Andrew Baragwanath, owner of Ayr Holiday Park near St Ives in Cornwall, has become the national chairman of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA).
Mr Baragwanath was elected to the position by fellow members of the association to which some 3,000 holiday and residential park businesses in Britain belong.
BH&HPA was formed more than 60 years ago, and brings together park enterprises ranging from small farm-based camping sites to major park groups.
Like the majority of parks in membership, Ayr Holiday Park has been owned by the same family for successive generations with each helping to drive the business forward.
Opened by his grandparents as a field for campers on their land in the early 1950s, Andrew Baragwanath took over the reins of the park from his parents, Duncan and Betty, 35 years ago.
Under his stewardship, Ayr Holiday Park has grown to become one of Cornwall’s top coastal park destinations with 80 touring pitches and 50 holiday caravans and apartments to let.
Recent years have seen the business winning a host of national and regional awards both for the quality of the park’s facilities, and its care for the natural environment.
In addition, Mr Baragwanath five years ago acquired the Garrack Hotel which adjoins the park, fully refurbishing its rooms, swimming pool and now highly acclaimed restaurant.
He also helped redevelop the popular attraction Lusty Glaze Beach near Newquay which, in addition to a beachside bar and restaurant, hosts a raft of events from live concerts to weddings.
Mr Baragwanath says his election as chairman of BH&HPA is coinciding with a period of significant change within the industry:
“It’s fascinating to witness how parks of all sizes are today looking to invest in their product with a view to making guest experiences even more memorable,” he said.
“Part of the spur for this has been the staycation trend of recent years which has seen many more families opting for a holiday in Britain rather than going abroad.
“I think this is inspiring many parks to up their game even higher in terms of quality and the range of attractions on offer, so ensuring that the trend continues.
“Facilities such as electric car charging points, and imaginative measures to protect wildlife and the natural world, are also helping to define parks as front-liners in green tourism,
“Through BH&HPA, we can all come together to share our knowledge and experiences, and to help ensure that our businesses continue evolving for everyone’s benefit,” said Mr Baragwanath.
He added that we was proud to serve an industry which, according to a recent economic survey, generates £9.3bn of visitor spending each year, and supports more than 170,000 full-time jobs.