The campsite mentioned in this example is located in the south of Germany, in a health resort and attracts especially older guests. Many of the guests have become repeat customers over the years, as spa and health treatments are available on site, which are often of great interest to an older clientele. In the long term, this led to a very old guest structure overall (average guest age 70/80 years) and to a repeat guest rate of approx. 90%. This resulted in cancellation rates for age reasons that grew to 20-30%. In addition, there was a general decline in the number of customers due to age, and at the same time the rate of new customers was too low.
The challenge is to reduce the existing age structure of the guests to an extent that a healthy ratio of new and regular customers can be developed. At the same time, it is important not to lose loyal customers. The focus on health, wellness and spa holidays must remain due to the location of the campsite. Therefore, no fundamental changes in positioning can be made. In addition, it must also be taken into account that the site is not suitable for certain target groups such as families. In the summer months and thus the main season for families, the general temperatures and those of the thermal water are too warm for the classic swimming holiday. The peak season for this campsite therefore shifts to the months of March to May and August to October.
Holmernhof has decided to position the campsite towards the 50+ target group, due to the location and services provided by the local environment as well as due to the campsite’s own positioning. This required extensive investments in the areas of basic renovation work at the campsite, marketing and services. The renovations at the campsite included a new thermal water system incl. filters, new ventilation at the whole spa area, new premium pitches, new Finnish sauna, new whirlpool area, new steam bath, complete insolation of the “Tenne”, modern kitchen equipment, cladding the walls with local granite. The marketing campaign was completely redesigned and became more appealing to the new target group (new website, paid Facebook and Instagram advertising). The restaurant had a new menu and wine card, as well as an extra beer selection with national and international beers.
It has been established a weekly guest welcome in the traditional Tenne with a champagne cocktail reception. Furthermore, active advertising for spa treatments with focus on health and wellness during holidays in connection with the in-house thermal spa/sauna, as well as a free health hotline were established. The campsite’s in-house programme was expanded with beauty treatments, alternative practitioners, osteopathy and various beer tastings (beer+cheese, beer+chocolate).
After about 2 years, there was a significant decline in the number of 70+ guests. At the peak of the season, they only made up a maximum of 40% of all guests. Through the extensive renovation, the new programme and the new marketing mix, it was also possible to change the ratio of new and regular customers to a healthy 50:50.
In order to ensure a long-term good occupancy rate of a campsite, a clear positioning is essential. This must constantly adapt to new circumstances and be modernised accordingly. Only in this way is it possible to build up and maintain a healthy relationship between new and repeat customers.