It is estimated that four out of five UK adults now own a smartphone, equating to 37 million people, and, “The Mobile Consumer 2016 Report” from Deloitte suggests that the UK ‘has never been more addicted to smartphones’. In this mobile dominating time, Wi-Fi in holiday parks presents a very specific challenge in terms of connectivity. By their nature, holiday parks are usually in remote locations, with poor mobile signals and internet connectivity. The increase in the popularity of the UK staycation which we blogged about previously, has led to an increase in the use of smartphones to make the most of the temperamental British weather, and with changes to the holiday park customer demographic, people now expect to be connected at all times.
Wi-Fi in holiday parks – A customer’s pet-peeve
Providing Wi-Fi in holiday parks is no longer a luxury – it’s a necessity. A survey conducted by Thistle Hotels, asked 2000 people about their regular holiday peeves. The top frustration with 69% was rude hotel staff. The second was arriving at your resort to find that your room is not ready – suggested by 45% of respondents. At number three – being forced to pay for Wi-Fi was a key bone of contention for over a third of people (38%). Moreover, over half of the respondents (51%) said that free Wi-Fi is crucial to their enjoyment of their escape – ranking higher than a hotel having a swimming pool (49%), being close to a destination’s attractions (41%) and offering in-room TVs (37%). Clearly it has never been more crucial for holiday parks to invest in Wi-Fi to ensure their customers are happy with their stay.
No Wi-Fi in holiday parks may mean less custom
In a similar study conducted by TripAdvisor, 63% said they will only stay at a resort with air conditioning, which along with Wi-Fi is one of the top two reasons people said they would choose one resort over others. Holidaymakers insist on Wi-Fi, whether it is for entertainment with internet games or streamed TV on a rainy British holiday, or to keep up with emails or Skype calls, high-speed Wi-Fi access is becoming a deal breaker when booking a holiday. With a high speed wireless connection holiday parks can gain competitive advantage over neighbouring parks and ensure their park appears on online booking systems whilst others are filtered out.
Wi-Fi improving park productivity and revenue
As well as a necessity for holiday park goers, reliable Wi-Fi is essential to optimum park productivity. Access to broadband is critical for park management, online booking systems and meeting customer demand. Emerging wireless technology solutions combined with a park management solution, can strengthen communication between staff and boost operational efficiencies, leading to higher guest satisfaction. By enhancing Wi-Fi access points and providing wireless devices to staff, hotels can streamline the check-in process, decrease the time it takes to respond to customer requests and reduce staffing requirements. As well, providing a separate Wi-Fi solution for guests prevents corporate Internet slowdowns and reduces the risk of security breaches.
Allowing users to log in using their social media credentials can provide an opportunity for customer data capture for marketing purposes. Knowing your customers are connected means you can send out promotional information to holidaymakers to let them know about new deals, or the day’s activities in the park. This allows guests to self-manage their activities by booking from the comfort of their accommodation.
If the thought of investing in Wi-Fi results in a fear of high costs, holiday park owners can generate additional revenue with premium Wi-Fi services. Providing both a free Wi-Fi in communal areas and premium Wi-Fi throughout the park gives guests a choice about whether they want to pay to connect and can soon provide return on investment. With guests being drawn to communal areas such as bars and restaurants in order to be able to connect further revenue streams can be boosted such as food and drink sales.
So with Wi-Fi affecting both customers’ choice in accommodation and their enjoyment of the holiday itself, it’s clear that holiday parks must see Wi-Fi as a priority in attracting and retaining customers, as well as a tool to increase the length of stay, improve satisfaction and optimise park productivity. If you’re looking to optimise your park productivity through Wi-Fi installation or park management tools contact Prodware today to find out more.FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PARKVISION