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Britain’s Favourite Seaside Holiday
|Headquarters||Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK|
Number of locations
|36 caravan parks in UK|
|John Dunford, Chief Executive
|Products||Caravan holiday parks
|Revenue||£271.1 million (2010)|
|£35.2 million (2010)|
|£25.6 million (2010)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Bourne Leisure Limited|
Haven Holidays owns and operates 36 family holiday parks, providing caravan, touring and camping facilities across the UK in predominantly coastal locations. Haven provides touring holiday facilities at 24 of the 36 holiday parks it operates, with 15 of these also offering camping pitches for tents and a further five offering pitches for trailer tents. Over the last ten years, a rolling investment programme has provided new accommodation, landscaping, spas, golf courses and adventure golf, as well as enhancements to some of the leisure pools with flumes, slides and Space Bowls.
Haven holidays is part of the Bourne Leisure Group who also own Warner Leisure Hotels and Butlins Resorts. The current company was created in November 2004, following the amalgamation of the British Holidays chain with the Haven Holidays chain, which parent company, Bourne Leisure, purchased from The Rank Group in 2000. It now entirely trades as Haven.
Although the Haven name is now used for the combined chain, the existing company is, in effect, a continuation of the previous company.
The current Haven chain is formed from a number of acquisitions by its former brand including Warner Holiday Camps (now trading as Warner Leisure Hotels), from the late 1980s. Haven wanted to distance itself from the old style camp sites which resulted in Haven investing millions of pounds in the sites it acquired and re-branded them as Holiday Parks. Over the years Haven also acquired many smaller independent Holiday Parks enabling the brand to offer a wide range of Holidays by categorising their park as All Action, Lively, Leisurely and Relaxing. After wanting to focus more on its gaming operations such as Mecca Bingo, the Rank Group decided to sell its holiday arm to Bourne Leisure, subsequently many of Haven's smaller parks were sold off and the British Holidays brand, ceased trading. Later all British Holiday Parks were re-branded as Haven.
In October 2000, Bourne Leisure purchased the Rank Group's UK leisure arm, Rank Leisure, for £700 million, which included the Haven, Butlins and Warner Leisure Hotels chains. At the time of acquisition, Rank Leisure's Haven Holidays operated 56 resorts, whilst British Holidays (already owned by Bourne Leisure) operated 22.
Bourne decided to retain larger operating units which accounted for approximately 85% of their customer flow, making it possible to upgrade the Haven parks to the same standard of the British Holidays chain.
Subsequently, the company disposed of 43 Haven and British Holidays resorts between 2001 and 2004. A number were sold to independent ventures and management buy-outs (for example, British Holidays' Lido Beach in Prestatyn, Clwyd). However a number of growing leisure chains acquired larger quantities of sites, including:
Park Resorts, a management buy-out backed by CBPE, acquired 12 freehold resorts from the Haven chain in 2001 (such as Cayton Bay in Scarborough, Yorkshire). Parkdean Holidays acquired three Haven and two British Holidays resorts in 2004 (such as Cherry Tree in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and Wemyss Bay in Renfrewshire, Scotland). Park Holidays UK, at the time known as Cinque Ports Leisure, purchased a further nine parks (such as Felixstowe Beach in Felixstowe, Suffolk). Far Grange Park & Golf Club, Skipsea, East Riding of Yorkshire, was purchased by Bourne Leisure in 2007, being the first acquisition by Bourne Leisure since Rank Leisure in 2000. The park appeared in the Haven 2008 holiday brochure, issued in November 2007. However it has since been removed and now trades as a separate entity to the Haven chain in the Bourne Leisure group.
In April 2015, Bourne Leisure purchased two more caravan parks, this time from Flamborough Holidays Ltd; both the Thornwick & Sea Farm Holiday Centre and Greenacre West caravan park. There are plans for the Thornwick & Sea Farm holiday centre's complex to be re developed for the 2016 season, along with it becoming a Haven park. The new Haven park will be known as 'Thornwick Bay'.
Following Bourne's acquisition of Rank Leisure, the company began integrating its Haven and British Holidays chains during a seven-year development phase. The individual brands "Haven Holidays" and "British Holidays" continued to trade individually until November 2004, when a final three Haven parks and two British Holidays resorts were disposed of, those being: Wemyss Bay, Pendine Sands, Cherry Tree, Warmwell and Torquay. These were relatively small parks, and Bourne Leisure eventually decided to sell these off, stating that they no longer fit well in the Haven and British Holidays brands. This reduced the number of parks in the British Holidays chain to 17 and the number of Haven parks to 18. At the same time, both brands merged as "Haven and British Holidays" and released a new brochure and website under that name. Eventually, in November 2007, the company ceased trading as "British Holidays" and the Haven name is now used throughout the chain; however, the British Holidays logo can still be seen in many old signs and materials at former British Holidays parks, and British Holidays' sun logo still continues to be used within various aspects of park branding such as the Funworks logo (which is also used at Butlins).
- Blackpool: Cala Gran, Marton Mere
- Lincolnshire: Golden Sands, Thorpe Park
- Northumberland: Berwick, Haggerston Castle
- Dorset: Littlesea, Weymouth Bay, Seaview Park, Rockley Park
- Kent: Allhallows
- Sussex: Combe Haven, Church Farm
- Scotland: Craig Tara, Seton Sands
- Essex: Orchards
- Norfolk: Caister-on-Sea, Hopton, Wild Duck, Seashore
- Cornwall: Perran Sands, Riviere Sands
- Yorkshire: Blue Dolphin, Primrose Valley, Thornwick Bay, Reighton Sands
- North Wales: Greenacres, Hafan y Mor, Presthaven
- South Wales: Kiln Park, Lydstep Beach, Penally Court, Quay West
- The Lakes: Lakeland
- Devon: Devon Cliffs
Activities and facilities
Activities and facilities across all parks use standardized branding introduced by British Holidays in 1998, including "Funworks" (main entertainment complex), "Showbar" or "Live Lounge" (family entertainment centre), "Boardwalk" (food court), Big Money (gambling arcade), "Foodworks" (fast food outlets; many now replaced by Burger King, Papa John's and other external brands), "Ropeworks" (high rope activity centre), "SplashZone" (swimming pools), "SportsZone" (sports activities), "Oasis" (restaurant and bar) and "FunZone" (outdoor family activity / playground areas). In addition, all parks have a general store branded as "Everydays" or "Essentials" (in the recent years, they were replaced by SPAR shops, though they still sell Haven gifts), main reception and a special reception focusing on caravan sales, often branded as "Owners Exclusive" within the parks themselves. In 2002, Bourne Leisure began integrating the individual Haven and British Holidays brands and ever since, many activities and facilities at Haven parks have operated under the names introduced at British Holidays resorts in the late 90s.
The ShowBar entertainers, since 1998, have been known as "FunStars", replacing the "Haven Mates" title in former Haven resorts.
However, for the 2017 season Haven are re-branding the resident entertainers (Currently FunStars) as the 'Haven Theatre Company'. With this come brand new shows and concepts, including Adventure Live, to replace GO! Live family game show time; Seaside Streetside; Super Trooper Sing a Long; and MJ Legend, a tribute to the late Michael Jackson. The entertainment will also include the Seaside Squad resident family of characters.
In the summer of 2004, the Haven Groovy Gang was established. Operating in alternate years, the Groovy Gang consists of activities such as watersports, archery, disco nights and beach activities (depending on location). Groovy Gang shirts are commonplace wear. The Groovy Gang operates from September-November and March-July.
Until the acquisition of Haven by Bourne, Haven Holidays ran several parks in Europe as Haven Europe. However, in November 2004, these were sold to Siblu as part of a management buy-out. Slowly the Haven name is being dropped as is the use of the children's entertainment and clubs as featured at Haven in the UK (Club R n B, Little Cubs, T-CO, Rory the Tiger etc.). In Siblu parcs they now have Bubbles, Pirate Club and Barracuda.
Bourne Leisure also owns resorts in Ontario in Canada and Sarasota in Florida, United States.
The children's mascot in Haven was previously Rory the Tiger and in British Holidays was Bradley Bear. However, these brands began integrating in 2002; Rory the Tiger was introduced to British Holidays parks and Bradley Bear was introduced to Haven Holidays. The brands completely merged in November 2004 as 'Haven and British Holidays' and since merging, both mascots are seen in all parks, alongside other children's characters from both former companies such as Greedy the Gorilla, Anxious the Elephant and human characters Ned and Polly originally forming the "Zoo Troop". In 2013, the group was renamed the "Seaside Squad", each taking on a new role that reflects Haven's seaside setting. However Magical Merlin the Wizard, Sylvester the snake and Manic the parrot were retired in 2009.
In 2008, Haven launched a new kids' program, Kids Alive, to help encourage children to exercise and enjoy active lifestyles, which is part of the company's attempt to take on board the advice of the British Health Council in tackling childhood obesity. Part of the Kids Alive program in Haven is "Wake and Shake" which is a warmup program the kids do in club R n B as a warm up to start the day. However this has since been replaced by "B Fit with Rory", a wake up show where children get active with Rory and the FunStars.