Holiday Parks know that, in order to survive, they need to be able to offer wireless connectivity to guests. Whether it is so a parent can keep up with work emails on a long weekend away, or so kids can be entertained on a rainy day, providing internet to guests is the only option these days.
But what else can a WiFi connection deliver?
There has been a lot of talk about smart cities but can a holiday park also be ‘smart’? With a stable and robust internet connection there is no reason why not. The possibilities available with smart technology and the Internet of Things are endless.
Park owners are already exploring smart meters to monitor energy and allow them to maintain complete control of their energy supplies direct from their computers. Imagine taking this a step further. Whether it is enabling smart queuing, smart irrigation or an app for maintenance requests, the holiday park can make significant savings while also providing a better service to guests.
Smart metering also means that owners of vans will be charged for their exact energy usage and not estimates. Lights could be automatically switched off when guests leave their caravan and the door is locked from the outside saving on energy costs. An app on a guest’s phone could even do the locking/unlocking for them.
In addition, many parks offer different options for guests from breakfast only to half-board. All of which inevitably end in a queue while waiting to be signed in by a staff member when entering the dining room. Could a smart band be the answer? It is given to a guest on arrival with all the information about their stay preloaded. With it they simply need to walk into the dining room for the park to know who has taken up the meals included in a package, and any not included can be automatically added to the final bill.
Smart bands could also help parents keep an eye on children. They would be able to monitor where their children are in the park via their mobiles, or be preloaded with a monetary allowance. That way, teenagers old enough not to be supervised all the time can use them to pay for facilities and entertainment without parents worrying about endless bills at the end of the stay (or being constantly asked for change).
It isn’t just about tracking spending. Connected devices also give holiday parks the information they need to ensure they are able to offer the best possible facilities to guests. By understanding what facilities are used and when, whether it is the games room, mini ten pin bowling or soft play, they can ensure staff are available where and when needed, and that unused facilities can be replaced.
Vending machines can even monitor their own stock levels. When a product is getting low, a message can be sent to a staff member to refill it, or if stock is low across the park an order can be raised directly with the supplier. This results in customers receiving a smoother service – in the form of well-stocked machines and staff who are able to spend time helping out elsewhere.
The possibilities are endless, but only with a stable, robust and scalable wireless internet connection. The Internet of Things needs to be embraced, but first networks have to be deployed that can match the demand it will bring otherwise introducing smart technology may cause more frustration than relaxation for guests of holiday parks.