Virtual tours are defined as a simulation of an existing location consisting of a series of images. In other words, virtual tours recreate the environment and allow people to interact with the location. There is a lot of discussion in the Outdoor Hospitality industry regarding new technology and how it will benefit campers and campgrounds in the future. What are the tangible ways that a virtual tour can help your campground?
“A picture is worth a thousand words!” This is a phrase almost everyone is familiar with. This is even more true for the travel industry. Showing your guests your campground can quickly help you to capture new business. People who are traveling to an area they have not visited before will spend hours looking up pictures, reviews, and satellite images of the campground in an attempt to better understand the campground. Their goal is to make a decision on a campground that will best suit their trip. Having panoramic images within a virtual tour and on Google Street View helps you attract and capture guests who are unsure of what campgrounds are best in the area. Campgrounds with virtual tours have seen increases in long-term stays and especially overnight guests looking for an easy spot to stay the night.
Virtual tours give users the ability to see all aspects of a park including amenities. With the data captured from a virtual tour, campground owners can better understand what areas are most popular with potential guests and where they spend the most time looking. With this information, campgrounds can make sure they are making improvements that not only satisfy your existing customers but help to draw in additional campers.
Nothing feels worse than buying something and having it show up at your door completely wrong (If you want to see for yourself just search expectation vs reality on YouTube). This is true for the campground industry as well. When guests are booking a stay at your campground they have built an image in their head of what to expect. If the expectation is greater than the reality of your campground then this can cause the guests to be frustrated and upset.
This frustration could boil down to the guest expecting a very shaded site but there are fewer trees than they had expected. Perhaps they were booking a site that they “thought” they could fit their RV, only to find out they don’t when they arrive. These situations point to the issue of managing customer expectations. When the expectation is not properly set upfront, guests are left to create their own expectations based on the limited information provided to them. Giving your guests the ability to see every campsite and amenity will build the proper expectation for what to expect when they arrive. This will lead to more satisfied and repeat customers.
On a recent episode of the RV Miles Podcast (episode 220, 45:00) Jason and Abbie describe their experience calling into a campground to be met with busy signals and rushed conversations. When they did talk to a campground they could hear a rush of things happening in the office and multiple phones ringing in the background. This is far from an isolated experience for a campground.
Virtual tours can help a campground cut down the number of calls coming into the office and also reduce the time on the phone with each customer. Oftentimes these guests are calling in looking for assistance in booking a site. By directing those guests to view the sites via a virtual tour on your website, the most common questions guests ask can be addressed. This will allow them to find the right campsite for their stay. The time savings on just phone calls will quickly help you realize a return on your investment.
Virtual tours are one of the best ways to show off your campground and satisfy guests’ need for more information. The investment made in this type of photography will help your campground reach a new generation of campers, save time in the office, and allow you to provide a higher level of customer service to in-person and prospective guests. Integrating virtual tours with your current marketing efforts can quickly help you sell more nights in your campground regardless if you’re open year-round or have a seasonal business.
CampSite 360 is a leading provider of 360° photography and virtual tours for the camping industry. Each virtual tour is customized to match the unique features of each customer and provide a unique experience for guests looking for their next camping getaway. CampSite 360 provides services for campgrounds large and small across the United States. To learn more about CampSite 360 visit CampSite360.com or email [email protected].