BALPPA sees spike in new members during crisis

Major UK leisure trade association BALPPA has reported a major increase in membership during the Covid-19 pandemic. The British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA) represents the interests of the UK’s commercial leisure parks, piers, zoos, visitor attractions and family entertainment and indoor play centres.

The non-profit making trade association has welcomed 60 new members in recent months, an increase of over 17% which brings its total membership to more than 400.

“The value of working together across the leisure industry cannot be underestimated; particularly during times of crisis,” said Paul Kelly, BALPPA chief executive. “As an association we are lobbying the government and working with other groups within UK hospitality to ensure the urgent needs and concerns of all our members are properly represented. We are also offering assistance with insurers, furloughing, guides to reopening, health and safety advice, PPE, grants and loans.

“Historically this has been a fragmented industry but Covid-19 and its devastating effects on leisure and tourism has shown how vital it is for us to join forces, support each other and ensure our voice is heard,” he added.

In addition to its lobbying activities, BALPPA also provides a forum for businesses of all size and levels of experience to come together and share best practice.

“Our members include some of the world’s biggest leisure brands, like Merlin Entertainments,” said Paul. “Their experiences of having already started re-opening businesses in Asia and other parts of Europe provides invaluable information for all our members to learn from and they are able to discuss every aspect of their organisations in an open and frank way,” he said.

The association is also running weekly webinars on a number of topics including health and safety and future trading as well as regular think tanks where issues relating to Covid-19 are discussed.A Facebook forum allows members to seek advice, ask questions and share ideas.

“It’s no exaggeration to say the association has been a literal lifeline for some members, offering support and empathy from people in the same situation,” said Paul.

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