How to start a camping or holiday park
With the pound at almost record lows against the Euro, and not faring much better against other global currencies, overseas holiday makers have been hit hard in the pocket. This has, though, seen an upsurge in UK holidays as much of the nation chooses a ‘staycation’ instead. Good news for all those domestic hoteliers, guest house owners and holiday park proprietors. And what a great time to be setting up in the tourism industry. So, perhaps this is an opportune moment to investigate how to start a camping or holiday park.
First things first, you’ve got to choose the right location. You won’t find many inner city camping sites, nor will you find them in the heart of an industrial town. Campers and caravanners tend to prefer open spaces, woodlands or seaside views, all of which is really worth considering if you’re wondering how to start a camping or holiday park.
The next item on your ‘how to start a camping or holiday park’ checklist is on the facilities themselves. Most campsites will have the basic amenities such as toilets, showers and running water. Ramp it up a gear, though, and you might want to consider opening a shop that sells food, drink, newspapers and toiletries. Perhaps you’ll offer fresh food yourself, or arrange for mobile catering businesses to visit on a regular basis. And at the top of the scale, especially if you’re going for the full on ‘glamping’ experience, you’ll need to cater for customers who are more used to Prosecco, Prosciutto and all out pampering.
What else should be on the list of how to start a camping or holiday park? Well you need to decide what type of visitor you want to attract. Families will definitely want facilities to keep the children amused, whether that’s a playground, a swimming pool or evening entertainment. On the other hand, couples and retirees looking for a peaceful getaway will want a quieter spot away from raucous kids or any domestic noise. It’s difficult to appeal to all tastes, unless you’re lucky enough to have secured several acres. So it could be wise to decide early on what your ideal camper looks like, and then offer them exactly what they need. Being niche and having a distinct USP can work in your favour.
Owning a camping or holiday park, like most leisure businesses for sale, can be a bit of a lifestyle choice. But it’s a business nonetheless, and one that will need to turn a profit to stay afloat. So, what you’ll really want to know is how to start a camping or holiday park and fill your reservation book as quickly as possible. And that means setting aside funds for plenty of advertising to begin with. What’s more, if marketing isn’t your strongest suit, then you’d be wise to pay for some professionals to get you started. You’ll need a decent website, of course, as well as the ubiquitous social media profiles to begin to amass as many reviews as possible.
How to start a camping or holiday park is one thing, how to keep it going is another. This is definitely a seasonal business and, unless the climate really changes in this country, your bookings will dwindle in winter and over New Year. So budget accordingly and make sure you have the means to advertise in the quiet season, as that’s when most of your bookings will be made.
If your heart is set on this, and you’re keen to learn more about how to start a camping or holiday park, there is plenty more research you can do. You’ve probably been on a few camping holidays yourself, and will know what made some of them more pleasurable than others. Pick out the best bits and put them to use in your own venture. And if you can’t find the perfect location to start a new camping or holiday park, you could always browse through many of the existing businesses for sale here.