Ruben de Looff | 6 March 2023

European holiday park trends in 4 graphs

In Europe, we see clear trends over the past few years. These trends differ by type of industry, country, and provider. Nevertheless, we think the following four trends are inevitable:

  • Dominance of digitalisation
  • Importance of customer experience
  • Increase in alternative accommodations
  • Decrease in the length of stay

Digitalisation is gaining ground in several areas. Orientation for an accommodation is increasingly done in an online environment. Booking an accommodation is also done digitally, with mobile responsive websites being essential. Therefore, digital tools are implemented to communicate with guests. Integrated chats in your website improve the user experience whilst reducing call centre time. Notifications are sent via automated mail systems and/or are stored in digital guest environments. Because of labour shortages, many operational processes are being automated. Examples include the automatic opening of a barrier gate through number plate recognition, smart locks that work via PIN or Bluetooth, and ordering food and drinks at the restaurant via an app.

Customer experience

The second trend which is becoming increasingly important is the Customer experience. Life is fast-paced for many people with less spare time. When choosing where to stay, the importance of the presence of activities and facilities is increasing. For instance, the pool, a hot tub, and offsite activities for children are a big draw in the United Kingdom. In The Netherlands integrating quality hospitality and focusing on recreation in green surroundings is an ongoing trend. In France and southern Europe, ecotourism is being increasingly promoted. In France, it is even one of the spearheads of the support package launched by the government in November 2021 to consolidate the holiday market.

Alternative accommodations

The growth of alternative accommodation options, such as tiny houses, treehouses, and yurts, has been driven by a desire for unique, luxurious, personalised, and sustainable travel experiences. Also, the rise of the sharing economy and the increasing popularity of ecotourism has contributed to this trend. We find that a new generation of young entrepreneurs is shaping business operations in a new way and want to distinguish themselves. The big operators are evolving and are investing heavily in their existing parks.

Length of stay

Last but not least, length of stay is an essential factor in the hospitality industry to consider. While the number of nights spent in tourist accommodations is heading back towards pre-corona, according to Eurostat data, we see that the length of stay per stay has become shorter. In the United Kingdom, for example, ‘extended short stay’ is the most popular length of stay. The overall European trend has been driven by factors such as urban tourism, weekend getaways, alternative forms of travel, and cost-effectiveness.

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    Ruben de Looff | 6 March 2023
    Ruben de Looff studied Finance and Change Management at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He has been a key member of Maxxton’s executive and management team since 2015 and in 2020 he took office as the CEO of Maxxton.
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