Farmers Joanna and Simon Kewley already had their own caravan park and a separate campsite when they decided to become franchisees with the Club.
“We have been running the caravan park now for 20 years but we could see the many advantages of being part of a larger organisation, especially the benefits of the Club’s marketing expertise and services such as the centralised bookings system. I think that joining the Club is a bit like shopping in Marks and Spencer’s – you are buying a known quality product, with a known value, that is safe and reliable,” Joanna explained.
Joanna and Simon created their own caravan park from a greenfield site and invested in improvements a little at a time. They expanded their business over some years, growing it steadily and so they were already experienced campsite owners when they became franchisees, which is unusual.
As the farming industry becomes ever more restricted and regulated, other farmers may consider becoming involved with the Club as franchisees, helping to bring extra visitors into the countryside and boost the local economy.
Most franchisees want to join the Club to enable them to have a complete change in lifestyle. Typically, they love the countryside and are keen, regular campers and caravanners but they do not usually come from a rural area.
Franchisees come from a wide range of backgrounds, previous careers and from all over the UK. They all share a common goal of realising a dream to own a campsite, which is made possible by following the Club’s tried and tested systems and methods. The comprehensive training programme covers all aspects of setting up and managing a campsite and, once training is complete, the support team at head office is available to offer support and advice.
“By being part of the Club, franchisees are included in the annual directory for members, as well as being listed on the Club’s website, which are excellent sources of bookings. Even campers and caravanners who are not members of the Club seem to prefer to holiday with us, because they are assured of neat, well-run parks, where the toilet blocks are clean and the other clients are similar to themselves in many respects,” Joanne said.
“Camping and caravanning are becoming very popular again and we are enjoying greatly increased bookings, which bodes well for the future. The Club is a good thing and the franchise does enable new people to come into the business who would probably otherwise never be able to,” Joanna added.