Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, flew the flag for East Yorkshire tourism this week (04 April) when he paid a visit to Willow Pastures Country Park in Skirlaugh as part of English Tourism Week.
The event, which ran until 07 April, is designed to put the spotlight on England’s tourism sector, and the huge annual contribution it makes to the UK economy.
Graham, joined by Cllr John Holtby, Cllr Brian Skow and candidate Jacob Birch, toured Willow Pastures with members of the Cook family who opened the park in early 2018 as a new development.
Set in picture-postcard landscaped surroundings, it provides luxury lodges for sale to private buyers, and which include a host of pampering features such as private hot tubs.
The MP heard how the family, which has developed a number of well-established businesses in the area, had invested substantially to provide a first-class holiday environment.
Managing director Vanston Cook, accompanied by his wife Emily, showed the MP around some of the five-star lodges with designer-interiors now available to buyers.
Mr Cook said that customers would make a valuable contribution to the local economy by their spending in mainly other smaller family-run East Yorkshire businesses.
He told Graham that recent research had showed England’s holiday parks sector to be generating over £6.8 billion of annual spending and helping to sustain over 126,000 full-time jobs.
Mr Stuart said he was delighted to be able to visit Willow Pastures at the start of the holiday year:
“English Tourism Week celebrates holidaying in England and our thriving tourism sector, and is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about the regional and national contribution of the tourism industry in my constituency.
“Willow Pastures perfectly demonstrates the excellence and diverse nature of our local tourism providers, and their success in attracting visitors who strengthen our economy and support local employment.
“Beverley and Holderness is an area of exquisite coastline and countryside with typically delightful English towns and villages. I look forward to continue championing the future development of tourism in my constituency,” added Mr Stuart.
Mr Cook said: “We were delighted that Graham was able to join us at Willow Pastures, and to learn more about our sector and how it helps attract visitors to East Yorkshire.
“Although the park has not been open long, we have already welcomed many buyers and received a high level of interest from customers from across the UK.
“We are looking forward to a very busy year ahead, and are grateful for the support which Graham expressed in our enterprise,” added Mr Cook.
He said that one of the park’s strengths was to be able to offer holiday home owners the chance to create a second income of up to £32,000 a year through sub-letting.
Willow Pastures is owned by the Tony Cook Group which was founded in 1966, and whose businesses include a country store, a garden and aquatic centre, and various contracting services.
There is more information about the park on its website at www.willowpastures.co.uk