UK holidays: Local lockdowns won’t see Britons ‘lose out’ on money if they have to cancel | Travel News | Travel
In recent weeks the Government has dropped new localised lockdowns across the nation in line with its new “three-tier system”. Yet, it could be a cause for devastation for holidaymakers who had planned to enjoy an Autumn or winter staycation with loved ones they do not live with.
With international travel unpredictable amid ever-changing “travel corridors”, many Britons have opted for a staycation in the coming months.
Thanks to this increase in demand, holiday parks across the country have opted to extend their season into the colder months.
One such park is Park Holidays, who operate 31 holiday destinations across the southern coast of England.
“The demand we have seen since parks were able to re-open has been unprecedented,” Tony Clish, UK director for Park Holidays told Express.co.uk.
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Despite this, Park Holidays says that it will ensure customers “will not lose out”.
“There are many circumstances that would necessitate the cancellation of a holiday either by our guests or by us if any of our parks are located in an area which is forced to implement a local lockdown,” said Mr Clish.
“We think it is important to reassure customers that they will not lose out whatever the reason so plans can be made and a sense of normality maintained.”
He continued: “It is difficult to predict where and when the local lockdowns are introduced so customers wanting to secure a holiday or short break will look for operators with the best guarantees in the event that holiday or travel plans are affected by government restrictions.
“Park Holidays UK automatically covers all guests with a coronavirus guarantee which offers either a full refund, paid promptly or the choice or rebooking for another date.”
While the first national lockdown was almost catastrophic for the UK domestic tourism industry, Mr Clish says holiday providers are in a much better position to protect themselves this time around.
“The demand for holidays after the first lockdown has enabled us to undo some of the damage caused by the lockdown,” he explained.
“Well run businesses should have been able to bounce back quickly if they had used the time during lockdown to properly prepare their parks for the safe return of their guests.
“Our industry body, the BH&HPA has worked hard during lockdown to help parks prepare themselves for a safe re-opening and provide reassurance to the government that holidays parks were well prepared to open.”
Of course, this does not mean that all parks will be able to weather the storm if faced with a sudden onslaught of cancellations.
“There will be an impact for some parks where customers come in large numbers from affected areas although, for most major holiday parks, the main season draws to close after the half-term at the end of October so the impact will be much smaller than the national lockdown seen during the summer,” added Mr Clish.
“Park Holidays UK is unlikely to be affected too much as our parks are all located away from the higher risk areas.”
Holidaymakers who are still able to go on their planned staycation can also do so in the knowledge that health and hygiene measures have been successfully ramped up.
“Our parks have a very strict set of health and safety protocols and we inform our guests of these guidelines both before they arrive and throughout their stay,” explained Mr Clish.
“We have also produced information videos and developed apps to help with areas such as food ordering in our restaurants to reduce the risk of close contact and maintain social distancing.”
Despite the misery lockdowns have brought, Mr Clish holds hopes for the future, and thinks there may even be some benefits for UK domestic holidays.
“Like all businesses, we look forward to life returning to normal although we do think that the last 7 months has provided the opportunity for a large proportion of the population to realise just how much the British coast and countryside can offer,” he said.
“In the long term, we believe that more and more brits will choose to stay in the UK and explore their own country instead of travelling abroad so maybe we will see some positives from the pandemic in the future?”