Center Parcs is considering opening its first park in Ireland as it insisted that its fifth English park would be its “last” in the UK.
The resort operator is due to open its £250 million Woburn Forest park to guests on June 6, and said it was confident that it would continue to deliver occupancy rates in the high 90s per cent despite the additional capacity.
Speaking at a preview event this weekend, chief executive Martin Dalby insisted Center Parcs would not be opening any more UK properties, but admitted that Ireland remained “quite attractive” as a future location.
“We have been totally focused on opening Woburn, and in terms of the future we don’t believe there is (scope for) a sixth park in the UK,” he said.
Dalby told Travel Weekly that Center Parcs had no plans to change its distribution model to include trade sales. Customers currently have to book either via the operator’s own call centre or its website, with 83% of bookings made online.
“We don’t use travel trade and we don’t use anyone else but ourselves,” he added.
Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire was selected due to its proximity to London, and Dalby said that the new resort would ensure Center Parcs had properties in all areas of England.
Existing resorts are located in Cumbria, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk and Wiltshire.
The new resort features more than 600 lodges, a 75-bedroom hotel and a two-storey spa in addition to a range of restaurants and leisure facilities including the company’s largest swimming complex.
Dalby said occupancy rates for the previous 12 months stood at 97.2%, with 40% of bookings “in the bag” for the coming 12 months and summer bookings in line with last year.
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