The important growth of campsites in France

The campsite sector in france is expanding and becomes increasingly concentrated especially due to important anglo-saxons investments (Carlyle, APAX, Permira) on the french market. Gradually, we notice a decrease of independent campsites, and the expansion of chains and groups. A campsite chain is composed of independent campsites, such as Yelloh Village, while a group detains its own campsites, Siblu is an example.

Nowadays, competition is wide in the french market with around 8000 institutions which have understood that a good attactivity and maintaining margins is possible only by developing on-site revenues, rather than increasing prices, due to the fierce competition.

Concerning their attractivity, campsites have to think out of the box to gain market shares and fidelize their vacationers. With complementary services being one of the main elements to fidelize the visitors, campsites are looking to a wider range of activities and innovative digital solutions.

Coming to on-site consumption, the objective is to offer the best on-site service, in order to make visitors spend more than what they have budgeted, being happy to do so, and make them want to do it again (ideally in the same campsite..!)

La consommation évolue et les comportements des consommateurs également. Le besoin de simplicité et d’immédiateté permis par le digital ne fait que se confirmer, et les campings ont la nécessité de proposer des prestations en phase avec ces attentes, à la fois pour satisfaire le vacancier mais aussi pour se démarquer de la concurrence. 

Consumption is evolving, and consumers’ behaviors also. The need for simplicity and immediacy, provided by the digital, tends to be confirmed, and campsites needs to adapt to offer adequate services, to satisfy their visitors and to stand out from competition.

Cashless is booming in campsites

As a reminder, the Cashless is a dematerialized payment solution, where an NFC-chipped object is working as a wallet. With a simple scan, you can pay what you bought : food, beverage, activities, equipment rental, etc. Within a campsite, the NFC-chipped object could be a waterproof wristband to give as much freedom as possible to vacationers.

Contrary to heavy investments of some IT systems or technologies, Cashless is a small investment with a positive Return On Investment within the first season. It generates a 15 to 20% increase in on-site turnover, thanks to a transaction time divided by 3 compared to cash or card payments. Moreover, vacationers are able to consume in every situation, while at the swimming pool or at the beach, kids and adults, impulsively, etc. For an efficient and optimal operation of the Cashless system, a communication plan explaining how the cashless system works, with potential incentives, is preferable.

For these reasons, and to offer the best experience to their clients, the number of cashless equipped campsites in France is quickly increasing.

Vacationers’ journey under the sign of simplicity

The Cashless system is a concrete and proven innovative solution, answering vacationers’ needs for a better experience, the ease of consumption and an immersive stay. Only a wristband is needed to get access to the campsite services.

Being able to pay without constraints, with a simple flick of the wrist is what is expected during holidays: it needs to be simple, immediate, fluid and playful.

The unique wristband can also be used to access the campsite, some particular areas (spa, swimming pool, etc.) and the accommodation.

Management made easy

Thanks to payments digitalization, relevant consumption datas are collected and analysed. Managers get a better insight on their own turnover, and on shops (restaurants, supermarkets) that can be managed by a third-party. They are then able to be sure that their offer is in line with visitors’ needs, adapting, and promoting some shops or activities, and reward the most loyal vacationers.

It also becomes easier to adjust monthly rents prices that on-site shops are paying to the campsite, in a splitted-revenue business model that will come and replace the more traditional fixed monthly, or seasonal rent. 

Customer knowledge at the heart of the challenges for campsites

Nowadays, having a good understanding of the consumption behavior of its clients is an essential stake for all type of tourism organisation. Before the introduction of a Cashless system, it was almost impossible for campsite managers to know how and what a particular visitor consumes. By offering a Cashless payment system, campsite managers encourage their visitors to consume and pay with the wristband, while he collects relevant data to understand their behaviors and preferences. The collection of data is done in accordance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

It also becomes possible to add gamification in visitors’ journey, fun challenges with immediate rewards such as lotteries or raffles.

Vacationers’ experience becomes more playful, more personalised, hence more adapted to their wishes.

By bringing a fluid and digital experience to visitors, generating higher on-site revenues, and by easing the global management of campsites, the Cashless technology is becoming more present in most of french campsites.

The next step will probably be to digitalize the check-in process, a key moment which create the link between the reservation the on-site experience. This could be probably done with a multifunction wristband, offered at arrival, as it is already the case on state of the art cruises, or in Disney World hostels.