Rob Ganley
Group editor

See other Blog articles filed in ‘Travel and touring’ written by Rob Ganley
   
Our April issue of Practical Motorhome is now on sale, and it comes with this free copy of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association’s (BH&HPA) guide to over 2000 of Britain’s best independent campsites.

General 1

 

Our April issue of Practical Motorhome is now on sale, and it comes with this free copy of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association’s (BH&HPA) guide to over 2000 of Britain’s best independent campsites.

 

And today I’m at the BH&HPA’s conference in Kenilworth. First, what is the BH&HPA? It’s a trade body that looks after the interests of the British parks industry, and its members are the owners and managers of most of Britain’s campsites – which no doubt includes favourites of yours and mine.

 

What happens at the conference? Over two days, there’s a bunch of seminars separated with tea breaks and a spot of shoulder-rubbing with big names in the campsite industry.

 

OK, so I’d rather be on the road in a motorhome like I was last month for my trip to Picardy (see our April issue Grand Tour for more on this), but it’s certainly not dull and I’ve gleaned a few gems of information.

 

Tory MP John Penrose, the Minister for Tourism and Heritage, took to the stage to make a David Cameron-style, no-notes speech. He revealed £100m plans to attract foreign tourists to the UK, lamented how rubbish Britain is at talking up its own attractions as a holiday destination, and beat the Big Society drum with talk about ‘stronger local tourism’ bodies and ‘destination management organisations'.

 

When one representative from Lincolnshire – which they claimed has the highest concentration of caravans in Europe – complained their county council had pulled the plug on tourism and transport funding, he seemed unfazed and proposed a cooperative of local businesses go and tell them they’d made a mistake.

 

In other seminars, there were plenty of interesting stats that point to a growing love of our hobby and the great outdoors.

 

Go Outdoors, the outdoor equipment retailer, saw sales rise 57% to £114.9m in the year to Jan 30, 2011 – and it plans to open 10 new stores a year for the next two years.

 

In research of 7300 caravans and motorhomes to UK sites in 2010, 85% of those surveyed said they’d return to the site in future, and that the most important thing a site had to get right was to have a friendly, welcoming staff, and for the park to be clean and well maintained. Agreed!

 

Research among a 1400-strong customer panel of site visitors revealed they spent around £50-£55 per night in the local economy – and that doesn’t include pitch fees!

 

If any of us needs reminding how important we are to the British economy in these trying financial times, this is concrete proof that we’re doing our bit by enjoying regular weekend and longer tours here in the UK. And if you’re at a loss as to where to stay on your next tour, take a look at the book we’ve published free with our April issue, or visit the BH&HPA’s site.

 

Rob Ganley, editor

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent motorhome reviews

The Practical Motorhome Chausson Flash 530 – 1 - You can get the 2017 Chausson Flash 530 on the Ford Transit (as tested) or on the Fiat Ducato (© Alf Alderson/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome 2017 Elddis Autoquest 195 review – 1 - The 2017 Elddis Autoquest 195 has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome La Strada Regent L review – 1 - The German van converter with an Italian name is back in the UK after many years – and the Regent L is one of La Strada's flagship models (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Wingamm Micros-Plus review – 1 - The slick GRP bodyshell sits well with the Volkswagen T6 base vehicle – the Micros-Plus is priced from £62,000 OTR (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Autocruise Select 184 review – 1 - The Autocruise Select 184 is priced from £39,885 OTR, however our test ’van had a price tag of £44,570 (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Hymer B-Class DynamicLine 588 review – 1 - This four-berth Hymer motorhome costs from £73,500 OTR, £85,128 as tested (© Nick Harding/Practical Motorhome)