The Demographics of RV Ownership Are Changing. Are Your Properties Keeping Up with New Trends?
In the past, RV parks were marketed toward an aging demographic. Most people who traveled or vacationed via RV were in their 50s to 70s, were middle class or upper middle class, were retired and/or living on fixed incomes, and were adventuring quietly in their twilight years. Research now shows that there is a growing demographic of younger people, particularly young adult couples, who have either left their jobs entirely or only work for half the year so that they can spend the other half traveling the country in their RVs. This presents a unique challenge and opportunity for owners of RV parks – you can now cater to and market to a younger demographic, but with that comes a need to improve amenities and property features to meet the needs of a younger crowd. Here’s a quick look at how you can keep up with the latest RV camping trends by making some simple upgrades to your RV park.
Decide How You Want to Stand Out
According to recent research, millennials now make up more than 37% of RV owners. This dramatic change in demographic means that many RV park owners are struggling to keep up with the increased demand for radically different services, and may be losing out on business if they don’t make some key changes. Before you start advertising to a younger audience, however, you need to determine how you want to make your RV park stand out from the crowd. This could be special discounts like reserving two nights, getting the third free, or using a unique selling proposition, such as your proximity to a local landmark or attraction, or a key event like a festival or concert.
You should also determine how you can expand your amenities to attract a younger audience, such as offering free WiFi, outdoor movie screenings, showers and plumbing, socialization opportunities, and more.
Offer Increased Opportunities for Socialization and Activities
In addition to highlighting the nearby activities and attractions, you can also offer opportunities for socialization and activities onsite. This could be as simple as having a central clubhouse that has WiFi, seating, board games, and refreshments, or as complex as offering nature hikes, guided outdoor activities, planned social events like dinners or movie nights, and music events like concerts.
As the RV demographic now skews younger, we’re finding that young adults traveling alone and young couples who have been cooped up in an RV together for days on end are craving outside attention and stimuli. This presents a unique opportunity for RV park owners to market themselves as a place to unwind, recharge, and meet new people before getting back on the road. A great way that some RV park owners have found to do this is to offer unique, once-in-a-lifetime events that attract people from all over the country, such as a one-night-only concert event, a festival, or a wellness retreat.
Become More Eco-Friendly
There is an increasing demand for eco-friendly RV Park offerings. Likewise, marketing your RV park as sustainable and eco-friendly will naturally attract a younger group of customers. You can provide eco-friendly showers and plumbing, eco-friendly soaps and shampoos, and recycling and composting opportunities. You might even find success in having a small garden onsite where campers can pick their own fresh vegetables and make a meal in a communal kitchen.
Eco-friendly customers also tend to be into the wellness movement, meaning that they respond to amenities like guided meditation, yoga classes, restorative cleanses, hikes, and other common wellness offerings.
Improve Technological Offerings
One of the most effective ways that you can ensure your RV park is ready for a younger demographic is by offering more robust technology to customers. This means free WiFi and/or a communal business center where guests can plug in and check email, post online, make video calls, and more. It also means offering smart technology such as smart locks, security cameras, and sound systems.
Better technology also extends to the tools you offer guests for making reservations, checking in and out, reserving amenities, and booking extras or add-ons. We recommend using an outside vendor who can accommodate an increase in traffic and offer scalable services.
Use Social Media Marketing and Advertising
Once you have solidified your unique selling proposition, you can begin advertising in key marketplaces. For a younger demographic, this means advertising primarily on social media like Instagram and TikTok, as well as on vacation rental sites like VRBO and Airbnb. It’s also absolutely crucial that you have a website, Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter account, and Google Business profile that are attractive, user-friendly, and well-maintained. People are going to leave reviews, and you can leverage positive reviews as free marketing if you can ensure that people who Google your business see all of the info they need right away.
It may be to your benefit to hire an outside team to market and advertise your RV park, at least at the beginning when you’re getting started. If you don’t have any experience in social media marketing and advertising, you may find it overwhelming and/or miss out on key opportunities. You may also quickly find that you simply don’t have the time, and that’s fine. There are experts out there who can revamp your website, run advertising campaigns, and even create content online for your social media and website. Once you start running online ads, however, you need to make sure you’re set up to handle the influx of online reservations.
Use an Outside Vendor for Booking and Registration Management
Younger people don’t want to have to call someone up and make a reservation over the phone. Nor are they willing to drive hundreds of miles to stop into an RV park that may or may not have availability. Your success with a younger demographic depends almost entirely on your ability and willingness to embrace technology and improve your offerings accordingly. This means using an outside vendor or software management platform for booking, registration, and property management.
A reservation and property management system not only frees up your time to handle guest relations and guest services but also acts as a quality management system, ensuring that each guest or potential guest gets the same exceptional level of customer service. Booking and reservation management software includes booking functionalities, reservation confirmations, listed amenities and rates, rules and regulations, calendar management, and more so that everything your guests need to check in is at their fingertips. Property management services can include replenishing guest amenities, surveying vacated properties for damage, getting properties ready for turnover, and providing adequate staffing.
Improve Your RV Park Amenities to Attract a New Demographic With Advanced Outdoor Solutions
If you’re ready to learn more about how you can attract a new, younger demographic at your RV park, Advanced Outdoor Solutions can help. We can provide you with the statistics, data, and research you need to get started. We also offer robust management, marketing, and accounting services that will help you meet increased demand and keep things running smoothly and efficiently.
Our comprehensive 3rd party management services include human resources, staffing, compliance, and quality assurance assessments. To learn more about our services and how they can help you target a new demographic, contact us today at 1-800-579-9796 or fill out our online contact form.