Firm Notes Growing Preference for Online Reservations
When it comes to making campground reservations, consumers appear to prefer online reservations if that option is available, according to Mission Management, which produces Campground Manager software and BookYourSite reservation systems.
“2009 was a record year for us, both on the software side and on the online booking side,” said Peter Kearns, vice president of Niagara Falls, Ontario-based Mission Management.
“Online bookings among our clients are tracking 28% ahead of last year’s figures,” he said, adding that the figures compare year-over-year changes in BookYourSite reservations at 300 parks across North America.
Kearns said this growth likely reflects an increasing consumer preference for online reservations as opposed to a net increase in campground bookings. He added that the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario, of which he is part owner, has had more online reservations this year than telephone reservations for the first time ever.
Campground operators, for their part, are increasingly seeking Internet-based reservation management systems, partly to give them the ability to manage their reservations from other locations besides the campground, a particular enticement for northern park operators who want to keep track of their reservations during the winter months when they are vacationing in the Sunbelt.
“It’s a huge benefit,” Kearns said. “You can leave the campground, but you can have live reporting at your fingertips, no matter where you are.”
Mission Management is currently working on a major upgrade to its front desk management software, which it markets using the Campground Manager brand name. “We’re changing it to an SQL database, so it will have a lot more web-enabled features,” he said. “This will be a complete new release, rewritten from the ground up. We’re hoping for a complete rewrite and release this fall.”
Kearns said the reservation management software upgrades and web interface features are particularly sought after by companies with multiple parks. “Corporate accounts want back-end reporting, which gives multi-park operators the ability to have portfolio reporting on a real time basis,” he said.
Kearns said Mission Management would have representatives at the upcoming Leisure Systems Inc. Symposium in November as well as the next ARVC InSites convention in Las Vegas in December.
For more information on Mission Management, visit the company’s website at www.campgroundmanager.com.