Social media backlash prompts Center Parcs to review funeral closure plans

By Linsey McNeill
14/09/2022
Home » Social media backlash prompts Center Parcs to review funeral closure plans

Center Parcs has announced it will close five UK holiday villages on 19 September, but it has reversed its decision to force guests to leave for 24 hours during the The Queen’s funeral following a social media backlash.

Instead, guests on week-long holidays that span 19 September will be allowed to remain in the holiday villages, but facilities and activities will close for 24 hours at 10am.

Guests can choose to cut short their break, with a partial refund. They are also being given the option to cancel, with a full refund. If they choose to remain at the villages, they will be reimbursed for booked activities that have been cancelled.

Center Parcs said it had taken the decision to close its UK parks ‘as a mark of respect’ to close to allow staff to ‘be part of this historic moment’.

In a statement on its website, it added: “Guests who were due to arrive on Monday 19 September should not travel on this day, though we will reopen on Tuesday 20 September and be ready to welcome our guests then. 

“We hope our guests will understand our decision to support our Queen on her final journey.

“All guests impacted by the closure will receive an email today explaining the options available.”

Guests who are due to leave on 19 September will have to be out of Center Parcs by 10am and guests due to arrive on Monday, who still want to go ahead with their holidays, must not arrive before 10am on Tuesday, the company said.

However, it has reversed its decision to kick out guests staying over the day of the funeral. A spokesperson told Travel Gossip: “The vast majority of our guests are either due to arrive or depart on Monday 19th September. We have however, reviewed our position regarding the very small number of guests who are not due to depart on Monday and we will be allowing them to stay on our villages rather than having to leave and return on Tuesday. The villages will still remain closed on Monday and we will be offering a discount for the lack of facilities available on that day.”

Other holiday parks, including Butlin’s, have announced they will stay open but with an altered programme, which might include screening the state funeral.

When Center Parcs initially announced its decision to close, guests took to Twitter to complain. Some also expressed anger on the company’s Facebook page, with one ‘devasted’ guest describing it as an ‘awful, awful’ decision, one describing it as ‘disgusting’ and several urging Center Parcs to rethink its plans.

One user claimed the company was showing respect for the Queen while disrespecting its guests, while another posted: “It’s not what The Queen would have wanted.”

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