As featured in NCC Parks Business
The Park of the future: What will Holiday Parks look like in 2024?
Holiday parks throughout the UK are benefiting from the continued popularity of staycations. They offer peace, tranquillity and memorable experiences to millions of visitors each year. From mini-breaks to extended celebrations, parks are establishing themselves at the heart of the British holiday.
With international uncertainty and Brexit continuing to dominate the news, UK holidaymakers are seeking a break they can rely on with all the comforts of home, without the travel. Far from the out-dated “hi-de-hi” perception of the past, our holiday parks are creating a 21st Century offer ready for the most discerning holidaymakers who are seeking to get the best value from their holiday budget.
We are living in the age of smart things. It’s predicted that by 2025 41.6 billion Internet of Things devices will be generating 79.4 zettabytes of data. That’s wearable technology, tablets, smartphones, PCs and TVs. Our modern homes are brimming with technology from keyless entry systems to Wi-Fi controlled doorbells, ovens, thermostats and even plugs making life more comfortable than ever. Creating a home from home holiday experience for guests used to such control and comfort provides an additional challenge to park owners. While many holidaymakers are looking for a break away from it all, others view their technology as an essential part of the holiday experience, whether it’s Instagramming the accommodation or sharing snaps about their spa trip.
At Ramtech Electronics, we work with leading holiday parks across the UK and have been fortunate to see some of the most advanced accommodation available on the market. So, what could your holiday park of 2024 look like?
Currently internet connectivity is expected but for the park guest of 2024 it will be a requirement as their wearable devices will have replaced mobile devices as the norm. The constant consumption of data will have increased exponentially by then and for parks powering these data consumers and managing the demand will become a constraining factor.
Once their booking is made, for most guests the holiday begins at check-in. With hotels already offering state-of-the-art check-in features and room access from a mobile phone, the parks of the future need to ensure that check-in is as seamless as possible for customers to get their holiday off to a flying start. The varying size of the accommodation, length of stays and diversity in the landscape means that changeover days are far more hectic for parks than hotels. Guests can fail to recognise this and ensuring weary travellers receive the keys to their accommodation as quickly as possible is a high-energy undertaking.
Technology is already able to help manage this through advanced check-in systems that provide customers with a code to speed up the process on arrivals day. This gives the park everything they need and provides the customer with the details of their exact accommodation on site and enables the reception team to focus on welcoming them to the resort without a manual check-in. In the future guests will expect to be able to check-in digitally and head straight to their accommodation. This improves the experience for the customer as there’s no lengthy paperwork on arrival and allows them to focus on enjoying their holiday.
Using smart technology in the park, such as Ramtech’s WiSE, allows park managers to map the cleaned accommodation in real-time to swiftly release it to the next customers promptly, smoothing the handover process and enabling managers to deploy staff where they are needed most.
When guests arrive at their accommodation it will be smart powered by an array of connected wireless, battery operated devices monitoring all elements of the property. From tracking energy, identifying maintenance issues, understanding occupation and self-reporting security they will be primed to ensure as smooth a stay as possible for guests and seamless management for the park.
By using these devices, parks will be able to harness data to pre-empt their guest’s needs and even offer automated customisation for individuals, tailoring their holiday experience even further.
Smartphones are already a powerful tool to help parks predict customer demand on any given day by utilising customised apps to let them to book spa treatments, make restaurant reservations and sign up to activities in real-time, enabling staff to focus on delivering great service. Apps can be downloaded in advance so that the customer can book and plan their entire holiday before check-in has even started. By tracking the data provided by these bookings, parks can follow up with the customer offering tailored deals and opportunities. This is the first step in the data revolution.
By using the technology available, guests will undoubtedly benefit from an improved holiday experience but what can a future-ready, smart connected park offer owners and managers?
• Automated billing: Efficient tracking of periodic site fees, insurance or utility bills.
• Smart Metering: Easy access and analysis of electricity, gas and water meters as well as billing from a central location.
• Cashless payment: Secure, innovative ways to pay without cash using wristband and fob technology to simplify park cashflow.
• Mobile communication and automation: Checking in, ordering food, arranging events, managing details all via a remote digital device.
• Occupancy data: manage arrival days, reduce cleaning costs, track maintenance visits, monitor security patrols and manage third part contractor management.
• Low Power Radio Networks: Remove the reliance and security threads of open / cellular networks with a reliable, managed network.
It’s clear that data tracking can offer a real difference to park managers and staff to manage their business more effectively through insight driven operations. By automating and simplifying tasks, parks can enhance their engagement with guests, staff and visitors which is the experience that customers remember long after they go home.
So, to start on your journey to becoming a park of the future simply look at how incorporating relevant technology to your park can bring about a positive change to how you work and create revenue streams.