L E I S U R E & L A N D
F r a n c e
Clients are becoming more discerning and there is a little doubt that the ‘Hotel pleine aire’ is the camping of the future, i.e. chalets or mobile homes, fully equipped in an attractive setting with access to natural attractions.
There are a growing number of campers who rent a permanent pitch on a campsite for their own caravan or mobile home, and visit more than once a year. By giving the management/rental of their caravan to the campsite, they generate an income to cover costs.
Camping is not, as many people believe, a poor-man’s holiday, the majority of campers choose the freedom and open-air, and will pay for quality in the right place. There should, however, always be a place for the rucksack and tent at a sensible price.
So, leaving the beach sites to the tour-operators and professionals, the majority of buyers look for a site in a good position, which can be up-graded and improved, but which has an existing clientele.
The creation of a new site is not for the faint hearted. The bureaucratic process can take at least 12 months and the cost of installations to comply with EEC regulations is very high. It takes 3-4 years before a site will become profitable which is why the goodwill of a site is so valuable. Many sites are quite simply in the wrong place and will never be a good investment.
Investors looking for a good return should consider leasehold sites (rare). The protection for the tenant is 100% and the freehold can often be negotiated at a later date.
The minorities of campsites for sale include a comfortable family house – which the majority of our clients require. The solutions are:
Build – in most cases permission would be possible, but should not be taken for granted.
Buy/rent in a nearby village, often more satisfactory for families to integrate into the community.
Install a park-home (prices from €48,000 (£30,000) Leisure & Land can arrange).
The successful running of a business is difficult on both sides of the Channel, but a foreign language plus unfamiliar laws and regulations make it essential that a serious investor seeks professional advice.
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