Bluestone Celebrates Record Year For Sales
Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire has reported its most successful year since launching three years ago and is on target for further sustained growth during 2012.
Throughout key periods during 2011, the five-star all-weather resort recorded 100 percent occupancy with 65,393 guests staying during the year - up 27% in 2010.
This resulted in the resort recording a 40 percent increase in accommodation revenue – up £2 million in 2010.
This was after adding a further 60 holiday lodges in the spring as part of an £8million investment that brings the total number of lodges, cottages, and apartments at the 500-acre site to 280. The resort now has more than 1,400-bed spaces.
A UK-wide marketing and PR campaign during 2011 has led to the resort increasing brand awareness in key regions including London, Oxfordshire, the Midlands, the M4 corridor, South West England, and throughout Wales.
It plans to penetrate new markets during 2012 with an emphasis on ‘free range’ short breaks for generational families and ‘frazzled urbanites’. Its ‘Let’s Play’ campaign, which began with nationwide television advertising during the Christmas break, has already attracted 52% more bookings compared to the previous year.
The luxury resort has also launched a range of new business and corporate facilities for meetings, conferences, corporate events, and incentives. It has already attracted several blue-chip companies and film companies to the resort and is anticipating further growth within this market during 2012.
Bluestone has also attracted Welsh Olympic cycling gold medallist and Team Sky member, Geraint Thomas, to host his second training weekend at Bluestone in October – just months after he competes at the London Olympics.
The sustained growth plans include the development of a further 70 lodges in the medium term. It is currently considering investment opportunities to support the growth and third phase development.
“We are challenging conventional luxury short breaks within the UK market with our Free Range back to nature approach. Our guests want real experiences and real adventure all set within a beautiful coastal environment” said Pamela Joseph, Commercial Director at Bluestone Resorts Ltd.
“We’re focussing our attention on generational families who can come together at Bluestone to enjoy a luxury break together with a choice of activities for all ages. It’s a market that’s growing, particularly with the increasing emphasis on domestic holidays.”
Bluestone saw the number of children staying at the resort with families and friends jumping by 29 percent in 2011.
Pamela added: “We are also seeing a growth in the frazzled urbanite market- couples, groups, and friends - who want to escape the urban jungle for a mix of challenging, fun, and relaxing breaks while having the luxuries and comfort they expect.”
Bluestone works with neighboring partners, organisations, and companies to encourage guests to visit other parts of the region during their stay, reinforcing its commitment to be a sustainable business in the region. It is already the area’s largest employer with more than 400 staff.
The resort has also attracted more first-time visitors to Pembrokeshire and West Wales. Over 44 percent of guests to the resort during 2011 said they had not been to Pembrokeshire before. Many who had done so had not visited since their childhood days.
The resort’s commitment to supporting the local economy is demonstrated through its employment of over 400 staff, its links to the farming community that provide crops to fuel its biomass heating system for the Blue Lagoon water park, use of local food, products, and services wherever possible, and partnerships with other local tourism providers.
In July last year, Bluestone was awarded Business in the Community’s UK award as an Exemplar of Excellence in Rural Development beating off stiff competition from organizations across the UK including EDF Energy and Milklink to win the accolade. It scooped the Wales title in June.