Holiday-village operator Center Parcs saw a surge in bookings in the first quarter of 2009 as more Britons decided to stay at home for their holidays. The firm, founded in the Netherlands, opened its first UK village in 1987, in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. Center Parcs now has four UK sites. The villages, all set in a forest environment, provide a range of accommodation types which it says have occupancy rates in excess of 90%. The private-equity house Blackstone acquired the company for £265m in 2006. Under chief executive Martin Dalby sales rose to an annualised £271.6m in 2009.
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