If you’ve noticed mixed signals floating around for what to expect with upcoming camping demand, you’re not alone. It’s a topic of interest for Campspot as much as it is for our partner parks. 

For the last few years, peak camping seasons like summer have seen all-time highs, in large part due to global changes from the pandemic. This trend isn’t sustainable every year, but the anticipated slowing down of demand doesn’t have to be bad news for you or the outdoor hospitality industry at large.

In fact, Campspot has the tools and insights you need to drive revenue even in the face of softened demand. After all, we’re in this together. Our revenue is tied to the success of our customers—meaning, when campgrounds win, we all win. 

Read on for revenue-driving tips that can help you recoup any dips in demand. 

Offer Campers New Experiences

Campers are drawn to the great outdoors because of the memorable and ever-changing experiences it affords. Offering new experiences for campers to try is a great way to attract different types of guests, too. Best of all, this doesn’t have to involve significant staff effort, time, or new infrastructure. 

To start, think about your existing amenities and ways to build new offerings from them. For example, if you have trails onsite, a staff member could host a nature interpretation program or guided hike. Those who aren’t comfortable exploring on their own or may be new to the area will appreciate a local’s perspective on the flora and fauna. 

If you’re unable to directly lead new experiences or offer them onsite, find a way to partner with existing excursion providers. Your campers will appreciate and want to take advantage of your concierge services that conveniently connect them to a trusted vendor. Ideas include organizing affordable group transportation to and from a nearby canoe livery, or how Wild Fox Cabins arranges local hunting and fishing guides for their guests. 

Read Next: How to Get Your Campground Ready for the Summer Season

Truly Optimize Your Reservation Grid

You may feel like you often play Tetris with your reservation grid, and you may even enjoy this game—but you’re leaving money on the table! Campspot is the only software on the market with grid optimization that makes availability for a new search on its platform as the search is occurring. Without this powerful tool, a search for the same dates on another platform would yield no availability in the results. 

Campspot’s reservation grid optimization allows for even greater likelihood of filling site night gaps and accommodating more happy campers. In real time, your reservation grid is shuffled and optimized without any worry of double bookings or avoidable gaps. The only exception to this rearranging is if a site is locked (keep reading). 

Use Campspot’s Proprietary Lock Site Feature

Campspot was the first system to introduce optional fees for guaranteeing a specific site, and our approach continues to offer flexibility that other systems don’t. Lock site and grid optimization work together on Campspot to maximize revenue at every turn. 

When surveyed, 95% of campers said they preferred to be able to choose their site if given the option. Common reasons include wanting a coveted view, proximity to the bathhouses, or a guaranteed spot next to family and friends. Campspot gives campers this option while generating passive income for operators through site locking. During the checkout workflow, a guest can choose to pay a premium (a fee the operator sets) to lock in their exact site. 

Many Campspot users generate thousands in extra income from this feature every year while making their campers very happy in the process. Campspot has found that 36% of guests booking online through its platform pay to lock their site. This sweet spot proportion of locked sites paired with Campspot’s grid optimization means maximum revenue generation for you. 

Leverage Dynamic Pricing

If dynamic pricing is foreign to you, we cover this topic extensively in another article. Even if you’re familiar with the practice of adjusting rates based on multiple external factors, including demand, keep in mind that dynamic pricing is a two-way pendulum. When demand is low but supply is high, you want your rates to dynamically decrease accordingly—because some business is better than no business. 

On the flip side, dynamic pricing is also your best friend when demand is high and campsite supply is dwindling. For example, you can stand to make significantly more revenue for your most popular site types and during your busiest weekends thanks to dynamic pricing, which optimizes your inventory and rates in real time. Campers are accustomed to dynamic pricing in many other industries and they don’t mind paying extra if their expectations are appropriately met.

Campspot includes a native dynamic pricing feature to help you make the most of the ups and downs of our industry. While regular rate management is an excellent practice, having dynamic pricing turned on in the background means you don’t have to try to time the market or overthink the trends. Let the feature be your guide and generate secure income along the way. 

Read Next: What Is Dynamic Pricing? 

Understand Market Demand 

Beyond software features, access to information and understanding incoming data is extremely important to pivot your business strategy on the fly. This can come from a variety of sources, including Google Analytics and Campspot Anaytics

First, know the source of your demand, whether that be direct bookings online, phone calls, Campspot Marketplace, or other listing sites and OTAs. Knowing how your customers find you—along with a peek into their habits and preferences—means you can tailor content and communications to them. Relationship management is a major component of target audience management, as well as repeat business. 

Second, understand your market beyond your core audience. Who could you be reaching that you aren’t already? How are your competitors faring? What are the major trends in the outdoor hospitality industry? Signals is a competitive benchmarking dashboard within Campspot’s Analytics that helps users gain a competitive edge by keenly understanding their market positioning.  

Keep Photos and Content Current

In times of wavering demand or otherwise, it’s crucial to always keep a pulse on the status of your online presence. 

If it’s been more than two years since you’ve photographed your property, consider updating your online photos. This is smart both as you add more amenities or site types and as camera technology advances to capture higher-resolution images that paint your park in the best light. Be careful of only displaying photos of your property during a singular season. Campers are curious to see both what it looks like to visit during fall-color time and sunny July. 

Along with photos, keep your property descriptions and marketing content up to date. Broken or dead-end hyperlinks can cause online visitors to bounce from your website for good. Similarly, integrating high-traffic and search engine-optimized keywords into your website is a great best practice to help campers discover your business while browsing the web. Finally, make sure your logo appears in the highest-quality format wherever it is displayed online.

Aside from the platforms you manage directly (your website and social media pages), conduct regular audits of the external listing sites and OTAs where your campground is represented. Periodically look for missing or outdated information, photos, and videos. Maintenance of these pages can have real results for your bottom line. For instance, campgrounds on Campspot Marketplace with complete listing pages make 20% more revenue on average. 

The last thing a camper wants is to book with a different impression of your property in their mind’s eye, only to be disappointed or misled upon arrival. Throughout the year and especially as you make any physical changes to your park, make sure your digital footprint matches reality. 

Provide Packages and Promotions

It’s hard to turn down a good sale, especially one for an unforgettable experience. Like many consumers, your campers are looking for deals when searching for their next camping getaway. 

When demand is down, a discount will often do the trick to nudge a hesitant customer over the edge. This is even more true when comparing similar properties and vacations. To tip the scales in your favor, ensure your reservation software allows for special packages and promotions, which should be easy to manage on the backend. 

Sell Add-On Products and Rentals

Selling campsites, cabins, or any number of unique site types will always be the bedrock of your business. Ancillary income, however, is also a foundational but sometimes overlooked revenue stream. 

Add-ons with quantity include firewood, bags of ice, and other consumables that guests often desire while camping. Rentable add-ons—hammocks, bikes, kayaks, golf carts—are equally popular purchases. It should be easy and straightforward for your prospective and repeat guests to learn about all the add-ons you offer. 

Fortunately, Campspot features your available add-ons right within its online reservation workflow, which makes it second nature for guests to book activities and have firewood waiting for them before they even arrive. What better place to advertise your add-ons than within the checkout portal itself!

Read Next: Top 11 Add-On Campground Amenities to Increase Revenue

In This Together

To reiterate, Campspot is committed not only to the campground space, but to the success of it. That begins and ends with our partner properties. As we navigate the ebbs and flows of camping demand together, we also recognize the anxiety of uncertainty. However, with the tips above and powerful tools integrated within Campspot, we’re confident that shaken demand does not have to shorten your revenue this summer.  


Haley Dalian is a lifelong Michigander who takes advantage of recreation throughout the state’s changing seasons—from snow skiing to scuba diving in the Great Lakes. A former Campspot marketing manager, Haley holds a B.A. degree in public policy from Michigan State University and an M.S. degree in sustainability from the University of Michigan. She is passionate about environmental stewardship, exploring the outdoors, and has never met a potato she didn’t like.

Image Credit: Adobe Stock user – Andrei Armiagov