TIMED slots for check-in, one-way paths and ordering food on an app – these are just a few of the changes waiting for guests at Haven holiday parks this summer.
The travel company owns 36 caravan parks across the UK – many of which host Sun £9.50 hols – and have had to overhaul their properties in order to abide by new social distancing and hygiene rules.
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They are hoping to open to guests from July 3, provided the government has eased lockdown rules surrounding holiday accommodation.
Holiday parks and campsites in the UK are expected to enjoy a surge in popularity when they are finally allowed to open this summer, thanks to the low risk they pose of spreading the virus compared to hotels.
But they still have a number of hoops to jump through in order to make sure guests stay safe.
Haven’s Director of Guest and Proposition, Gerard Tempest told Sun Online Travel: “The experience has changed from when guests first arrive at the park.
“They will be given an allocated time for arrival, so that we can meet them at the gate and allow them to bypass reception – taking them straight to their caravan where they will be given their set of keys and a welcome pack.
“Getting around will change too – in the same way that you have one way aisles at the supermarket, we’ll have that on a much bigger scale in the park."
He continued: “When it comes to cleaning, we’ll have new teams of cleaning who are regularly cleaning high-touch areas like door handles and we’ll also provide PPE to the teams cleaning the caravans.
“Once they have finished cleaning it for a new guest, we will seal the caravan across the door and we will tell guests that if the seal is broken they should not enter.”
An integral part of the Haven holiday experience is the pools, playgrounds, dining and entertainment offerings, but with the government guidelines still unclear on how these will reopen, they are offering guests a stripped-back break this year.
The new 'Hideaway' breaks are heavily discounted, but they won't include access to swimming pools, pubs, restaurants and kids' play areas, entertainment or activities.
The new stripped-back holidays are being organised in case the parks have to abide by strict social distancing measures, which would mean that only certain amounts of people are allowed in restaurants, pools and play areas at any given time.
Anyone who has already booked a Haven holiday for this year, before the discounted Hideaway version was launched, will be allowed access to the restaurants, pools and play areas if they have been allowed to open by the government.
Haven Hideaway deals for autumn include a four-night stay for £65, while seven nights in the summer start from £280 per family.
Mini markets will still be open for Hideaway breaks, along with launderettes and the option for takeaway food – ordered on an app on your phone, with guests then given an allocated time to go and collect their meal from a hatch.
While the year has been tough so far for holiday businesses, Haven are hoping that the pandemic could help them attract a new kind of customer when they are finally allowed to open – especially with the new hideaway offering.
According to a new survey, just 21 per cent of the millennial generation were interested in a coastal getaway in the UK before coronavirus struck, but now they are the ones most likely to book a UK beach break
Mr Tempest said: “We are seeing a lot of the kinds of people who have not really considered holiday parks in the past, those who had a misconception that they are still the same as when my grandparents had a caravan on the coast.
“That is not the case – they have moved on enormously and people will ask themselves why they hadn’t considered this before.”
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