Developed to meet the needs of the UK leisure and holiday park sector, this new event allowed professionals to share knowledge and extend their network.
Last month saw the launch of the inaugural holiday and leisure park development forum (hlpd), developed to showcase new innovations and best practice in this exciting and growing sector.
The vibrant, interactive format of the hlpd forum proved the ideal networking environment to discuss trends and to share ideas about creating holiday experiences that delight visitors and encourage them to come back for more.
The event featured an inspiring speaker programme spanning a wide range of topics from managing sustainable growth, creating destinations that inspire and key trends in the sector. The speaker line up included:
• Jamie Christon, chief operating officer of Chester Zoo, who talked about the zoo’s the last six years and how the organisation is planning for its future growth into the next decade. As the UK’s number one zoo, Chester has seen unprecedented development since 2013 and is on course to welcome 2 million visitors in 2019, its highest number ever.
• Matt Cartwright, founding director of Twelve Architects, focused on the redevelopment of the Grade II listed Bodmin Jail in Cornwall. Cartwright explained the vision to return this much understated heritage asset of national importance to its former glory, and in so doing make it a leading visitor attraction and hotel. He took the audience through the design, which retains and enhances the unique atmosphere and sense of history that exists in the ruins. He explained how derelict cell blocks will house the hotel accommodation and part of the museum.
• Paul Hardingham, UK managing director of Landal GreenParks, presented the current consumer holidaying trends and how to satisfy them through product innovation and the sustainable evolution of UK holidays.
• Nathan Goodyear, director of property & Development, The Camping and Caravanning Club, gave an interesting overview of the journey, approach, success and learning following the first five years after the introduction of glamping – the Club operates 48 glamping locations across the UK.
• Nicole Lazarus, head of One Planet Living at Bioregional, gave an insightful account of how Leisure destinations and holiday park developers are using One Planet Living to provide their guests with a great experience of a sustainable, climate-crisis-free future.
• Peter Gamble, senior partner at Holder Mathias Architects, spoke about how the design of high-quality accommodation, new guest facilities and the imaginative re-modelling of existing assets can contribute to enhancing guest experience and extend the season.
• Neil James, project manager of West Midland Safari Park, explained how the safari park’s investment strategy will focuses on upgrading the animal facilities as well as improving the overall guest experience. New facilities will include outdoor pools and enrichment areas for animals and the introduction of eight exclusive, luxury lodges introducing the opportunity for guests to stay overnight, giving them an up-close and personal experience like no other.
Attended by operators, clients, architects, contractors, project managers, consultants and the suppliers of leisure and holiday park products and services, the hlpd forum offered tailored one-to-one business meetings providing the opportunity to meet with the most innovative suppliers as well as the opportunity to network with fellow professionals.
Here’s what a few of them had to say:
• The mix of meetings and specialist presentations was just right, the delegates drinks evening before was useful to establish good contacts with peers and the speakers were excellent.
Andrew Davis Partnership
• A very enjoyable and worthwhile experience. A very new market place for all and the start of something special.
S & C Slatter
• I wasn’t sure what to expect but really enjoyed it and learnt a lot.
• A good opportunity to see new innovative concepts being considered, destination concepts and future developments.
• I had a really productive two days. During the process I was booking meetings with suppliers I wouldn’t have otherwise known about, and likewise they wouldn’t have had information about our projects. The format works really well and the opportunities to network in a professional environment are plentiful.
West Midlands Safari Park
With more than 3,000 holiday parks and resorts in the UK, changing holiday patterns and growing numbers looking to take mini-breaks in the UK, it’s an exciting time for the holiday and leisure park sector. Stable Events looks forward to welcoming you to the hlpd forum in 2020.