Think Spring is giving way to Summer this weekend. Either way, I decided the climatic conditions were not right for me to run the London Marathon.
Am also preparing for a couple of trips at the moment so have been at home. One evening Faye and I decided to pop out to the cinema and see “The Leisure Seeker” starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland.
An ageing couple decide to jump into their very old and much loved Winnebago and travel down the Florida Quays and get to Ernest Hemingway’s house.
We loved it but it is not a film for the faint hearted and it is far from an easy watching light entertainment night out.
#motorhomes, Brian Morgan, camc, caravan and motorhome club, Caravan Times, Christopher Macgowan, Glasgow, Jamie Taylor, Manchester, Matt Allwright, motorhome, motorhomenews, NEC, Nick Lomas, William Coleman
SOURCE: Caravan Times
Interview Exclusive With CAMCs Head Of Communications And Events
By William Coleman
Last week I ventured up to Manchester to the Caravan and Motorhome show to speak first hand with senior members of the Caravan and Motorhome Club about what they had in store for their members during 2018.
So with both the Scottish and Birmingham NEC Caravan and Motorhome shows only a handful of weeks away I wanted to speak with The Club about how they prepare for the show and what it means to them to have such a presence. As an industry leading holiday provider I feel they do a great job with communicating with their customers, and the public in general. So here is my interview with CAMC’s very own Brian Morgan.
The Club always have such an impressive stand and presence at the shows. How far in advance does the planning start?
It’s an ongoing process, we exhibit at both NEC shows, Manchester and Glasgow, as well as a number of outdoor shows and events throughout the year. We are always in ‘show mode’!
What goes into making sure you have something for everyone at the show?
We make sure we have details of all Club products and services available for show visitors, we can help them from the very first stages with inspiring them to choose the right leisure vehicle for their touring group, to sharing ideas of where they could have their adventures and giving them help and advice along each step of the way and, of course, make their actual holiday bookings for them. Our show staff have such a vast amount of knowledge and experience and they love being at the shows and talking to people. We really do have a great team, not only at the shows but at head office and throughout the site network.
It is quite clear that The Club invest heavily in listening to their members, how can members communicate with you so they are heard?
It’s really important for us to listen to our members to hear about what they want and need from us. We have our Club Together forum with over 400k registered users, our social platforms are a great way for members and future members to interact with us, we carry out regular research and surveys with our members to hear from them – first-hand – about their views. Our Magazine is also a great source of information for members. And, most importantly, we act upon this information we receive. We provide over 60 relevant member offers (everything from discounts on outdoor clothing, fuel discounts, unbeatable ferry offers), our ongoing sites investment programme, we represent the members views through parliamentary channels and other associated bodies such as Transport for London and the FIA to name but a few.
As Matt Allwright said at the Manchester show, ‘there’s nowhere our members haven’t been’ and we are keen to provide the platforms for members to share their knowledge and experiences as they, in turn, inspire others to have great adventures.
At the Manchester show you had Matt Allwright open the show and do a acoustic set with his band ‘The Walnuts’. Will we see Matt again in Birmingham this February?
Yes! Matt will be with us on Club Day (Tuesday 20 February), he will again be hosting a series of informative forums for show visitors. Matt is a Club member and really enjoys getting away with his family in his campervan.
The shows are a fantastic way for members, new and old, to have face to face interaction with key members of The Club. What aspect of meeting the public do you enjoy the most?
You will always find me at the front of the stand, encouraging people to come and say hi to our team. I really do enjoy that aspect of my job. It’s so important to get to meet and talk to people, face to face, you can’t beat it.
And lastly what can we expect from you guys at this years Glasgow or the NEC shows?
We are heading to Glasgow soon, it really is a terrific show. We will be opening the show on Club Day with our Director General, Nick Lomas, the show Director, Jamie Taylor, and there will be a performance for show visitors by a really talented local quartet called the Capella String Quartet, so if anyone is in the area, come and say hi. And then we are at the NEC, Matt Allwright will be with us and we will have an exciting announcement to make, so make sure you are there on Club Day!
Source: Caravan Times
Research by travel trade association ABTA* has revealed the UK is set to be British holidaymakers’ destination of choice in 2018, as 66% of the British population are already planning time away closer to home. Europe follows a close second with 63% planning to visit and 14% look to travel to North America.
2017 was a popular year for UK breaks, with British adults taking an average of 2.1 UK holidays: up on the previous year. Families with children aged five and over enjoyed 2.7 UK breaks and adults aged 35 to 44 ventured on 2.5 domestic vacations.
Research indicates that British spending on holidays will also increase, as a significant 31% are putting aside more money for their vacations in 2018. 47% are hoping to spend the same and just 14% plan to spend less.
Fresh figures from The Camping and Caravanning Club^ suggest the trend is already underway, reporting a 10% increase in bookings across its 106 club campsites for the 2018 season year-to-date versus 2017. The Caravan and Motorhome Club also supports the forecast+, announcing that 2017 was the best-ever year for tent camping, with a 13% increase compared to 2016 and its best-ever figures currently for winter camping. Leisure vehicle holidays were also up in 2017 with the club reporting an 11% growth in pitch nights over 2016 and a record November for touring caravan, motorhome and campervan stays.
Commenting on the rise of UK holidaying, Jenny Summers, Group Marketing Director of the NCC (National Caravan Council), the UK’s trade body for the tourer, motorhome and caravan holiday home industries said: “Sales of both motorhomes and caravans were up in 2017, with motorhome registrations rising by 14.9% and tourer factory dispatches to dealers increasing by 8.7%. This clearly demonstrates the continuing popularity of using a leisure vehicle to explore the UK and beyond.”
The growth of the British tourism industry augurs well for the NCC’s next event in February, the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018. A record-breaking 101,583 visitors attended its sister-show in October last year.
Taking place at Birmingham’s NEC between 20 and 25 February, the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018 brings together over 370 exhibitors and is the UK’s largest showcase of caravans, campervans, motorhomes, caravan holiday homes and lodges as well as new season tents, trailer tents and folding caravans.
The family-friendly event features a variety of holiday destinations and trip options. Show sponsor Freedom to Go is on hand to help visitors plan their next adventure and the leisure vehicle industry’s two largest clubs, The Camping and Caravanning Club and Caravan and Motorhome Club also provide advice and inspiration for all.
Tickets for the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018 are now available at www.ccmshow.co.uk and by phone on 0844 873 7333. Advance prices start from £7.00**, with children 15 and under entering free.
More people booked pitches in November 2017 than the same month a year ago according to The Caravan and Motorhome Club.
The club saw an 11% increase in pitches booked during November this year by caravan, motorhome and campervan owners. The same is happening with campers who booked 13% more tent pitches than in November 2016.
Club marketing director, Harvey Alexander, said:
“Our members love an adventure whatever the time of year, and we are here to help and inspire them. Our Sites have fantastic facilities and over 50 of them are open all year round.”
“We also have an extensive five-van site network – Certificated Locations (CLs) – so the range of Sites and CLs enables members to enjoy the best of the UK countryside or explore some of our most vibrant cities throughout the seasons.”
With ‘record-breaking’ bookings in the summer months too, the club’s figures highlight the growing popularity of holidaying in the UK.
Like so many motorhomers I am continually looking for places to park and my latest successes have been around Starbucks outlets – mostly their drive through outlets which understandably have extra parking. Needless to say the drive through bit is no good but the rest is fine.
On the subject of coffee outlets (not parking!) keep an eye on Tim Hortons. It is Canada’s – I used to live in Canada so have a soft spot for that wonderful country – most successful coffee chain and it has started opening outlets in the UK. Well worth a try.
Tim Hortons was founded by its namesake, a top professional ice hockey player, who wanted to create a space where everyone would feel at home. Now one of Canada’s most iconic brands, nearly eight out of 10 cups of coffee sold across Canada are served at Tim Hortons and more than 5.3 million Canadians – approximately 15 per cent of the population – visit the café daily.
On the subject of parking (not coffee!) I find the majority of garden centres welcome me – and these days most of them have a café offering Andrew J Ditton style outrageous cakes and things I should resist.
One of my daughters recently hired a motorhome so that she and her husband could attend a music festival in some comfort. After talking with a couple of companies and discussing what they wanted, why and for how long they settled on a Midlands based outfit, paid the £800 hire and £1250 deposit.
All went well; they had a great time at the festival and the motorhome was returned to the hire company where it was checked over for any mishaps or damage and there was none. Some days later my daughter chased them up for the return of their deposit. She was told the contract she had signed specified a deposit return in 28 days. She was a tad surprised and at the 28 day mark she called again.
Only to be told this time it was actually 28 working days (effectively six weeks) “at which point you can write to us to apply to have the deposit returned.”
“To apply to have my own deposit returned?” she said incredulously.
These terms seem utterly oppressive and unreasonable to the point my daughter thinks it highly likely there will be a huge battle to get the money returned in full. I hope she’s wrong.
It’s got me thinking in the meantime. I often say to friends who are thinking of buying a motorhome and particularly caravanners who are thinking of going over to the Dark Side that a one week hire really would be an excellent idea before taking the plunge. Now I am thinking that I need to add they need to find a reputable hire company with a more friendly attitude and less oppressive terms.