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Social Distancing Glamping

Adventure & Glamping Centre hopes Family Adventures will save the summer

A Herefordshire business which has doubled in size over the last 8 years has seen a catastrophic drop in revenue due to the pandemic.

Oaker Wood Leisure specializes in school activity camps and activity days and were about to embark on their busiest summer season to date when the gates of the site were shut at the start of lock down on the 23rd March.

“From mid March to 20th July when schools break up is our busiest time of the year” explained MD and owner David Davies. “We had spent the winter months, investing in the site, building a new shower block, enhancing our activities and training staff ready for the season to kick off, when, like the whole of the Tourism and hospitality sector, the tap was simply turned off. We spent the weeks of lock down transferring peoples bookings and making refunds.”

Many school bookings have transferred where possible to the Autumn but even that is now looking uncertain as it is unclear whether school trips will take place, even if travel for tourism in general is permitted.

The business also offers stag and hen weekends combining Glamping with outdoor activities. All weekends to date this year have been postponed or cancelled and many booked for July onwards have asked to transfer as the wedding is now postponed.

The Government furlough scheme is currently keeping the company afloat but once the employer has to contribute to staff costs from August on it is likely some staff will be made redundant. “and that is what hurts me the most” explains Mr. Davies, “many of the staff have worked for me for many years, some started as students in their university holidays and then became full time members of staff at the end of their course, others are family members. Staff is what makes a company like this, when you read our Trip Advisor reviews it is the staff, and the fantastic service they offer, that ensure we have such a high level of returning customers.”

The company has had to think quickly on its feet to see how it can ensure at least some income in 2020. Oaker Wood is now promoting Family Glamping, where extended family groups, or groups of 2 or 3 families can book an entire woodland Glamping Village to themselves. The Glamping Villages lend themselves perfectly to social distancing as each family unit has their own pod and can be allocated their own shower/ toilet. Each Glamping Village has its own fire circle and fully equipped kitchen/ dining hut but. Because it  is all in the great outdoors it is easy for different family units to maintain a social distance while still enjoying each others company.

With many families unable to take a holiday abroad demand for UK accommodation is going to be high and so Oaker Wood is already seeing an increase in web site visits and enquiries both for Glamping & Activities.

It is going to be impossible to recover the lost months though and will take several years to bring the company back to where they were in March 2020.

Further information:

info@oakerwoodleisure.co.uk

01568 780111 (office only open limited hours)

 


  • Social Distancing Glamping

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