Boost in half-term bookings leaves Butlins on a hi-de-hi

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The budget holiday operator Butlins yesterday attributed a buoyant start to the year on its decision to continue investing in its resorts. The company said bookings for the February half-term were up by 15 per cent on last year and the availability of accommodation at its three beachside holiday camps was "disappearing fast".

Butlins, famous for its "redcoat" entertainment staff, said it had invested a total of £110m, or about £300,000 a week, in its portfolio since 2003 and was changing holidaymakers' perceptions.

The reservation data shows that Butlins, which has powered ahead during the downturn, has maintained its momentum since the recession officially ended last quarter. Richard Bates, the managing director, said: "We are committed to an ongoing capital investment programme and our guest feedback directs us to the areas this investment is focused on."

This year, Butlins is planning to spend another £10m on refurbishing and improving accommodation and facilities at its resorts in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, Minehead in Somerset and Skegness, Lincolnshire.