b'Booking sites and OTAs are beginning to pop up more as travelers search for the best way to book a campsite. OTAs, Booking Platforms and Listing Sites: Experts Answer Some Common Questions nBY BEN QUIGGLE have these unique experiences that our in-As more campgrounds, RV parks anddustry offers, and park owners are looking glamping parks use reservation and parkfor more ways to reach this new audience, management systems, there has been anhe highlighted. increasing interest in online travel agenciesAs more park owners have worked to put (OTAs) and other similar booking platforms.their inventory online, there has also been an Companies like AirBnB, VRBO, Book- explosion of companies entering the reser-ing.com and others have also spurred in- vation and park management sectors. Some terestinOTAsaslargedevelopers,of these reservation management companies multi-park owners and newer investors allhave come from the hotel industry and have want to push their parks inventory out tobrought along the idea of application pro- up at the end of the day on a park owners more campers.dont. From the campersgramming interface (API) integration.reports. Still, for some in the outdoor hospitalityperspective,ifyoureReservation software companies are be-industry, the idea of larger OTAslikeplanning a trip, its a lot ofWhat is API Integration and Why ginning to focus more on opening up APIs, what the hotel industry offersseems likehit and miss in trying tois it Spurring OTA Growth?allowing for more integration of reservation a far-fetched idea given the variety of sitebook what you want.Simply put, API integration allows reser- data.Reservationcompanieslike types and accommodation units, along withThetheorybehindvation companies to share a parks dataCampspot, ResNexus, NewBook, Rover-a general sense among park owners/oper- OTAs is that you create awith other booking companies and allowsPass and others are currently offering an ators that they would like to maintain someone-stopsourcewherefor OTAs to offer a parks campsites on theirAPI, or are working on offering an API. levelofcontroloverthereservationyou can book an entirewebsite with a real-time connection that up- This has been driven by both camper de-process.trip,butforthecon- Mark Koep dates when a site is booked.mand in the outdoor hospitality industry and Campers, however, are currently dealingsumers, the problem hasnt reached a crisisAPI integration eliminates the need for aby new developers who are entering the with a campground inventory that is brokenlevel, so that is why you are continuing topark owner to continually check their parksmarket with varying backgrounds and want up among a variety of different platforms,see this fragmentation, he added. But, no- inventoryandmakechangesaspeopleto list their parks on multiple OTAs and making trip planning difficult in some in- body out there is solving the core camperbook sites, noted Terry Broussard, co- booking platforms, according to the experts stances.problem,whichisntsomuchfindingfounder of Spot2Nite, an OTA focused onWCM spoke with. To tackle some of the burning questionscampgrounds. The campers biggest prob- the outdoor hospitality industry. It is allRoverPass, which started as a park list-around OTAs, Woodalls Campground Mag- lem is finding the right campsite.done in real-time, and the booking will showing and booking site, is creating a specific azine (WCM) spoke with a variety of expertschannel manager that is designed to allow in the reservations, booking and park listingpark owners to see all of their listings from fields to gauge their thoughts on what thea variety of OTAs and booking sites in one outdoorhospitalityindustrycanexpectlocation. moving forward.NathanMayfield,The plan is to be that one-stop-shop for president of ResNexus, acampers,saidLisa Why is Everyone Focused on OTAs?reservationandparkSenecal, director of mar-The reason everybody is interested inmanagementplatform,ketingforRoverPass. OTAs is because of how fragmented thesaid the increased inter- They can look at their reservation marketplace is, noted Markest in the outdoor hospi- reservations and manage Koep, CEO of CampgroundViews.com, atalityindustryhasalsoeverything in one place. park listing website that now offers 360 Vir- shifted the focus to OTAsThis is important espe-tual Tours. It is compounded by the factand other booking sites. ciallyascampgrounds that a lot of campgrounds dont have solidMorepeopleareNathan Mayfield and RV parks are trying websites.Someofthemdoandotherslooking for ways to book campsites andto become more compet- Lisa Senecal24 December 2021Woodalls Campground Magazine'