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The reason for the changes that are currently being introduced is to enable the Club to develop a better campsite network for its members in the long term. Therefore, a number of challenges need to be addressed. The Club needs to be more competitive and responsive if it is to build a sustainable future and continue to be an attractive proposition for current and future generations of campers.
One of the most important changes is to allow the Club to react to changing factors such as competition, weather and events by being able to flex prices. This means that some prices may go up but will never exceed the “To” price, but also they may go down below the “From” price meaning even better value for members.
Increasing occupancy in good times, as well as the not so good times, means that the Club will have the ability to earn sufficient revenue with which to reinvest back into the sites network, so that members have access to better quality sites and facilities, but also to add new sites in great locations going forward. These may be small incremental changes for members, but overall they will have a beneficial impact on the Club and its members.
The Club’s Voluntary Officers have been fully engaged and worked alongside the Senior Management Team to deliver a Club Sites pricing strategy to ensure the future sustainability and success of the Club for the benefit of the collective membership.
In response to member feedback some further explanation about these changes can be found below.
Although prices may vary from time-to-time, the price payable by a member is the price confirmed at the time of booking, not when they arrive on site (unless they are an off-roader).
Because nearly all Club Sites have different booking patterns, there are no fixed rules about what is the best time to book. Choosing to book early or late doesn’t guarantee that prices will be cheaper. Booking early does ensure that members get their preferred site, pitch type and the dates they want.
Where prices are reduced, the “Great Value” stamp on the website will clearly identify these sites. Also, promotional deals may be available from time-to-time.
Traditionally, the Club has agreed and set prices up to six months before bookings open, without having any prior knowledge about what conditions will be like in the forthcoming camping season.
This means that the Club, in the past, has not been charging the fairest price possible, with some sites being priced too high and some a little too low.
Now the Club can ensure a fair price is charged at the right time for members. The Club has done this by first of all reviewing the current prices and developing a new pricing strategy. On top of that, the Club has developed the ability to change prices throughout the season, to ensure the fairest price is charged at the right time.
Of course, a good indication of prices is available from the guide inserted into Your Place in the Country. This lists the ‘From’ and ‘To’ prices for each season, with Club Sites grouped into price bands to make comparison easier. Members can be assured that prices will never exceed the ‘To’ price.
With the unpredictable nature of the British weather, we know there is increasing demand for hardstanding pitches. The Club is committed to increasing the number of hardstanding pitches on the network, but needs to fund the necessary investment. Historically, there has not been any differential between the costs of a grass pitch and a hardstanding pitch, regardless of the level of investment needed for the hardstanding pitch.
Therefore, the additional £1 pitch fee per night is a reflection of the additional cost of providing the pitch.
Lots of campers enjoy camping just before and just after the high season period where the weather is good and prices are lower than high season. There is an opportunity to charge a little more for this Shoulder Season period since it is more popular than the rest of mid-season. The additional revenue will be used to reinvest back into Club Sites for the benefit of all members.
Price Bands are a way of grouping together sites with similar facilities or popularity. This is not new- Club Sites have been banded for some time, although the Club has not needed to published the bands before.
Age Concession Discount eligibility is returning to 60 years old, which is where it started.
The Club wants a sensible Age Concession eligibility to ensure the discount is sustainable in the long term and fair between other member groups. This will help to share the costs of increasing longevity fairly between the generations.
The change has been made against a backdrop of people working longer and retiring later. The State Pension age is changing to reflect increases in life expectancy and ensures the state pension system is sustainable. Therefore, the Club’s Age Concession Discount must adapt and reflect changes in the wider society.
Existing Age Concession members will keep their entitlement regardless of the new age threshold.
All members aged 55 or over have until 21 July 2014 to visit a Club Site and have their membership cards stamped, giving them the Age Concession Discount.
Age Concession offers eligible members a 25% reduction on pitch fees, and they can also now take advantage of their discount on top of any promotional prices as-and-when offered.
The Club is seeking to achieve a sustainable Age Concession Discount that is fair between other member groups.
The Age Concession Discount will not apply in high season however, all members will be able to take advantage of, and benefit from, any reduced prices and promotional offers available in high season.
To be fair to all members, the cancellation period has been extended to 30 days so that the Club has enough time to make any cancelled pitches available to other members who may wish to camp at those locations.
The Club will continue its policy of flexibility and understanding when extenuating circumstances necessitate a cancellation.
No - the deposit policy of 25% or £25 per booking is not changing.