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Buying GuidesOnline Travel Agent (OTA) Buyer's Guide for RV Park and Campground Owners from Park Vendor Review

Online Travel Agent (OTA) Buyer's Guide for RV Park and Campground Owners from Park Vendor Review

June 20, 2024
Buying Guides
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The world of outdoor hospitality is expanding rapidly, and online travel agents (OTAs) have become a critical way for RV park and campground owners to reach new customers. OTAs not only enhance visibility but also streamline operations, making it easier to manage bookings and increase occupancy rates. Park Vendor Review’s RV Park and Campground OTA Buyer’s Guide is an invaluable resource for campground owners looking to leverage OTAs effectively. 

Here you’ll find a summary of the free guide from Park Vendor Review, providing you with an overview of the essential elements to consider when selecting an OTA for your campground. 

Download the complete guide to dive deeper into the strategies and tools that can transform your business.

Cover for RV Park & Campground Online Travel Agent Buyers Guide from Park Vendor Review

Understanding Your RV Park or Campground Needs

Before diving into the details of various OTA platforms, it's essential to understand your campground's specific needs and objectives. This foundational step helps in identifying the most suitable OTA to match your business requirements. 

motorhome in rv park resort

1. Campground Type and Amenities

  •    Size of Your Campground: Whether you have a small park with 1-25 sites or a large campground with over 400 sites, your OTA choice will vary based on your operational scale.
  •    Types of Accommodations: Consider the types of sites you offer—tent sites, RV sites, cabins, or unique glamping accommodations.
  •    Available Amenities: Identify the amenities you provide, such as hookups, recreational facilities, Wi-Fi, and more.

2. Target Audience:

  •    Demographics: Understanding whether your customers are primarily outdoorsy travelers, families, retirees, or international visitors can help you choose an OTA that aligns with your target market.
  •    Geographic Reach: Determine if your guests are mostly local, a mix of local and out-of-state, or international.

3. Marketing and Promotional Opportunities:

  • Broadening Audience Reach: Evaluate if the OTA can help you reach a wider audience and boost your occupancy rates.
  • Data and Analytics: Check if the OTA provides data insights that can aid in improving your operations and marketing strategies.

4. Flexibility and Control:

  • Policy Alignment: Ensure that the OTA’s policies on cancellations, refunds, and modifications align with your campground's policies.
  • Control Over Listings: Consider how much control you want over your listing's content and pricing on the OTA platform.

Download the full buyer’s guide to explore detailed strategies on assessing your campground’s needs and choosing the right OTA.

Key Features to Look for in an OTA Platform

When selecting an OTA, it's important to look for features that align with your campground's goals and operational needs.

travel trailer in campsite on a river

1. User Interface and Experience:

  • Navigation: A clear and intuitive user interface can significantly enhance the booking experience for both your staff and customers.
  • Responsive Design: The OTA should offer a seamless experience across various devices, from desktops to mobile phones.

2. Inventory Management:

  • Centralized Control: OTAs help manage your site inventory in real-time, reducing the risk of overbooking and ensuring maximum occupancy.
  • Dynamic Pricing: Look for tools that allow you to adjust pricing based on demand and market trends.

3. Marketing and Promotion:

  • Increased Visibility: OTAs invest in marketing efforts that can help your campground reach a larger audience.
  • Promotional Features: Some OTAs offer options to feature your campground in their marketing campaigns, boosting your exposure.

4. Payment Processing:

  • Secure Transactions: Ensure the OTA provides secure payment options, including credit cards and digital wallets, with fraud protection.

5. Reviews and Ratings:

  • Customer Feedback: OTAs allow guests to leave reviews, providing valuable feedback and helping to attract more visitors.
  • Authenticity: Look for platforms that verify the authenticity of reviews to ensure they are reliable.

6. Third-Party Integrations:

  • System Compatibility: Choose an OTA that integrates with your existing property management system (PMS) and other tools like customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

For a comprehensive list of features to consider, download the complete buyer’s guide now.

OTA Cost Considerations

Understanding the costs associated with OTAs is crucial for making an informed decision that aligns with your budget.

Travel trailer nestled in wooded campsite

1. Upfront Costs:

Setup Fees: Initial fees may include setup costs for listing your campground on the platform and any necessary technology integrations.

2. Ongoing Costs:

Subscription Fees: Many OTAs charge annual or monthly fees to maintain your listing.

Marketing Expenses: Additional costs may be incurred for ongoing marketing and premium features.

3. Booking Commissions and Fees:

Commission Structure: OTAs typically charge a commission on each booking. It's important to understand these fees and how they affect your revenue.

4. Premium Features:

Optional Upgrades: Consider whether additional features like enhanced marketing tools or priority support are worth the extra cost.

Learn more about managing OTA costs by downloading the complete guide.

Vendor Profiles Overview

Park Vendor Review’s OTA buyer’s guide includes detailed profiles of industry leading OTAs, each offering unique advantages for campground owners. Here’s a brief overview of the vendors featured:

1. BookOutdoors:

  • Unique Selling Point: No guest booking fees and offers complimentary weather protection.
  • Integrations: Works with platforms like Newbook and ResNexus.
  • Pricing: 15% referral fee on confirmed bookings.

2. Campspot:

  • Key Features: Focuses on data analytics and offers a marketplace for national exposure.
  • Integrations: Limited to its own system.
  • Pricing: $3 per reservation plus a 10% referral fee

3. Hipcamp:

  • Unique Market: Targets a younger demographic and connects with a global audience.
  • Integrations: Compatible with platforms like Newbook.
  • Pricing: 10% booking fee on the total reservation amount.

4. Roverpass LLC:

  • Market Presence: Offers the largest marketplace in the US for campgrounds.
  • Innovative Features: Includes a channel manager integration and specialized GPT tools.
  • Pricing: $99 per month subscription.

5. RV Life:

  • Community Focused: Provides direct access to a niche audience of RVers.
  • Integrated Tools: Offers a suite of tools from the RV Life App to campground reviews.
  • Pricing: Basic listing is free; premium listing costs $3,495 annually.

6. Spot2Nite Inc.:

  • Real-Time Booking: Specializes in real-time booking for RV sites.
  • Open Integration: Works with various PMS platforms like Checkfront and Newbook.
  • Pricing: 10% booking fee on the total reservation amount.

For detailed vendor profiles and to find the best fit for your campground, download the complete guide.

Choosing the right OTA is pivotal for maximizing your campground’s potential and ensuring a seamless experience for your guests. By understanding your specific needs, evaluating key features, and considering the costs, you can select an OTA that aligns with your business goals.

The RV Park and Campground OTA Buyer’s Guide by Park Vendor Review offers comprehensive insights and detailed vendor profiles to help you make an informed decision. Download the complete guide to explore all the tools and strategies that can help your campground thrive in the competitive market of outdoor hospitality.

Click here to download the complete RV Park and Campground OTA Buyer’s Guide and unlock the full potential of your campground.

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