When you compete on the highest level it is difficult to diversify and to be different. In Costa Brava, as one of the best campsite destinations in Europe, most campsites offer the same services and products to the same European camping target. But with an accommodation capacity of 6.500 beds, you need to be inventive to fill in these beds, next to your enormous competence. So, diversification is an option, but how can you be different in an already very segmentate sector.
Delfín Verde was born in 1962 and is located in the town of Torroella de Montgrí, in the heart of the Costa Brava, on a large beach overlooking the Medes Islands, the Montgrí Natural Park, the Medes Islands and Baix Ter, surrounded by nature and rice fields. With an area of 36 hectares, it is the campsite with the highest extension of Spain. The main pool, the only one in its day and shaped like a dolphin, was the most private pool Europe on the date of its construction. Delfin Verde has always been among the most prestige of the sector, both nationally and Europeanly, having received numerous awards. Up to 2016 the campsite depended mainly on international customers (80% of the annual customers) who arrived especially via tour operators (65% of all annual sales). For more than 50 years, the business as a traditional camping establishment, mostly with the product of plots and the sun and beach as an added value.
The objective was to take a turn on Camping Delfin Verde. In this process they wanted to reinvent their flagship, the campsite, towards a product other than that of the competition. We also wanted to gain more independence from third parties to be more agile and solvents. The Challenge was:
The theme is the Costa Brava, our Mediterranean land, and is key to frame our product and services. Within this framework, we chose other exotic tourist destinations such as Polynesia, Tropical Africa, the Maldives or Bora Bora. We use the theme for diversify our offer of bungalows, swimming pools and hospitality services, and thus seduce the local customer with distant destinations and non-camper customer with a luxury outdoor product. To get here and stay on that same line in the future, we have expanded the team and currently have 18 themed staff working in a ship within the resort all year-round making animals, decorative elements, themed buildings, etc.… We also have a state-of-the-art 3D printer generation, is almost 2 meters high and allows large-scale theming. This is all one important bet because of the company’s strategy.
The ADVANTAGES of theming in El Delfin Verde:
Thanks to the theming we have made our client mostly national (58%) and because of digitization we depend on only 12% of external tour operators in 2021. Looking ahead to the next one season (2022) the percentage of tour operators is reduced again considerably and we will have in the about 3%. We continue to be national and international pioneers thanks to the commitment to trends such as glamping and animation as an added value.
Over the course of 5 years, we have reduced our accommodation capacity by around 20% and this has meant a turnover increase of more than 85%. The customer profile has changed and is much more demanding. Hem went from an exclusively camper profile to a varied profile with medium-high purchasing power, which they are willing to pay more in exchange for quality.
In 2021, approximately 170 inhabitants of Torroella de Montgrí (1.4% of the municipal population) have chosen to holiday in their own town with us, and about 2,500 people from Girona have chosen to travel to The Delfin Verde Costa Brava Resort without leaving his province. These data confirm that we have gone from being one campsite at a resort with local guests.
We have gone from having 1 central pool to 24 decentralized pools and have distributed 15 outlets catering around the resort to decongest the initial 3 restaurants and increase one 1.5% turnover in catering. Thanks to the commitment to the local customer through the theme, we have been able to increase occupancy in 5 years with 39% in June and 52% in September.
The sector can see how theming offers a wide rang of business advantages as decentralisation, deseasonalisation (higher occupancy in low season), reduction of tour operator dependence (interesting product for local markets), etc.