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Visitors to Center Parcs in Longford are chain's top spenders

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Revenue: Martin Dalby

Revenue: Martin Dalby

Revenue: Martin Dalby

Visitors to Center Parcs in Longford are spending more on extra activities, food and beverage than guests at the chain's holiday resorts in the UK.

Some 76% of guests are coming from the Republic, around 11% from Northern Ireland and 11% visiting from Britain, the company said.

Center Parcs said it's meeting expectations with an occupancy rate of over 80% for its first six months at Ballymahon. It is expecting this level to increase to levels in the UK of over 90%.

Reviewing the first six months of Center Parcs' performance in Ireland, chief executive Martin Dalby said additional purchases, known as on-park spend, "had taken us by surprise, particularly on leisure activity".

"The families are so keen to take part in activities that actually the level of revenue there has been higher than expected.

"We have had to put on more programmes and more activities, and change some of [the] labour scheduling to accommodate those activities."

"The expectation was based on what we have seen in the UK," he added. "So actually the Irish families are spending a little bit more on dining out as well, which is fantastic and really sets us up for a successful business as we get everything established."

He said there have been over 100,000 guests to Center Parcs Longford since it opened on July 29, and 3,000 visitors have re-booked.

Mr Dalby said he was aware of commentary that the resort was expensive and unaffordable for many: "But what we always say to people is if you take a look at the website and you search around, there is a price point for everyone there."

Belfast Telegraph