Selling Butlins

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Bourne Leisure – one of the very biggest of companies that provide us with domestic holidays – has owned Butlins since the beginning of this century.

Now it is reported that it is considering selling it.

Why would it want to do so and what – if anything – does it tell us about the future of staycations for those of us who prefer to holiday at home.

For a start, Bourne Leisure is owned by Blackstone, an American investment company who bought it in early 2021. Generally, investors like Blackstone look to get value from what they purchase and they may have decided that Butlins is a gem in the Borne Leisure portfolio that could generate a higher return due to a preference for staycations.

That would show confidence in the staycationn sector and suggest that staycations will still be popular.

Or it might believe that staycations will decline or so in another year and it might be better to sell it now and maximise the money it could earn.

I have railed against companies like Tui, Thomas Cook and Jet2 sayin g that they had no alternative holidays to offering just overseas ones. It could be that one of those companies would be interested in broadening its offer to us travellers giving it a revenue source if – and I hope this doesn’t happen – any more travel lockdowns occur.

Even then, the market for staycations has made money on at least two occasions for the founders/ investors in Bourne Leisure

For us travellers it is hard to read what it means for staycations. You could view it is being close to or at the top of demand for staycations or you could believe that people will continue to want staycations.
And their rival – Parkdean – has also been substantially growing and attracting attention from investment houses.

Stacation providers have had more attention from investment houses than mainscale tour operators which may say something about short-sightedness at those tour operators.

As for me, I think the staycation boom is, for at least the next few years, to continue.

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