In order to have the best possible chance of your holiday park to succeed, you need to improve your holiday park reputation overall through what your park offers, how it’s marketed and its overall image. You should remember that with your holiday park, you are not only competing with other local holiday parks, but also with competitively priced foreign holidays. Fortunately, the demographic changes which are currently occurring within holiday makers along with the economic pressures and disillusionment of overseas holidays, it should result in a strong demand for domestic holidays by young families – and this is the group which is traditionally regarded as a major source market for holiday parks. Ways to compete include upgrading your park, increasing your marketing activities and knowing the reasons why people do or do not use holiday parks and letting this inform your park upgrade or marketing activities.
Upgrading Your Park
Upgrading of parks in terms of better facilities and higher standards of site layout and design has been encouraged both by official and unofficial initiatives. Things you could improve include improved toilet facilities, installing better laundry equipment, installing more electricity hook-up points and more powered tent sites, improving lighting, laying out or equipping playgrounds for children, providing wet weather facilities and making your holiday park accessible through providing for the disabled.
Increasing Your Marketing and Promotional Activities
Unless your park’s name is ubiquitous across all your target markets, your park isn’t going to sell itself: it’s up to you to get its name and what it offers out there. Holiday parks have traditionally had the most occupancy in the summer months, which implies wasted capital resources during off-season. Remember that holiday parks can make ideal bases to explore the surrounding countryside or for activity and heritage holidays during spring or autumn, and you could market your park accordingly. You could develop your sport or leisure facilities and market your park to attract a younger clientele or even promote it to businesses as a good conference centre, if there are facilities in place which could make it such.
Know the Reasons Why Your Customers Take Holidays
In order to target your customers more specifically, you should take into account the main reasons why people choose to use holiday accommodation. Research indicates that people choose to use holiday parks because of:
- Previous experience of this type of holiday.
- Convenience when holidaying with children is a particular reason cited by 25 to 44 year olds.
- Freedom to decide meal times.
- Closeness to nature.
- Greater adventure
- Inexpensiveness compared to hotels.
As well as this, take into account the reasons people choose NOT to use holiday accommodation. The same study showed that some reasons why people choose not to use holiday accommodation include:
- Preference for hotel comforts.
- Price/service ratio offered.
- Dislike for the types of people who participate in caravanning or camping.
- Inadequate sanitary facilities and poor park cleanliness.
These findings should help inform your park upgrade and marketing decisions. They also mean you have a challenge to improve your facilities in order to attract new customers, but at the same time, not to make your park so expensive as to lose current loyal customers.