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Center Parcs has made a U-turn on asking guests to LEAVE the site for 24-hours while the Queen's funeral (opens in new tab) is taking place.
The initial plan would have forced holidaymakers who were already checked in, to leave site altogether and either go home or find alternative accommodation off-site as it plans to close all of its UK sites for 24-hours from Monday morning - but the plans angered some families who took to social media to criticise the move.
The holiday resort, which has five parks in the UK, told holidaymakers on social media that while they would have to vacate the park overnight, they could leave their belongings in their accommodation. And comes after it was announced schools would be closing (opens in new tab) for the day.
But as a result of a backlash, from being accused of "ruining people's holidays", Center Parcs has "reviewed its 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.”
While they agreed for families to remain on site, it has stressed that the holiday village facilities won't be open on Monday 19th September as it closes for staff to have the day off “as a mark of respect and to allow as many of our colleagues as possible to be part of this historic moment”. It added, “We hope our guests will understand our decision to support our Queen on her final journey.”
Guests affected have been offered a discount on their stay to reflect the park facility closures and guests who were due to arrive on Monday have been asked to delay their arrival until Tuesday.
Center Parcs said all customers affected by its decision would receive an email on Tuesday explaining the options available to them, including refunds and cancellations.
Following the announcement of the date of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, we have made the decision to close all our UK villages on Monday 19 September at 10am as a mark of respect and to allow as many of our colleagues as possible to be part of this historic moment. 1/2September 13, 2022
But some families who have been looking forward to their break, are outraged.
One unhappy customer tweeted, "I’m terribly sad about the Queen but losing a day of our holiday … especially as we’re only there for the weekend #centerparcs Sherwood, seems very unfair. Apparently nobody is happy with their decision."
Another user put, "Very angry about this - we are not travelling directly to you, so this has left us stranded half way up the country without accommodation for a night. 30% offered is nowhere near close enough to covering the extra costs."
And a third added, "Center Parcs reverses it's decision to kick out paying customers. It's still caused them huge harm and is a PR disaster for them. I am surprised people go to them anyway. You need a lottery win for a week stay. #centerparcs" (sic)
While some have praised the holiday resort for honouring the Queen.
One user wrote, "Well done Centre Parcs for putting your staff first, it's great that they'll be able to watch a part of our history."
I’m terribly sad about the Queen but losing a day of our holiday … especially as we’re only there for the weekend #centerparcs Sherwood, seems very unfair. Apparently nobody is happy with their decision 😳 pic.twitter.com/RlDIWnvPsoSeptember 13, 2022
Many families have looked at ways to save money on their holidays (opens in new tab) and for some a luxury staycation is the first they've had since before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile another popular UK holiday park, Butlin's has clarified its guests position in relation to stays that coincide with the Queen's funeral. It tweeted, "Following the announcement of Her Majesty's funeral on Monday, 19th September, we'd like to let all guests know who are due to join us on that day, your break is going ahead as planned."
It added, "We're reviewing our schedule including the airing of the funeral and we'll email you with more information next week. - The Butlin's Team."