Bourne Leisure’s trade business rose 5.3% in 2018, thanks to the growing popularity of domestic breaks, along with investments in its products and agency partnerships.

The company said 2019 is off to a “strong start”, with January already showing a 3.2% year-on-year increase in sales.

Rising demand for staycations meant that all three Bourne Leisure brands – Butlin’s, Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels – saw an increase in guests.

Together, the Bourne Leisure brands reported a record-breaking four million guests in 2018, and early figures show 2019 is ahead year-on-year.

Erman Housein (pictured), head of trade sales and marketing, said: “We’re delighted to have smashed our revenue targets in 2018 – it shows the strength of the UK trade in selling staycations and the popularity of the domestic market.

“Bourne Leisure’s three brands have invested heavily in improvements. The investment levels speak for themselves and we will continue to ensure the brands lead both the family and over-50s markets.

“The UK trade are hugely important to Bourne Leisure’s overall success and the fact that we saw such a phenomenal performance in 2018, and have started 2019 in such a strong position, is testament to our efforts in engaging and interacting with agents across the UK.”

Investments at Butlin’s include a £40 million pool at the Bognor Regis resort, which will open in April, plus £6 million spent on refurbishments to accommodation at its three resorts in Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness.

Haven will invest almost £100 million across its 37 holiday park sites, including a multi-millionpound water park at Seashore Holiday Park and an indoor activity area at Craig Tara Holiday Park.

Meanwhile, Warner Leisure Hotels reported that it welcomed 500,000 guests in 2018, with the rising numbers attributed to the popularity of its music festival weekends.

Almost £10 million was invested in refurbishments and restorations last year, and more investment is planned for 2019.

Studley Castle Hotel will open in March following its £50 million, three-year renovation.

The chain has just bought Heythrop Park, which will open as a Warner Leisure Hotel property in 2020.

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