Preparing your Campground or RV Park for a New Generation of Campers
The interest in camping has been on the rise for numerous years. But over the past year, camping reservations increased 25% - with a whopping 46% made by first-time campers. The new generation of camping enthusiasts is statistically proven to be greater in volume, broader in demographics, and increasingly tech-reliant.
This March, Jerry King, Head Honcho of Bonfire, a campground and RV park management platform, sat down with payment industry expert, Lane Conner, to discuss insights and tools that are future-proofing the industry and delivering an exceptional camping experience.
Watch Bonfire’s webinar, Preparing your Campground or RV Park for a New Generation of Campers, and check out a breakdown of the timely topics discussed below, including additional resources from Bonfire.
Shifts due to the pandemic.
Typically, it is more expensive for businesses to earn a new customer than bring back a regular. However, during the pandemic, camping provided a safe option for people to get out, take their family, and potentially even work remotely. The organic growth seen across the industry makes a strong case for dedicating resources to drive customer acquisition.
Technology and connectivity.
Technology is disrupting an industry where ten years or so ago, it may not have mattered too much. Statistics we have seen stated 58% of campers say that technology will directly influence where they go to stay - and for many new campers, the availability of WiFi can be a make-or-break component.
Every campground and RV park needs a website. It doesn’t have to be a ground-breaking work of digital genius, it just needs to exist and serve. Creating a digital presence is a cost-effective, efficient route to reaching new people. Digital tools can help manage those reservations. Finally, digital channels are powerful sources for amplifying successes, updates, and reviews to drive customer engagement.
Operational software and technology is your MVP for customer satisfaction and success - to manage the reservations you currently handle and to scale for future growth. The burgeoning camper is mobile, tech-savvy, and has more freedom to travel. They want to find and book camping reservations online. An online booking page also allows parks to take reservations in advance and build operational capital to drive more business.
Campground management solutions.
Gone are the days of campground and RV park managers needing to rely on pen and paper, whiteboards, spreadsheets, and antiquated CD software to manage their business. Cloud-based management solutions are easy to implement, easy to use, and garner ROI by optimizing operations and promoting data-informed decisions.
As the digital economy has grown, so has the usage of credit and debit cards. Consumers have shifted the way they purchase, largely to online shopping, and businesses have to evolve to stay relevant. When you think about whether to accept credit and debit cards or not, consider these four things.
- Credit and debit cards will increase your amount of sales, and people will spend more. Consumers spend 83% more when using card versus cash - even higher in the travel and leisure industry.
- When you cater to customers’ needs and make the experience more efficient, they are more likely to return.
- Better cash management and security. Top issues from owners and managers that only take cash is the amount of time they spend reconciling cash or depositing money in the bank.
- Accepting credit cards allows you to be able to track and expeditiously receive funds.
As service providers, our industry needs to change in tandem with our customers. Technology helps pave these transitions. By reducing operational hassles, campground managers can focus their efforts on building a business that meets and exceeds their customers’ needs. And the tremendous growth of the industry is a very promising sign that if you build it, they will come.
Good things are happening. Visit Bonfire’s site at letsbonfire.com and don’t hesitate to reach out to the Bonfire Crew with all of your questions and comments at email@example.com