November 7, 2019: Actions speak louder than words, as the old saying goes. And that’s why everyone has become well and truly cheesed off with the Brexit stalemate and paralysis in Westminster over recent months.
Uncertainty is the enemy of business. We need to know where we stand over Europe, and require our Government to make some sort of decision, one way or the other, very quickly.
Let’s hope this general election gives us a decisive result which cures the deadlock, giving us a clear direction of travel.
In the meantime, though, we must not fall into the trap of over-thinking or trying to second guess the political machinations – that will only get in the way of running our businesses.
And I believe that 2020 is going to offer many exciting opportunities for those who are clearly focused, and prepared to embrace the challenges.
For me, it boils down to this: People are much more careful about how they spend their hard-earned cash these days, so you must ensure you are giving customers the best possible product, making it relevant to their modern-day needs.
If we do leave the European Union, it’s suggested that we will see a big rise in staycationing – British people choosing to remain in the UK for their holiday time, instead of spending their money abroad.
That doesn’t automatically mean our domestic leisure and tourism attractions will be able to sit back and simply watch the money come rolling in, though. The weather plays a part, for starters, but most importantly of all, people will only come if they feel they are getting quality, and value.
Piling them high and selling them cheap doesn’t always pay dividends.
Just take a look at established brands like Sainsbury’s, who have tried to compete against the discount competition by cutting prices, and have ended up paying the price with a huge drop in profits.
By contrast, food sales at Marks & Spencer are on the up again, largely due to the fact that it has freshened up its offering with new ranges which are competing on quality, rather than price.
If you are giving people something they want, which is relevant to their 21st century lifestyles, and which they feel enhances their quality of life, price no longer becomes the be-all and end-all.
Our four big new rides at Waterworld, which opened in August, have created a real buzz, and seen a rise in visitors, because they’re offering something exciting, and different.
But 2019 has been a work in progress for us, and we’re continuing to refine the offering through a combination of our own innovative and ambitious ideas, and valuable feedback from customers.
There’s much more to come in 2020, including indoor mini golf, a state-of-the-art new gym and indoor running track, extra pool space, and much more.
We’ve laid the foundations for the creation of a bold new Waterworld leisure resort, while never losing sight of the basics – customer service, cleanliness, and quality.
It’s not about a race to the bottom. It’s about constantly striving to be better, different, innovative and inclusive.
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