According to the Harvard Business Review, obtaining a new customer can cost anywhere from five to twenty-five times more than retaining a customer who has previously done business with you. While earning new campers should be a business goal, long term campers can fill in the gaps between new camper reservations, which can help save you money on continuous marketing efforts, especially during the slow season.
In order to secure bookings from long and short term campers, you’ll want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable during their stay at your campground. As a campground manager, there are several steps you can take to ready your outdoor property for extended stays. Below, we’ll discuss how to make your campground enticing for long term camping.
Property Amenities To Consider for Long Term Stay Guests
Offering a range of amenities at your campground can make long term guests more comfortable during their stay and can reduce the risk of reservation cancellations due to a lack of convenience.
Depending on your outdoor property, you may wish to consider adding the following amenities:
- Full hookups. Having sewer, water, and electric hookups available to your campers makes staying at your property easier because they won’t have to fully “rough it” to enjoy an extended reservation.
- Dog parks. Since almost 30% of pets who travel with their owners go camping, having a designated space for dogs with waste disposal stations at your property could mean a lot to long term campers who want to bring Fido along. It will also help keep your property clean and safe.
- A wide range of items for purchase. If your outdoor property includes a clubhouse or general store, consider offering items for sale that can help both long term and short term campers. These items include (but are not limited to): fresh food, dog food, clothing specific for outdoor activities like thermals or sun protectives, tent repair kits, soap, bug spray, sunscreen, and more. These items can make it convenient for campers to meet their needs when staying at your campground.
- An extended stay section to your property. Consider reserving a section of your campground for long term campers. Your repeat customers will feel taken care of and will have the opportunity to meet fellow camping enthusiasts. Additionally, it may be easier to personalize the guest experience of your long term visitors if they are all in one place.
Regardless of the amenities you provide, it’s important to keep your property clean and serviced regularly so your long term campers know their continued comfort is important to your business.
Make Long Term Stays a Positive Experience
Consider Participating in Passport America
If your property joins Passport America, you’ll be added to the Discount Camping Directory so that campers who are Passport America members can enjoy a discount when they book with you on a space availability basis. Because the maximum length of the stay that qualifies for a discount is up to each individual property owner, you can increase your revenue and reward long term campers for booking consecutive days at your campground.
Create a Work From Anywhere (WFA)-Friendly Campground
Having a quiet space will help your visitors feel confident that they can get their work done without having to leave the campsite. This includes offering either free WiFi or WiFi packages that campers can purchase, and if feasible, access to office equipment such as a printer.
Offer Weather Reports and Shelter Options
Keeping your campers current on sudden weather changes can help improve their experience by allowing them time to prepare for whatever Mother Nature may bring. You may be able to use your campground management software to send weather updates via email or SMS messages.
Another way to keep the experience positive for long term camping is to provide shelter locations on your property. These shelters can be as complex as cabins or as simple as covered patios depending on your resources. Campers will appreciate a place to get out of the rain or intense heat while they are exploring the campground during their extended stay.
Implement Great Customer Service Via Campground Management Software
Sending requests through an online guest portal can be more convenient for your long term guests than picking up the phone or visiting the front desk. Your campground management software may also allow for contactless check-in and check-out, as well as other useful features, to help create a smooth experience from start to finish for every camper.
Ensuring consistent and prompt communication with your campers can go a long way towards giving your long term guests a comfortable and positive experience throughout their stay.
Maximize Your Bookings and Improve the Guest Experience
Campers both new and experienced, long term or short term, deserve a great time every time they book with you. Besides making your campground attractive to your campers, you can maximize bookings by supporting their needs and making your campground a wonderful place to bring the whole family.
To discover what you can do to attract campers — and keep them coming back — register for the Campground Marketing Best Practices webinar today.