Outdoor accommodations continue to experience a popularity resurgence, and though camping and glamping have never been more popular, travelers rely on data to discern where the industry is growing. Demand has impacted travelers’ abilities to find high-quality outdoor accommodations, but few operators are reaping the benefits behind these trends. When growing their bottom line, the first come-first serve isn’t cutting it anymore, according to Lodging.
According to the 2023 North American Camping & Outdoor Hospitality Report, one in three leisure trips in 2022 included camping or glamping (32%), and more than 58 million households went camping last year. In light of this growth, operators are encouraged to embrace more strategic approaches to pricing while demand is in their favor. This is the era of big and small data, and operators must take advantage of opportunities to surpass their perceived pricing potential.
The path to revenue growth in outdoor accommodation leads operators to shift away from gut feelings and heuristic decision-making in favor of granular booking data and advanced analytics. To get there, outdoor accommodations must find ways to account for pricing per person, oversee the revenue growth of large sites and manage diverse inventory, which differs from hotel guestrooms and amenities. Reaching this point will require an iterative approach whereby traditional hotel technology is applied to the outdoor accommodation space over time.
Hotels, campsites, villas, tents, cottages, RV sites, yurts: These dwellings offer wildly different stay experiences at a glance, but on closer inspection, they share more than meets the eye. As an accommodation, they share operational philosophies, business drivers, and crucial performance indicators. Just as there are hundreds — if not thousands — of profiles for prospective hotel guests, there are innumerable profiles for those seeking outdoor accommodations. Parks can also tap into historical data and guest booking trends to understand what is driving demand in any given market.