Peter Kearns doesn’t have to look very far to monitor the latest trends in online reservations.
In addition to being sales manager for Mission Management, which markets Campground Manager front desk management software and the Internet-based BookYourSite reservation system, Kearns has been a co-owner of the 289-site Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Ontario for the past eight years.
“Last year was the first year in history that we took more reservations over the Internet than over the phone,” Kearns said of his park, adding that he sees a similar trend taking place with Mission Management’s 800-plus campground industry clients across North America.
“We’re growing at a rate of about 10% per year,” Kearns said, adding that sales of the company’s BookYourSite program are up 35% compared to last year. This reflects both new accounts as well as increased usage of the BookYourSite system by parks that are already on the system.
The BookYourSite system enables park operators to manage their campsite, cabin and RV rental inventory on a 24/7 basis using an Amazon Cloud server.
“A park may have multiple access points of entry for the consumer to book a campsite, but all of this information goes to the BookYourSite website, which sorts out the requests to make sure there is no double booking,” Kearns said, adding that the system enables park operators to manage their inventory even when they’re on vacation.
BookYourSite also gives park operators the ability to screen each reservation request. “The inventory is taken out as reservations are made, but the park operator still has to approve that person before the reservation is finalized,” Kearns said.
The BookYourSite system was designed with the screening capability to enable park operators to have better control over who they let into their parks, although Kearns says today’s park operators are increasingly inclined to allow people to book their sites without any prior screening.
The cost of the Campground Manager and BookYourSite systems varies, depending on the park’s size. However, a calculator is available on CampgroundManager.com that enables parks to estimate costa for their specific parks.
Kearns plans to attend the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds’ (ARVC) Outdoor Hospitality Convention and Trade Show in Savannah in December. In addition to showcasing its Campground Manager and BookYourSite systems, Mission Management will also be marketing a new reservation management system for marina operators at the Savannah show. Visit www.campgroundmanager.com or www.boatslipmanager.com.