Fall is here and with the cooler weather comes new ideas for making extra cash. Let’s break a few down.
Recently, a campground using Bonfire took matters into their own hands and created an in-house solution that solves all their late night arrival problems. They made their own check-in/reservation kiosk using Bonfire, a wifi connection and an iPad. This system allowed users to check-in, reserve/pay and even assigned themselves a spot. Here’s how you can do it too.
Every successful business from high tech software to lawn services has several different ways to generate income. Your campground, without a question, offers services outside of just spot rentals. From the obvious kayak & fishing gear rentals to firewood, we have heard of hundreds of ways to make extra cash. Below are a few outliers you might not have thought of.
Over the many years that I have been helping campground managers and owners set up their reservation software, one topic is certain to come up for debate; the deposit policy. A reservation deposit can deter campers from not showing up but it could also hinder those from booking a site. The balance can be hard. So, here are the three deposit policies I see most often, with pros and cons for each example.
According to the U.S. census, 4.5% of the US population identifies as LGBTQ. Fifty-eight percent of those are married, equaling almost 7 million same-sex households in America. If 10% of that population camps, then the LGBTQ community makes up 9% of all campers.
So, how can you reach the LGBTQ community?
Each year the KOA of North America puts out a comprehensive 45 plus page report on the trends, statistics and findings made from the camping and RVing industry over the past year. This year’s report provided a lot of useful information. Below we broke out some of what we consider to be the most useful information and ways you can apply it to your campground.
Instagram turns 15 years old in 2020. So to be frank, if your campground is still not using it, you really have no excuse. Nearly 1 BILLION people use Instagram every month and of those 1 billion, 500 million use it daily.
Over the last 10 years, Instagram has become become a digital link between celebrities, politicians, artists and legions of followers and fans. But most importantly, Instagram has evolved into a marketer’s Nirvana. Owned by Facebook, it is easy to run ads to reach EXACTLY the perfect camper you want at your campground.
Camping and RVing is one of the last sectors of the travel and tourism industry to evolve through the use of technology tools. When I listen to campground owners talk about what they want from reservation management software, the simplest answer is that they still want ultimate control over their reservations. And that makes sense because reservations are the baseline product and revenue generator of the travel industry.
There were over 160 million online reservations booked in 2017 in the United States. While these were for hotels, let’s take a moment to think about this in terms of RV Parks and campgrounds.
There are approximately 15,000 RV Parks in the U.S. and approximately 55,000 hotels. If you use the same hotel to RV Park ratio, RV Parks should be booking approx. 4 million online reservations a year. 4 MILLION. Of those who book online, over 45% of people booked their stay 1-5 days in advance and 24% booked a reservation ON THE SAME DAY AS THEIR ARRIVAL DATE. If your primary goal as a campground manager/owner is to fill those sites, those extra couple of reservations booked the day of could mean the difference between profit and loss.
So, this poses the question, how can you capitalize on online and short notice bookings?
It is easy. Allow people searching for where to stay to book and pay online, even during times when your campground is not open.
We have heard it time and time again. Park managers and owners wake up and start their day calling back those who left messages after closing to reserve stays only to find out they called another campground and successfully booked. You can combat this easily by adding a URL to an away message allowing those looking to stay at your park to book online.
We know what you are thinking, “over booking can happen.” Not with reservation management tools, like Bonfire, that allows you to control inventory by automatically updating which sites are full and for how long. Bonfire also provides you with your own online booking page, making it easy for you to point people to the correct URL for simple online reservations and payments.
Don’t know if Bonfire’s simple-to-use and simple-to-learn reservation and campground management tools are right for you? Schedule a call with our Head Honcho and ask any questions you have.
With or without Bonfire, we hope your park can capitalize on the growing online reservation industry and those looking to book stays at your park.