enjoy the countryside or nearby beach, while still being able to maintain social distancing.”

UK holiday park operator Bridge Leisure, who own nine holiday parks across the country have been talking to the TRIP Group about the steps they are taking to make their parks as safe as possible for owners and holidaymakers when they return.

Andrew Howe, CEO of Bridge Leisure said: “Safety is paramount, and no one wants to do anything to put anyone at risk. We have been working hard behind the scenes with our sector’s trade associations to ensure owners and holiday makers can enjoy our parks knowing we have put measures in place to keep them safe. The TRIP Group are critical partners to us and believe that the very nature of holiday parks and the steps we have taken make them a safe and low risk option for those wanting to get away.

“We have always talked about our holiday parks being a home away from home and that’s why they provide such a good option for people who are nervous about going on holiday again. We are ready to welcome people back to our parks as soon as we get the go ahead from Government, but people will need to be prepared that some things will have changed since they last stayed at a holiday park.”

“We will be offering a contact free check in procedure, we can offer takeaway services, our park shops can open replicating all the safety precautions you will see in your local supermarkets and we have various options for table service and app ordering in our bars and restaurants when it is safe to open them again. The important thing is that the self-contained accommodation on a holiday park provides a safe place for family and friends to reunite once again and explore the fantastic locations surrounding the parks. It really is the same as being at home but with a different view out of the window.”

With a boom expected for UK holidays in the coming weeks, Figgins warns that there is still some way to go before consumer confidence will return: He added: “Confidence among travellers is already at an all-time low, with many experts predicting that travel will not get back to pre-COVID figures until a vaccine is found. If a vaccine is found. Remember that no vaccine has ever been developed for SARS or MERS, which are also Coronaviruses, so we perhaps need to start looking at ways to live with COVID-19, rather than wait for a cure.

“Holiday parks offer tourists the opportunity for a low-risk, high-reward break. I would have no hesitation in choosing a vacation at a holiday park and I think it offers the best option for those looking to get away safely and having that change of scenery we all need and deserve as lockdown measures are eased. The sooner they are open the better.”