When guests are looking for a place to stay, the majority turn to the web to book their getaway. Two-thirds of the travel market (66%) book their travel online — and we only expect that number to rise.
So, why do travelers prefer booking their campground or RV park accommodations online ahead of time? Here are four big reasons digital booking is the modern way to operate:
1. When booking online, you can reserve any time, anywhere.
If your campground or RV park is only accepting reservations over the phone or via email, a guest needs to contact you within your operating hours to finalize their booking. The reality is, your guests may be working during your traditional business hours and unable to coordinate during that time. By allowing your guests to book their reservations online, you grant them the freedom to plan and confirm their stay when it’s most convenient for them.
Plus, if you have a mobile-friendly booking engine, guests can even book their stay right on their smartphone while on the go. The key here is to make the experience easy and convenient for your guests. Hospitality properties without online booking functionality are at a major disadvantage to competitors and may lose the sale!
2. Booking online saves both guests and your staff valuable time and effort.
Need more proof that guests don’t like calling in to book their stays? According to a survey through GetApp, 59% of respondents get frustrated with waiting on hold and the inconvenient office hours related to scheduling appointments by phone. Wasted time at the start of a guest's experience can reflect poorly on your brand and muddy their expectations about their stay, causing you to lose the customer.
Luckily, there’s an easy solution. Online booking features are quicker for both guests and your front desk staff. Instead of spending their time on the phone or answering emails, your team can focus on enhancing the guest experience and being present for guests physically staying on your property. It’s a win-win for everyone!
3. When booking directly through your campground or RV park’s website, guests could get special offers.
Using a direct booking engine right on your own website and not relying solely on third-party online travel agencies (OTAs) can make a huge difference in building trust and credibility with your guests. Not only can visitors know they are submitting their payment and private information directly to your campground or RV park via a secure connection, but they can sometimes even enjoy added perks for digital bookers only.
For example, you may offer certain discounts to those who book online instead of over the phone or by email. Or, you could give them a special deal as a loyalty member after they book a certain number of stays. Another option would be to offer online guests exclusive camping plots or features to entice them to reserve on your site — or to allow online guests to book further out with a special rate.
4. Even after booking, guests can still control their reservations online.
When visitors book their stay via phone or email, any change they want to make to their reservation requires another phone call or message — not to mention the resulting back-and-forth communication required to finalize the request. By granting guests access to their reservations online, they can view, modify, and upgrade their stay all through their fingertips, without having to coordinate directly with your team. Once again, this saves both your guests and your front desk staff valuable time while providing travelers with autonomy over their stay.
With the growing demand for flexible lodging options, more and more guests want the freedom to control their bookings at their own whim. For example, Google data shows that travel-related searches that use the words “tonight” and “today” have grown by more than 519% in the past five years. Some guests enjoy living in the moment on their getaways and having the liberty to adjust their plans accordingly. Maybe a guest spontaneously decides to catch a late-night performance before they head out and requests to extend their check-out time via your mobile booking tool’s Guest Portal. This functionality puts the control directly in their hands.
It’s Time for Your Own Online Booking Engine
There’s no doubt that having a campground online booking engine or RV park online booking engine directly on your website is both convenient and desired by your guests. Now, it’s a matter of finding the right setup for you.
Ready to see more about how you can customize your booking engine to transform your business and improve your guest experience with RMS? Watch our Tailoring your RMS Internet Booking Engine webinar to learn more.