Campgrounds across the country are increasingly using computerized reservation systems and websites for management and marketing purposes, according to the 2002 National Operations and Economic Survey of the RV Park and Campground Industry, published by the National Foundation for RVing and Camping.
The foundation is an affiliate of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC), Falls Church, Va.
The survey found that 50% of campgrounds and RV parks were using computerized reservation systems while 12% of their business came from the Internet.
“Parks are really discovering that there are some very powerful new sales and marketing tools in the technology area that they’re starting to use to enhance service to their customers,” said Bob MacKinnon, the Murrieta, Calif.-based campground business consultant who collected the survey data.
MacKinnon estimates 75% of campgrounds will be using computerized reservation systems and 20% of campground business will come over the Internet by the time the 2004 survey is conducted.
At the time the 2002 survey was conducted, 12% of visitors first encountered the campground where they stayed over the Internet. Meanwhile, 18% found their campground of choice in a national campground directory, 17% by personal referral, 10% from a state campground directory and 6% from direct mail.