We all know how important it is to stay ahead of the game. Innovation is key. But just how do you consistently lead the way in all that you do? Ahead of the 2019 Holiday Park Resort & Innovation Show, we thought we’d put together 7 ways your park can innovate in the coming year.
If a picture says a thousand words then how many words does a video say? And how much would a virtual tour say (and we’re not just talking Google Street View, here…)
With such a congested marketplace and competition fiercer than ever, you need to present visitors to your website with as much information as you can to try and convert them from browsing to booking as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
We often see park websites where key pages let the process down, with a lack of detail or imagery for each accommodation unit, for example. There is simply not enough detail there to persuade a customer to read more or, hopefully, make a booking.
Imagine, then, if each of your accommodation types (or, even, individual grades) had their own virtual tour, where a customer takes a 3D journey around your caravans, apartments, lodges or cottages? If a customer can see exactly what they’re getting for their money, then they’re more likely to book.
Companies like 360Imagery, who are also exhibiting at the show, offering this service to parks.
— 360imagery.co.uk (@ukvirtualtours) 12 July 2018
Expand your social reach
And by this we don’t just mean posting more content on Facebook! The world of social media is ever changing – and you need to be involved! For parks and campsites Facebook has been the only place to be for the last 10 years-plus. And, while it still may be the social platform that drives the most traffic to your website, there are others that you must consider in 2019.
Instagram has grown at a phenomenal rate and this is a wonderful platform where you can engage and talk to an entirely new (and, usually, younger) audience. Facebook acquired Instagram a few years ago and its growth has continued to surge in this time.
One big tip for you and that is that Instagram is not the place for the hard sell. This is a place where you can build your brand and tell a story of your park or campsite. Share your pictures, videos, gifs, talk with an informal voice and people will come. Try to use it to ram special offers and sell, sell, sell and you’ll be largely ignored. So take it easy and try to share content and images 5-10 times a week.
Step into the world of quirky accommodation
Whether you own a large holiday park or a small campsite, chances are you have considered (or already do) offering glamping accommodation. Instead of purchasing 3 or 4 of the more conventional glamping pods, why not try something a little different?
If you’re only one of a small number of parks offering a specific type of unit then it could be another reason why someone would choose your park over a competitor. There are some truly weird and wonderful creations available now, including those from Lesko who are also exhibiting at the Innovation Show
Move your booking system into the cloud
Whether your park is big or small, new or established, your online booking system (and associated online steps or customer journey) can be a big issue.
One key element of this where the system is hosted or based. If your online booking system is installed one a single (or several) machine or server based then you may not be able to access the system or see your reports when you’re out and about, either on-park or at home.
Pitched Booking is a cloud-based booking system that lets you see and do everything from any device with a web browser. See live availability, bookings, view your financial reports, amend bookings and even send marketing emails from the comfort of your favourite armchair… Book your free 14-day no obligation trial today!
Offer free WiFi everywhere!
OK, before you all shout at your phone or computer screen, ask yourself just how often you go anywhere without your phone? And how often do you check it? If you’re anything like us, then it’s pretty much all the time! And, when you’re out and about that’s a lot of data to use up.
Like you, your guests will want to stay connected but can be put off by high WiFi prices – or using up all their monthly allowance of data on day 1 or 2 of their holiday.
Most hotels now offer free WiFi to their guests but the majority of parks still do charge on a daily and/or device basis. So, why not stand out from the crowd in 2019 and offer completely free WiFi to your guests? For those who won’t go anywhere without WiFi (but who don’t have an extra £150 for a week’s WiFi for 3 devices) then your park will be at the forefront of their consideration when it comes to booking.
Upgrade your website
It may seem like an obvious one but your website is absolutely key to everything you do. It should describe your brand, your ethos and tell the world what a wonderful place your park is. It is also the place that will convert those browsers to bookers…
So, take a look at your existing website and ask yourself: Does it grab me and make we want to read more? Is there enough information on here to entice me to book a holiday?
If your site is fairly standard then why not consider adding some new features, like interactive entertainment calendars, local events diaries, virtual tours (as mentioned above), detailed accommodation listings and videos. All this will paint a fuller picture of your park and offering to guests and mean they’re less likely to leave and browse a competitor’s site instead.
Here at Pitched, we produce class-leading websites designed specifically for holiday parks and industry, so why not speak to us on 01726 418118 or drop us an email enquiry today.