Caravan parks facing staff shortages

Mother Ivey's Bay and caravan park

The coronavirus pandemic has meant many challenges for caravan parks in the past 18 months, but the latest is the prospect of not having enough staff to keep them running.

With demand for staycations high and competition from other hospitality venues already an issue, employing enough people to keep caravan sites going this summer is a potential problem.

Add to this the fact that many staff could be forced to self-isolate at short notice to help stop the spread of Covid-19 and holidays could be at risk.

One site that’s particularly aware of the potential for staff shortages is Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park in Padstow and it’s been proactive in coming up with a solution.

The award-winning site has asked holidaymakers to volunteer to step in and contribute to the tight cleaning regime should staff have to self-isolate.

Patrick Langmaid, owner of Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park, said: “Like many tourism providers we are desperate to recruit staff, but the staycation boom and the easing of lockdown has created more jobs than there are people to fill them.

“Unless we can find enough volunteers to give up part of their holidays to keep our toilets spotless, we could have to start cancelling stays already booked for this summer.

Not everyone who has been contacted by the park has been keen to take on cleaning duties, but so far more than 20 people have agreed to help out.

It takes 25 full and part-time staff to run the holiday park and there’s a good chance the test and trace app could alert any number of them to times when they’ve been in contact with a person infected with Covid-19.

The site will be giving away 200 holidays to NHS staff and key workers this year, as a thank you for treating patients throughout the crisis.

Mr Langmaid hopes the spirit of everyone pulling together will continue if any of his staff have to self-isolate.