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The staycation boom has brought new guests to UK holiday parks but expectations aren’t always being met, especially when it comes to technology

New research from Zonal and CGA reveals fewer than half of holiday park guests said technology for at-table ordering (45%) and table bookings (42%) were available on their latest visit, yet 64% of them agree that, when provided, the availability of such tech services improves the quality of their stay.

Moreover, when holiday park operators do offer tech solutions on-site, guests rate them highly. When asked to rate the solutions on offer, three quarters said their experiences of technology in holiday parks was “excellent” – in particular their encounters with on-site delivery orders (77%), table bookings (77%), and at-table ordering (78%).

The research also sheds light on the untapped opportunity of loyalty schemes. Only 18% of holiday park visitors are currently signed up to a park loyalty scheme, yet of those that are not signed up, 45% say they would be interested in signing up to a scheme.

With over two thirds of holiday park guests considering at least one visit to a holiday park in the next 12 months (76%), it’s clear that there is an untapped opportunity for operators to drive F&B sales, which in turn, enhances the overall customer experience whilst encouraging repeat visits through implementing more tech solutions into their offering.

Commenting on the findings, Alison Vasey, Group Product Director, Zonal, said: “The staycation boom is a huge opportunity for UK holiday park operators. Providing holidaymakers with a fantastic experience and a frictionless customer journey now, will reap rewards in terms of returning customers in the years to come. The adoption of technology in the hospitality industry generally was accelerated during the pandemic and solutions such as order and pay, online booking and loyalty schemes have become an integral part of the experience. Consumers will be expecting the same – or better – when on holiday.

“This research shows there is a huge opportunity for the holiday park operators who incorporate technology solutions across facilities. Implemented correctly and streamlined across the entire site, holiday park guests will become more likely to use the solutions available to them, have a better experience, and return year after year.”

Karl Chessell, CGA Business Unit Director – Hospitality Operators and Food, EMEA, adds: “Staycations and consumers’ reconnection with nature have been very positive trends for holiday park operators—but as in any sector, greater use soon brings greater expectations.

“The quality of on-site facilities like restaurants, bars and cafés is now a very important factor for consumers and from technology, to ethics and health, businesses are having to consider elements of the holiday park experience that would have been low on their list of operational priorities until recently. Holiday park businesses—and the external food and drink brands that are increasingly active in this space—have a lot to look forward to in the years ahead, but they will have to keep right on top of fast-changing consumer habits and priorities if they are to stay ahead in a very competitive part of the hospitality market.”

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