The camping is the tourist sector that has evolved the most in recent years. While it is true that the sector has been asleep for a certain time, now it is compelled not to lose an important position within the vacation options.
To continue in this struggle of overnight stays it is necessary to maintain a management based on the trends that the same sector demands. Some trends based on both the priorities and the needs of tourists marked by the constant evolution of our society.
We all want a different vacation, which means a different experience. We all want to take home a bag full of experiences that we can tell and remember.
For this reason the camping manager must apply actions in the medium and long term to provide the customer with these experiences that will help, without doubt, to build loyalty. But, and how do we do it? What should be taken into account when planning promotion actions or when designing an investment program?
Here we present you 10 trends to consider:
1. We are in front of the “silver generation”. The number of older campers has grown significantly. Their needs are different. Their purchasing power too. The trend in the type of accommodation has varied in favor of mobile homes and bungalows. They look for greater comfort. They continue with the need to go camping, but with the comforts of the new times.
2. The campsite has opened the doors to a “new camper”. A client who until recently did not know the sector and even spoke badly about it without having any reference. This new camper will stay in mobile homes or bungalows due to its benefits. It needs open spaces, large, well delimited and very comfortable. The price is important, but they prefer to spend more and have more and better services.
3. The camper’s educational level has improved in recent years. 62.4% of all campers have a medium or higher level of education. Fact that originates a possible change of habits in the day to day of the camping.
4. We have a camper with a “solid financial position”. Clients with a better purchasing power. We must review activities and services to be able to provide different experiences to them. Surely, they do not have to be better, but we must present them on a different sales format, differentiated and adapted to their needs.
5. The mobility of the camper has been changing over the years. 67.7% of campers take vacations 1 or 2 times a year. 24% do it 3 or more times a year. Unlike the parcel camper, mobile home tourists are more static and 94.5% of them take vacations only 1 or 2 times a year.
6. Holiday stays have been shortened. If a few years ago it was very common for a family to spend the summer months on a plot. Nowadays it is rare for this to happen. The plot client tends to stay longer than the user of the bungalow. The new camper tends to combine their vacations with other destinations and accommodation formats. To these facts we must add the full integration of families into working life and the difficulty that this entails when coordinating vacation days. We must adapt services, activities, shifts and facilities to smaller vacations.
7. In 2017, 60% of tourist bookings of citizens of the United Kingdom were made through a Smart Phone. Only with this figure can we make ourselves aware of the importance of new technologies. Who is not in the network, does not exist. Who does not make reservations online is not accessible. Who does not offer services through its website, is losing income. Who does not have a 2.0 loyalty system, is losing customers. If we do not have a presence in the network and we are not accessible to our clients, we are not creating loyalty. If we are not asking our client how everything is or inform them, how much longer can we survive?
8. The camper client of today has evolved demanding more and better services. They do not have enough of the services of a lifetime. Their needs have been extended to the point that they compare these with those that they normally have in their environment. The campsites must have all their services open from the first to the last day. Surely it will not be necessary to have animation every day in the middle season, but it is important to be able to provide this added value.
9. One of the main trends in our sector is the type of accommodation. The client prefers the bungalows to the mobilhomes and the design accommodations to the most usual ones. This tendency favors camping a lot due to the greater profitability of these compared to the previous ones. The glampings, pods, huts, carriages and African tends are the present and the most demanded. It is important to be clear that not all of these accommodations are designed for the same type of client or all campsites can and should have them, either by location, seasonality or demand. Each campsite has to offer the type of accommodation according to their client’s needs.
10. The last trend that we want to refer to and not less important, is the need to provide the client with something more than sun, beach, mountains, rivers, tranquility or an affordable price. The today’s camper needs to take home a bag full of experiences and emotions to explain and keep in mind until the next vacation. We are not selling services. We need to offer experiences that generate emotions and memories. This will help us enormously in building customer loyalty.
This is where the specialization of campsites comes in. We must know how to listen, understand, analyze and propose actions with this added value. Actions related to our environment, our experience, our history.
Each campsite must offer differentiated services that provide added value. Very marked actions and characteristics of the area, its personnel, the design of its buildings, the type of management. Services and actions that, apart from loyalty to the client, serve us as a claim for the new one. This is the trend of the sector. If we do not differentiate, we will be one more.
We must take advantage of the synergies, listen to the customer, find what they like best and what makes them decide. The tourist does not move only by the sun, the beach or the mountain. The tourist of today wants experiences and emotions.
It is true that it is not an easy task. It requires time, programming, foresight, design of actions, analysis of results and investments. But it is also true that the camping sector and its client are ready to take on this obligatory challenge.