A socially distant staycation
How to attract customers to safely enjoy holiday homes
With COVID-19 causing international travel uncertainty, UK holiday bookings are up by 60 per cent. With social distancing still a priority, how can holiday park managers safely attract customers for the summer season? Here, Nick Cowley, managing director at leading window and door manufacturer Euramax, explores the access technologies that can help ensure holidaymakers have a safe and enjoyable break.
UK flights declined by 90 per cent during the lockdown period, as part of efforts to control the spread of coronavirus. Despite the easing of some measures, many people are understandably still hesitant to fly internationally in the near future. However, many people have felt the strain of lockdown and are looking for a way to lift spirits and make the most of the summer months.
A local holiday, or staycation, is becoming a favourable option. In fact, the luxury of international travel has previously made many neglect the array of places to visit on our doorstep. Holiday parks are a great option, as the separate holiday home units are already distanced apart, making them naturally more equipped for social distancing than hotels. With this renewed interest in UK holidays, it’s important that holiday park managers take advantage of this opportunity, while also taking measures to ensure visitor safety once parks are permitted to open their gates.
Keep it clean
Holiday park managers must ensure a deep clean is conducted prior to each check in, making sure disinfectant is used and particular attention is paid to all touch points within the holiday home.
Extra care must be taken by cleaning staff to prevent cross contamination between holiday homes. This can be achieved through frequent hand sanitation, changing into fresh personal protective equipment (PPE) and wiping down cleaning equipment before entering another unit.
As well as ensuring park staff take precautions, it may be wise to advise visitors on the safety measures they can take. This could include information provided on the holiday park’s website or in the booking confirmation email. Equipping holiday homes with soaps, hand sanitisers, face masks and disinfectant sprays or wipes can further ensure their safety.
Remote access is often associated with industrial processes, allowing plant manufacturing facility managers to monitor production lines across the globe. However, holiday home owners can take inspiration from this method of supervision and create systems that support property management with minimal contact.
Digital locks have become a popular way of transferring access to guests without hassle — and they can do much more than simply opening and closing the door. Guests receive a unique access code via their smartphone, which remains active for the duration of their stay. Authorised users simply point their phone in the direction of the door lock to gain access, reducing the need to handle keys and contact with frequently touched areas on windows and doors.
Remote access also eliminates the need for contact between guests and park owners upon checking in and out. QR codes are activated and disactivated when guests enter and leave the property, meaning physical and property safety remain uncompromised.
Maintaining the property can also be optimised using smart technology. Holiday homeowners can assign different codes to site managers, handymen or housekeeping staff to give easy access in the event of an emergency repair or to track how long they’ve been at the property. The activation of different codes can also ensure that nobody else is present at the property, should maintenance staff need to enter.
Euramax is experienced in manufacturing windows and doors for the holiday home sector, and can incorporate SMART technology from the beginning of the design process. This saves time and cost while also reducing maintenance, as there is no need to remove windows or doors after they have been installed to retrofit technology changes.
In order for SMART technology to work, full Wi-Fi access must be available across the entire holiday site. This has the added bonus of providing visitors with more entertainment inside their holiday home.
Promoting safety measures is important, but holiday parks should still focus on ensuring visitors have an enjoyable stay. With restaurants awaiting a return to normality, park managers could consider offering a takeaway service so visitors can still enjoy a tasty treat. Some other onsite facilities, such as mini golf courses and swimming pools, may also be closed, but parks can instead promote activities in the surrounding area.
Recommending local outdoor activities, such as hiking, rock pooling and bird watching, can attract customers to holiday parks despite the closure of onsite activities. However, visitors can still enjoy exploring the holiday park site safely if a one way system, with two metre markers, is incorporated.
While international travel uncertainty is still looming, holiday park managers can take advantage of the surge in UK holiday interest. By keeping to strict hygiene and social distancing measures, holiday park managers can invite customers to a welcomed holiday post lockdown. With the great British countryside and coastline to explore, holidaymakers can soon enjoy a great summer holiday, without the need to fly.