Choosing Your First Full-Service Reservations System: What You Need to Know
If you’re considering getting your first online reservations system for your park, you probably have a lot of questions. Here, according to the experts at Aspira, creators of the Astra Campground Manager System, are answers to some of the questions most commonly asked by campground owners:
Q: Why should I consider getting a reservation system?
A: An online reservations system like Astra Campground Manager can offer your business many advantages. First of all, it can bring all the facets of your campground management together into one system to improve your customer interactions and streamline important processes such as accounting and financial reporting. Astra Campground Manager can also help you increase revenue by enabling real-time, online booking 24/7 on your park’s website or through ReserveAmerica.com—North America’s leading camping reservation website. In addition, your park’s specific business rules can be incorporated throughout your reservations system to provide a customized solution for your park.
Q: What are some of the features this system offers that I may not have now?
A: First of all, it allows you to move easily between a grid view and map view of your reservations so you can quickly identify vacant slots and get the big picture of where your reservations stand. It also offers SMS text messaging capabilities and customizable email templates so you can more easily communicate with guests. The system can also help you boost revenue by enabling dynamic pricing during periods of peak demand and streamline the processing of utility billing, recurring charges and auto payments. If you have a camp store, your system can help you manage sales, inventory and other park services by using the integrated point-of-sale module that’s included. Astra Campground Manager also includes the ASTRA GO mobile app to give your team the flexibility to access and update reservations information and/or process payments when they’re out and about in the campground.
Q: What does it cost to acquire and operate a reservations system?
A: The answer depends on the business model of your park. If you tend to have more transient business, and therefore have many transactions, you can opt for a pay-as-you-go model where a transaction fee is charged to the consumer for each reservation they make and you only pay a flat fee for credit card processing. If your business is based on attracting longer-term guests, you pay a setup fee for Astra Campground Manager and a monthly fee based on the number of sites you have and the number of computers you use to access the reservation system software. In this pricing model, the consumer only pays a reservation fee when they make reservations online.
Q: How easy is it to set up and use the online reservations system?
A: The Astra Campground Management system has been designed to be easy and intuitive to use. All of your existing customer information and reservations can be migrated into it directly from your legacy system. You’ll also complete a data collection form that includes all of your business rules, rates, attributes and other essential information that’s unique to your park. Astra’s implementation team will then take that data and build out your customized software within one to two weeks. Next, you’ll be provided with unlimited live, online training to get your team ready to go live along with access to a detailed manual and instructional videos. Once your reservations system is live, technical support is just a call away, including emergency assistance after hours and on weekends.
Cathy Harbick, owner of ARVC member-park Arrowhead Point Campground in Buena Vista, Colo., learned firsthand why having the ability to receive after-hours emergency assistance is so important.
“One weekend we had a horrible lightning storm in Colorado and my computer system went down,” she says. “I called the Astra Campground Manager emergency tech support number and the technician had me up and running in under 20 minutes. We have unbelievable trust in their services.”
For more information about the Astra Campground Manager System and/or to request a free demo, visit astra.campgroundmanager.com or call 1-800-547-9147.