Will you be providing mild camping next season?

Will you be providing mild camping next season?

A new camping industry trend has been identified by VisitScotland and is set to roll down the length and breadth of the British Isles over the next few seasons.

Dubbed ‘mild camping’, it is a type of camping for people who want to experience the wild outdoors but in a safer environment. It sits somewhere between wild camping and the kind of experience you’d get on a traditional family campsite. So rather than hanging off a cliff edge somewhere by yourself hoping for the best, you might be pitched in a wild field with the landowner within reach for greater security. It provides a down-to-earth, exhilarating experience without the worry.

It is almost anti-glamping, the other end of the scale. No marked-out pitches will be necessary, electrical hook-up will be a no-no, campfires a must. Mud won’t be frowned on, facilities can be dressed down and basic. The phenomenon opens a new world to landowners, holiday parks and campsites already in business or those starting out. It lends an opportunity to re-evaluate land stock, rebrand, or launch a business in a more environmentally sustainable way.

In an age of increased digital immersion and fast-paced living, the desire among consumers to escape to the simplicity of the great outdoors is staggering. Some are turning their backs on holidays abroad completely in favour of camping among the undulating hills and hedgerows of our fair isle. This gives the camping industry both the need and the opportunity to continually diversify, which is good news for camping businesses and good news for us. Mild camping is a new craze within the industry but it most certainly won’t be the last.

If you are a camping business looking for an online booking system to get you connected to the right marketplace and with the functionality to keep your business up with the changes, sign up to Anytime Booking now. We are the camping people.

Holiday trends: lifestyle all the way

Holiday trends: lifestyle all the way

More personality, less formality

Reinvention is a word of the moment – and even the travel industry is joining in. There has been a huge rise of accommodation providers repositioning their businesses as homely, approachable, relaxed and earthy, without sacrificing quality or luxury. Why?

Because travellers seem less trusting of the ‘big boys’ – the bland hotel chains – and are choosing smaller, more unique places to stay to satisfy their need for something a little bit ‘different’, while conversely remaining ‘familiar’, and with more individual care.

‘Wellness’ is a buzzword right now, it’s about making choices that are good for you. People put wellness in their coffee, have it on their toast, wear it, consume it, and expect to stay somewhere that promotes it. The domestic market has upgraded in this respect, and staycationing clientele are putting a lot more money into the UK economy than ever before.

So holiday businesses have been looking more closely at what makes people tick – what they enjoy or care about at home, such as the environment, sustainability, local or home-grown produce – and transporting this back into their businesses, taking the time to ‘put the love back’, banishing the stuffiness and formality that have come to be associated with big hotel chains.

This is timely. While the staycation phenomenon is admittedly not as strong as in 2014-15, it still boasts higher figures than pre-recession. Falling oil prices mean that people are far more likely to put fuel in their car to go on their breaks, especially short-breaks, in the UK. Yes, oil prices also mean that it’s cheaper to jump on board a flight to foreign shores, but the security issues abroad of late balance out the scales between UK and international travel.

Visiting friends and relatives (VFR) is also consistently on the rise, by approximately 10% year on year, which means that many businesses are enjoying the bolt-on short-break holidays associated with this – a bonus for UK accommodation providers. It pays for them to ride this wave and to make sure the experience they offer matches up to leisure seekers’ expectations.

So what do today’s travellers expect?

Travellers are asking for more online transparency when they book holidays; they don’t want to have to go backwards and forwards via phonecalls and emails to secure their bookings anymore. Instant connectivity in all locations is also expected when they get there. They are increasingly turning away from holidays if they do not offer WiFi.

If you are an accommodation provider, it is advisable that you think about adapting to these pressures and consider advancing your WiFi connectivity, developing a responsive website, and installing a seamless, front-end online booking process. If you are more at the cottage end of the market, you could even upgrade the technology you offer on site, such as availability of good TVs, satellite, and mp3 players.

Guests generally want more choice, more flexibility, and authentic yet connected experiences. What’s more, they want these expectations to be managed from the outset. A place to stay must build the atmosphere from the very beginning – a guest will be asking, ‘will this place be able to satisfy me, will it live up to my expectations?’ from the moment they start browsing.

If there is no online booking system or a responsive website with truthful, hearty lifestyle photography and clear messages about what the holiday will deliver, the chances are, the guest will think it can’t. They expect to be put first and don’t like it if they are not. Accommodation owners can look into improving these areas to dramatically reduce turn-aways from potential guests and therefore any loss of precious revenue. It is crucial to get up and running with online bookings.

Let technology be your friend in business

If you are a holiday business of any kind, the actual technology does not need to be a barrier to your visibility on the web. Anytime Booking is a young traveltech company and we’re here to help you every step of the way to taking online bookings. We are real people behind the science!

Our booking and site management software gives you the flexibility to run your business your way. You can use it as a simple reservation system to verify the bookings yourself, or you can accept instant online bookings together with payment straight away.

When you come on board, our Account Coordinators are on hand to advise you of the best possible way to configure your accommodation on the system to mirror your business rules, giving you peace of mind that you are getting it right for your customers.

Are you an accommodation provider ready to take the next step? Sign up to Anytime Booking now.

Come and see us at the Cornwall Business Show 2016

Come and see us at the Cornwall Business Show 2016

Anytime Booking will be exhibiting at the Cornwall Business Show on Thursday 17th March 2016 at the Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge.

Whether you are a current customer or you are looking for an online booking software to suit your holiday accommodation or activity centre business, please come along to talk to us, we will be delighted to see you.

We can offer you a walk-through of our software or give you general advice on booking management and connectivity. Come and find out what we can do for you.

Find us at stand 59 between 9:30 am and 4:00 pm. Catch us while you can!

2016 is set to be the most connected year yet

2016 is set to be the most connected year yet

 

Business is booming in UK tourism

The UK tourism industry is worth £127 billion today, with £13 billion being pumped into the outdoor holiday accommodation market by people looking for adventure and an authentic holiday experience.

The boom of the ecotourism, staycationing, glamping and festival trends, and the rise in cottage industries and the diversification of farming have all contributed to substantial growth in the market we service.

Are you providing a good user experience?

Expectations of holiday makers are higher than ever, with over 60% of them expecting to be able to research and book a holiday online, using laptops, tablets and smart phones. If they cannot book online they are likely to look elsewhere, reiterating the importance of holiday parks, touring parks and campsites in having a web presence complete with an online booking system.

Holiday makers are also more likely than ever to be influenced by OTAs (online travel agents) such as TripAdvisor and Booking.com, so connecting your business with such portals will increase your connectivity and conversion rates.

With Anytime Booking on side, we have all of this covered, so booking a holiday with you will never have been so easy. What’s more we will save you time and money in administration.

Where is Anytime Booking now?

We’ve come a long way since we launched our booking management software in April 2012 and our journey has been truly amazing!

As 2015 drew to a close, we could happily say that we: 

⭐️ have 173 holiday accommodation businesses using our software around the UK, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Sri Lanka
⭐️ have processed 137,686 bookings totalling in excess of £37 million since launch
⭐️ have added multiple feature-rich innovations and updated our software to be a responsive, mobile friendly booking process for your customers

We wish you all a very prosperous new year ahead. Please do get back in touch with us if you think that Anytime Booking can help you to grow your business in 2016. Ping us on support@anytimebooking.co.uk or request a demo at https://www.anytimebooking.co.uk/demo/.