5 things we learnt from the BH&HPA conference

Yesterday I was in London for the British Holiday and Home Parks Association (BH&HPA) annual conference.

Holiday and residential site owners from all over Britain gathered in Westminster to share ideas, hear the latest developments in the industry and discuss future trends, opportunities and threats for the tourism sector.

The presentations were both informative and diverse; featuring speakers from the tourism industry, politics and music.

Ros Pritchard, director general of the BH&HPA, concluded her talk with the observation that “these are fascinating times” for the sector and I would have to agree.

Strong demand for new tourism design projects is something we’ve been seeing in our business over the last two years.

Here are five positive things I brought away from the conference:

1. The tourism sector is very optimistic. This was reflected by the feedback we received from a number of site owners who are encouraged about bookings for the forthcoming season. In our own business we’ve also noted an increase in enquiries for holiday home park design projects.

2. The Tourism Alliance report that inbound Tourism is up by 10% due to a number of factors. Some areas of domestic tourism are up (holidays), others are down (visiting friends and relatives and business travel).

3. The government’s flagship Industrial Strategy includes tourism, which means that the industry is being taken seriously at the highest levels. The aims of the strategy are to improve skills, extend the season, improve connectivity and use tourism to regenerate former tourism areas and bolster existing ones.

4. Tourism is overtaking agriculture in some areas. The Tourism Alliance reported that in some rural parts of the UK, tourism is more important to the local economy than agriculture.

5. There are many things to celebrate in the UK’s tourism industry. There were calls from a number of presenters for the delegates to champion good practice within the sector, and be ambassadors for the industry. There are a lot of good things to celebrate in the industry; amazing countryside to visit, great sites to stay at and also the ecomonic benefits to local communities.

Written by Richard Wooldridge, director, Harrison Pitt Architects

Our team of leisure and hotel architects specialise in designing buildings and projects for a wide range of tourism sectors, including home and holiday parks, caravan parks, hotels, restaurants and hospitality businesses.

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