How Cotton Tree Holiday Park in Queensland, Australia streamlined processes to deliver a safer and unrivalled guest experience. 

For 16 years, Natalie Hammill has been at the forefront of Cotton Tree Holiday Park’s growth, which now offers just under 500 sites, nine cabins and a large beach house on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Part of the Sunshine Coast Holiday Park group, Cotton Tree is well placed in a tourist hotspot and sees families, friends, anglers and surfers returning year-on-year, making it a very busy operation for Natalie and her team.

Identifying untapped PMS opportunities during COVID lockdown

When COVID hit Queensland, Natalie had no choice but to shut the park down for three months. She used the time to explore opportunities that would streamline their processes when restrictions lifted.

Keen to reopen as soon as she could, Natalie started planning ahead and implementing technology that would adhere to the government regulations.

“We decided that we wanted to move forward in the most contactless way possible, so we did everything we could to try to make that happen,” Natalie explains.

Why RMS Cloud worked

1. Embracing a contactless future

RMS Cloud’s guest portal wizard enabled Natalie’s guests to complete health declarations before they arrived.

“We now send them an SMS reminder to do a pre-check-in and there’s also a link in their confirmation which is available to them prior to arrival so when they get here it’s all done. It’s amazing - obviously, we’ve been very busy and the workload has increased, but to take that little bit away has been awesome.”

2. Unified booking technology stack

With RMS Cloud’s internet booking engine, Cotton Tree Holiday Park were able to incorporate their booking system and payment gateway into one unified feature.

“We consolidated all that into RMS and also set up the client portal which has been amazing.”

3. Streamlined booking experience

Coupled with the guest portal, RMS Cloud’s SMS and email marketing suite afforded Natalie the ability to boost their contactless guest offering.

A typical check-in goes something like this: “Prior to arrival, guests receive an SMS notification reminding them that they haven’t yet completed pre-check-in. On the morning of arrival, we send another SMS saying yay your holiday starts soon. At check-in time, we send out their site codes and amenity information and they can head on through without having to stop and talk to us.”

The results

1. Uplift in guest communications

Once guests have completed their check-in, Natalie and the team send out the codes, site number and anything else the guests need prior to arrival, allowing them to drive in and head down through the gates to their site without any contact.

"On our big days when we have around 270 checking in, we’ve found it to be extraordinary,” says Natalie.

2. Productivity boost

“It’s worked really well,” says Natalie.

“Everything is a learning curve so we’ll get there in the end but productivity in the office is incredible. We’ve been freed up so we can take more bookings.”

Natalie Hammill

Manager of Cotton Tree Holiday Park

3. Easy staff training

With changes over the last few months, Natalie’s core team for a number of years have had to make decisions to change their lives.

“We now have a new team, with six new staff members in the front office that we’ve employed over the last 8 weeks.

“They’ve been able to get in there and start using RMS because it’s so user-friendly, especially to someone who has never used a booking program before.

“We make reservations by searching unique identifiers such as mobile phone numbers so when my staff search via a mobile number, the guest’s details generally come up because a lot of our guests are repeat stays. That’s been really positive for us, having this new team that can really engage with RMS and engage with our business, using a product that makes our everyday functionality so much easier.”

Tune in to our chat with Natalie: