If there’s one thing we know about the summer season is that it’s the best for your holiday or caravan park to be running on all cylinders and creating the best experience for all guests. However, as we start to see the school holidays appear on the horizon, those all important preparations can seem like an almost impossible task, often limited by time or staffing availability.
By approaching summer with a clear plan, you can make any issues less likely, plus by keeping your operations smooth and efficient, you can free up more time for those unexpected events along the way.
Once you have confirmed your bookings for each week of summer, work out how you can plan onsite activities and events to turn a good stay into an amazing experience. Naturally, most visitors will be staying with you to spend time in the local area, but during evenings or wet days, an event you offer may further reinforce the quality of their stay.
A common request from parents is for child focussed activities as well as full family events. Although you can’t cater for everyone, planning ahead for these kind of events means you lower the risk of overspending or being understaffed, whilst creating something enjoyable with a broad appeal. As well as planning for the event itself, you can use rough numbers to understand how much you should charge for event tickets or activity attendance.
Maybe not the most exciting task on your list but one that is often essential. You’ll know the operations of your park better than anyone else, how old certain elements are and the cost of repairs or replacements. By planning ahead, you can budget for essential areas or those that will be in the highest demand over summer.
IT updates or upgrades
More holiday parks are embracing the digital world, from booking systems to tax records, if part of your operation is still paper based, then it is likely to be put under immense pressure during peak times. At the same time, if your IT systems within your park aren’t solving your problems or helping you save money, it may be time to consider an upgrade to a more efficient way of working.
Although a change in system may be a long-term project, it is certainly something you cannot wait forever to implement as poor system performance will ultimately affect your bottom line. A fully integrated, effective system will improve your processes, your customer and employee satisfaction levels and your financial performance overall.
Our EliteParks Holiday park software, comes with options to cater for your entire park operations or we offer specific software solutions to manage the Financials and Customer Relationship Management alongside your current system. All of our products can be tailored to suit individual park needs.
Marketing Your Holiday Park
Finding the best way to shout about your park and your location, is a great way to increase both general awareness and Sales. Whether it is a traditional approach using local press, radio or direct mail or digitally, using social media, email and paid search adverts, you’ll need to find what works best for your business.
More often than not, the best results come from using a combination of approaches that are best suited to the end goal. Throughout the summer, you will need to look at ways to maximise repeat bookings and ownership sales through maximum customer satisfaction levels. The way you communicate with your customers, and potential owners, can influence their buyer behaviour.
Work with your in-house team or agency to establish a full communications plan and allow room to adapt or change the priorities. Try to also understand what has previously worked well and how your marketing budget can be split to best cover multiple channels and products.
Everyone that is heading to your park for summer, will have one thing in common, the need for a relaxing & fun break. Ahead of their stay, make sure to keep a consistent flow of communication, ensuring they feel welcome and are made aware of everything at your park and in the surrounding area.
Look into the key channels for the industry, from email to phone calls, but also consider the newer channels like social media or app based notifications.
Whatever method you go for, keep the messaging clear and consistent. You’ll likely have a lot of people passing through over Summer, so make sure everyone feels like a valued guest by customising their messaging around their booking details and preferences. Accurate data capture is key to successful communications and the more information you obtain and store using a CRM system, the more effective your efforts will be in the long term.
Plan to promote late availability
Sometimes a holiday booking has to be cancelled for whatever reason. With weeks or even days notice, the pressure to recover the booking revenue is often intense. So if you can plan for this event, you can immediately engage your marketing and reservations teams to promote the late availability. Even if it means discounting the full price, by having a chance at recovering a part of the revenue, you are doing better than getting nothing at all!
Create contingency for Unexpected events
As well as late cancellations, there are other events, that although unexpected, can still impact your park and your business. From freak weather to power cuts and staff shortages, the best result can be to mitigate the negative impact from affecting those staying on park at the time of the event.
These events can be frustrating at any time, let alone at your busiest time of year. By having a contingency plan in place, you can work to ensure guest experiences are minimally impacted and create an image of ensuring your guests come first.
Although we can’t help stop the unexpected, we can help provide insight and information to the data that matters. From sales & leads and reservations to owner management solutions and marketing dashboards, the EliteParks software is an all in one solution designed to help your holiday park thrive all year round, not just in summer.