It's always good to see companies getting a boost in trade during a downturn, and Pontin's is suddenly bullish about its prospects. Its Bluecoats and sing-songs may have been superseded by Benidorm and sarongs over the last few decades, but bookings at its camps are up 30% for some dates this year, with demand driven by the recession and the plummeting pound.
Pontin's has responded by planning a large-scale investment that will create 2,000 jobs across its six UK sites, which will also be upgraded and expanded. It's probably about time: some of its chalets are as much as 40 years old, which didn't exactly helped its image as a serious challenger to foreign holidays when the economy was stronger.
Give them a lick of paint, however, and its camps suddenly seem well placed to prosper. Anywhere that offers three- or four-night self-catering breaks from £20 per person has to be a temptation for people feeling the pinch, even if that does mean enduring the likes of Joe Pasquale on the entertainments bill.
Pontin's first camp was set up in 1946 at Brean Sands. At its peak, during the 1960s and 1970s, it ran almost 30 sites around the UK, but it fell into decline once it became affordable to ditch two weeks in a dilapidated chalet in cold North Wales and fly somewhere hot instead. Now that the weak pound makes foreign holidays even more of a stretch, it would be remiss not to go after that trade.
The holiday company, which was bought by Ocean Parcs last year for £46m, joins the ranks of recession success stories, alongside the likes of Domino's pizza, Subway, Ryanair and budget retailer Poundland, who have all boosted their business as customers trade down. Read about more companies doing fine in the downturn...
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Pontin's is hi-de-hiring