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6 Ways to Get More Reservations During Shoulder Seasons

Just because it’s not peak season at your campground doesn’t mean your reservations have to suffer.

Even for parks up north, late spring and early fall can still be great opportunities to grow your park’s business. With the right online tools and strategy, we’ve seen campgrounds double their business in shoulder seasons.

So, how do you increase business during the slower months?

To answer that, we pulled from our parks’ experiences and the experiences of others in the industry. Here are six ways to get more reservations during shoulder seasons.

1. Take online bookings

Guests are making reservation decisions based on what’s available online.

Ninety-seven percent of consumers use the internet to find local businesses, so campgrounds need a digital presence.

In addition to saving your campground from hundreds of hours of administrative work, reservation systems like Good Sam Campground Solutions bring our parks an additional 25 percent increase in reservation volume annually.

Taking online reservations is the easiest way to increase business in shoulder seasons.

shoulder season

2. Google AdWords

If you’re trying to get the word out about your campground, nothing beats Google.

Stretch your advertising dollar further and invest in pay-per-click advertising (PPC ads) through Google. The benefit here is that you’re only paying for ads that get clicked on. And you’re increasing the odds of being discovered by including related search terms.

Doing so will guarantee a higher ranking on related online searches and appear as a sponsored post, driving more traffic to your park’s website.

3. Unique experiences

A 2019 study discovered 63 percent of consumers, for the sake of finding “inspiration and meaning,” seek out novelty and experiences they can’t find anywhere else.

Creating unique experiences at your campground isn’t a gimmick. It’s practical. If you’re looking to add novelty to your guests’ experience, consider:

  • Investing in the right amenities.
  • Providing unique lodging and glamping opportunities.
  • Joining a local chamber of commerce to stay in the loop with local events you can support.
  • Creating memorable experiences through community activities (i.e., movie nights or sports tournaments).
  • Offering more than just camping (i.e., breweries or weddings).

4. Social media

Campgrounds can stay relevant with thoughtful and consistent social posts, even during shoulder season. And, similar to Google AdWords, boosting posts on Facebook and Instagram allow you to market your campground exactly where you want.

By spending just $15 to $20 on promoting social posts, our campgrounds have seen substantial increases in the number of potential guests reached, as well as engagement on their page.

Beyond marketing your park, a well-curated social feed can show your campground’s personality while keeping up with your audience. In addition to boosting posts, consider:

  • Contests and giveaways for guests to engage with your page or leave a review.
  • Polls and surveys to better understand your campers and how to engage with them.
  • Posting beautiful high-quality photos and videos of your campground to put your best foot forward in giving clear expectations.

For more tips, Inspired Camping has a list of ways to easily leverage social media to connect with guests.

5. Incentivize repeat business.

Retaining 2 percent of your regular campers is the equivalent of cutting your expenses by 10 percent. When guests enjoy their stay, the probability of them returning increases substantially.

Incentivize repeat business and make shoulder season more appealing by offering discounts for any of the following:

  • Booking their next stay before leaving.
  • Utilizing a loyalty program for campers to join like Good Sam.
  • Referring other campers to your park during shoulder seasons.
  • Posting an online review of your park.

6. Dynamic pricing

Good Sam Campground Solution’s dynamic pricing gives park owners more control and more business during peak and shoulder seasons.

Dynamic pricing allows campground owners to increase revenue on popular weekends or create booking minimums in peak seasons. In shoulder seasons, park operators automate attractive pricing and incentivize more reservations.

A system that can accommodate different pricing models will take a lot off your plate and lead to more reservations during slower months.

More Reservations in Shoulder Season

Shoulder seasons can still be profitable for park owners.

Even in the spring or fall, campgrounds can find a lot of success and bring in more business by:

  1. Taking online reservations to save time and reach a wider audience.
  2. Spending money on Google AdWords to market your park through relevant searches.
  3. Creating unique experiences and facilitating community programs.
  4. Utilizing and boosting social media for more engagement.
  5. Incentivizing repeat business with discounts and loyalty programs.
  6. Automating dynamic pricing to offer more competitive rates in slower months.

Ready to increase reservations during shoulder seasons?

Good Sam brings RV parks a 25 percent increase in reservation volume (even outside of peak season). Request a demo today!