Turning a caravan park into a family friendly resort

Caravan Holiday Parks have come a long way from the no-frills campsites of earlier decades. Though many budget options still exist, many parks are now looking into upscaling their facilities in order to cater to a new breed of holiday-makers.

Geoff Illich, manager of the Brisbane Holiday Village, is just now coming out the other end of a major park re-vamp. He talks us through some of the things owners and managers might want to consider, and how Brisbane Holiday Village has changed to give their guests a resort-style experience. Often, Geoff says, turning a caravan park into a family friendly resort requires a complete restructure of all operations and developments.

He describes the process, “We originally built facilities which now require more final touches – table tennis, more BBQ areas, bike paths, undercover areas, conference rooms, more pool facilities with poolside cabanas and music, wider pathways for golf buggies to drive, interactive playgrounds and games, and easy access for guests for the complete resort feeling.

“We have built upmarket accommodation which now require more regular and thorough cleaning during the stay, fancy soaps and amenities, new towels and better quality linen, sharpened knifes, more cooking equipment, more carparks for guests, more air-conditioning, more televisions, larger lounges, more open spaces and home comforts with a touch of romance.”

Geoff also makes the point that creating a resort experience is a lot to do with how staff interact with guests leading up to and during their stay. This means offering of more guest services.

“We needed to have longer reception hours, more adult and child friendly pools with longer operational hours, longer groundsman and security hours for final clean down of facilities and earlier starting hours so we don’t impact on the guests stay, longer restaurant hours and poolside menu with alcoholic drinks (while still managing safety), better guest communication on the village and surrounding events/attractions, more personalised guest experiences, and we try to make the kids feel like VIPs.”

There were also the structural changes required to give a resort ‘feel’ to the grounds.

“We needed to work on the design of gardens and attracting wildlife (planting of banksia and bottlebrush to attract lorikeets), herb gardens for guests to use, vertical gardens strategically placed, and pre-ordered grocery delivery to units prior to arrival.”

Finally, creating a professional and trustworthy brand presence through modern and consistent theming across the website, signs, merchandise, and staff uniforms. We also needed to do further staff training, converting owners, managers, contractors and staff mindsets to that of running a resort, not a caravan park and changing the ways you have always done things,” finished Geoff.

So whether you’re in the process of upgrading, or simply considering a change, remember that it takes a holistic approach, encompassing business practices, design, and new approaches to creating an experience.

To help drive consumer confidence, commitment to an industry accreditation program can provide added peace of mind. By displaying your Key of Accreditation, you show guests that your establishment has embraced quality standards, giving families added confidence that they will enjoy a carefree holiday.

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