The corona pandemic has intensified this trend: more and more people are having an animal friend as an everyday companion. There is now a dog in every 5th household only in Germany. When it comes to planning the next holiday, however, the question arises: Who will take the dog – or where to keep it? Campsites have proven to be the ideal form of tourism. They are easily accessible by car, offer flexibility and freedom in the middle of nature. Most campsites accept guests with dogs, but more or less unintentionally – often the animals are perceived as a source of disturbance or harassment by fellow campers. How campsites can specifically address new target groups with tailor-made services for dogs and their owners and differentiate themselves from competitors is shown by the Dog Camp at the Lido campsite.
So how can you create offers on campsites that suit all target groups: both campers with and without dogs? How can you create a peaceful “togetherness” on the campsite – without barking? How can new services tailored to dog owners and dogs appeal to a previously unaddressed target group, namely dog owners, and how can this open up a new market? What is the market potential of a dog-friendly campsite? These questions were asked by one of the largest campsites in Europe, the traditional Union Lido campsite on the Italian peninsula of Cavallino, which had been known for its strict ban on dogs for 60 years. The additional challenge in repositioning and expanding the offer for dog owners was to maintain the previous positive image, retain regular guests and attract new guests. A guest survey and a research assignment were therefore intended to provide useful information in advance.
The solution: the Dog Camp: For this purpose, an exclusive area was reserved for dog owners on the campsite grounds. In this way, a separate dog campsite was created on the property of Union Lido – with its own entry, reception, separate beach access and separate access to three of a total of eight restaurants where dogs are allowed. In addition, the Dog Camp offers services and dog-specific offers – such as a dog shower, a dog pool, dog sitting or dog wellness. If your four-legged friend needs medical care, a vet will help, and the pet supply shop, which is also located in the Dog Camp, has everything a dog needs for 5-star camping – from dog leashes and food to bowls. Dogs are only allowed to stay in the Dog Camp, while their owners are of course also allowed to use the entire infrastructure of the campsite – but then without their dog.
Thanks to an intelligent, movable fence system, the Dog Camp area can be reduced or enlarged on a modular basis, i.e. individual pitches can be assigned to the dog-free or dog area depending on the occupancy.
With the addition of the “Dog Camp”, Union Lido has succeeded in expanding its target group without losing any of its traditional guests. This was achieved through strict separation of areas and exclusive access restrictions. The high-quality services of the Dog Camp extend and underline the 5-star standard of the campsite and give it a new USP to distinguish itself from other competitors.
Flexibility and creativity support the development of new markets.