Center Parcs UK makes major change to its booking rules – and one travel expert reveals it could leave holidaymakers disappointed
Center Parcs UK has made a big change to its booking rules.
Previously, holidaymakers needed to be at least 21 to book a trip to one of its holiday villages, which are known for their water slides, spas and wide range of outdoor activities.
Now, in a move that will attract a younger market, the leisure company has opened up reservations to travellers aged 18 or over.
A representative told MailOnline Travel: ‘Center Parcs is a family short break destination, and we recognise that all families are different. As part of a regular review of our terms and conditions we made the change to ensure that younger families are also able to makes special memories in our safe forest environment.’
One tourism expert has suggested that the decision – which was implemented in late May – could impact middle-aged travellers seeking a ‘civilised’ break in the company’s holiday parks, which currently welcome more than two million visitors every year.
Center Parcs UK has reduced its minimum booking age from 21 to 18 to attract a younger market. Pictured is the UK’s original holiday village at Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
Beverley Boden, Head of Department for Tourism at Teesside University, told The Sun: ‘This is a new way for Center Parcs to diversify its product and to increase occupancy during term time.
‘It’s an opportunity to enter a young market and given the cost of living crisis, it will help them look to new income sources to maintain the grounds and to generate new revenue streams.
‘This will clearly have an impact on the traditional middle-class boomers who look for a civilised escape but entering a new market could be the way forward in income generation, which is to appeal to the masses during a difficult economic climate.’
The rule change applies to all five sites across the UK, as well as the Center Parcs in Ireland
The rule change applies to all five sites across the UK, including the original holiday village at Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, as well as the Center Parcs in Ireland – Center Parcs Longford Forest, which opened in 2019.
However, Center Parcs Europe, which operates as a separate company, has maintained a minimum booking age of 21.
‘Reservations where the booker is younger than 21 years of age are not considered valid,’ the European leisure firm says.
The news comes just weeks after Center Parcs UK was put on sale for £5billion by its owners, the Canadian private equity firm Brookfield, which purchased the holiday village chain for about £2.4billion in 2015.