As an outdoor property owner or manager, you’ve made sure that your property is well-equipped to welcome all campers. However, avid campers and first time campers may not approach their reservation the same way.
Knowing the differences between the two can help prepare you and your staff to handle the needs and expectations of different types of campers, as well as allow you to further personalize the guest experience. Below, we’ll discuss three differences to consider between first timers and veteran campers.
First Time Campers Won’t Know What To Expect
When it comes to utilizing an outdoor property, most avid campers already have their plans in place and are ready to hit the ground running upon arrival. First time campers, however, may be unaware of the features and amenities available.
To give first timers a great experience, provide them with the information they need to make them feel comfortable and prepared for their trip. You can do this with personalized emails that include the location of your outdoor property, available amenities, and a list of nearby restaurants or attractions.
To avoid accidental violations, consider going over any rules and regulations that your campground or marina may have. Your staff should also be prepared to answer any questions before your newcomers arrive and throughout their stay.
For avid campers, consider promoting a loyalty program or referral discount program that reminds them to visit your property again. Plus, you can keep them updated on any new activities or events that may have been added since their last visit.
Avid Campers Are More Independent Than First Time Campers
An avid camper will know what they want to do, how they want to do it, and how long their endeavors may take — sometimes even down to the last hour. In contrast, a new camper may be unaware of any scheduled events or activities at your property and may not have the safety know-how of veteran campers.
To improve the guest experience for first timers, assure that your staff is trained and ready to give detailed information about:
If your reservation management software has the right features, you can improve guest communications with SMS texting, emails, and other integrated features. This will help your first timers and repeat visitors feel supported by getting their questions answered in a timely manner.
Another great way to help first time campers and boaters become familiar with your property is to offer guided tours and hikes. Providing your campers with these options can help them have a more comfortable and memorable experience.
Avid Campers Will NOT Forget About Equipment
In most cases, repeat campers know exactly what they will need during their reservation, and are ready to have a great time without your help. However, first time campers may not have flashlights, tent setup tools, or other necessary tools. They may also decide to take advantage of an amenity that they did not pack for, such as hiking trails.
Sending email reminders with a checklist of all equipment that may be necessary for newcomers in order to prevent unfortunate situations where they are left without needed equipment.
If applicable, you can offer equipment rentals for fishing, kayaking, biking, or other activities available at your campground. Additionally, if you have the space, consider setting up a small store with commonly-forgotten items for sale such as sunscreen, sunglasses, snacks, and life vests. Additionally, avid campers may wish to replenish their supplies, especially if they are staying for an extended period of time. Use your online communication methods to inform all visitors of your offerings so they can avoid having to drive off-site to rent or purchase forgotten items.
Ensure All Guests Have Memorable Experiences at Your Campsite
By knowing the differences between avid campers and first time campers, you can prepare your staff and your campground or park for both types of visitors.
Although first time campers and avid campers may tackle their reservation plans differently, they do have one important thing in common: all campers want a warm welcome, a convenient way to manage their reservations and to have a memorable and comfortable experience at your campsite.
Want to better prepare your guests for their upcoming camping adventure? Download our guide, Achieving Operational Excellence, to learn how a reservation and property management system can help your property succeed while improving the guest experience!