Bumper Broads trade for Hoseasons
The boss of EDP Top100 firm Hoseasons is predicting a possible 'bumper sold-out summer' for Broads boating firms as bookings momentum continues to gather.
Simon Altham, managing-director of the Lowestoft company, said: 'On Good Friday departures, every Broads boat we had was out, making the waterways really busy.
'But what bodes really well for the season ahead is that in the past week, Broads bookings have been up 80pc on the same time last year.
'That surprises me because during school holidays we normally see a slowdown in bookings.'
He said the bookings included an unprecedented number of customers new to boating and to Hoseasons and there had been a spike in fresh bookings from the east Midlands and Essex areas.
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Mr Altham said: 'Boating has become the jewel in the crown for Hoseasons and we are seeing a real renaissance in the Broads. I would advise people to book early as we may be heading for a bumper sold-out summer.'
He said the level of investment by boating firms in new modern cruisers was a key factor and hailed the trialling of free wi-fi on hire boats as 'the most exciting development on the Broads for a long time'.
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He said: 'Everyone loves new boats and all the innovation and investment means we can go out to customers with great stories about home-from-home comfort and new technology such as bow thrusters. It all gives people that reassurance factor.'
Hoseasons has sought to build on the momentum with a new £200,000 commercial - the first to focus purely on the Broads since its iconic 1970s advert set to the tune of Messing about on the Water - which has gone out to on on-demand television and Youtube.