BCLCA Annual Occupancy & Rate Survey Reveals 52.2% of Booking Come from Repeat Customers

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British Columbia Lodging and Campgrounds Association’s (Canada) Annual Occupancy and Rate Survey Results have revealed that most bookings (52.2%) come from repeat customers.

According to a report, the survey was conducted on BCLCA members with ten or more campsites by Align Consulting Group in January 2022.

The BCLCA has been conducting its annual occupancy and rate survey for several years.

In 2020, the Camping and RV BC Coalition began the Pace of Bookings project during the summer season to learn more about the effect of COVID-19 restrictions on businesses.

It was determined that obtaining information for the entire year starting in 2021 to complete the information on bookings collected throughout the summer would be helpful.

In this way, the two projects–annual survey and the pace-of-bookings were combined. This is the second iteration of the merged project.

In total, 112 operators took part in the survey, representing a response rate of 39.0%.

The report contains the 2022 rates data provided for Super Camping. The goal of the survey was to gain a better understanding of the performance of all private sector campgrounds in 2021.

Based on this, the research objectives were to understand the bookings in 2021 compared to 2020, to gauge the occupancy rate for 2021 compared to 2020, to identify the market origin for 2021 compared to 2020, to measure changes in average rates in 2022 compared with 2021, and, to determine the outlook for 2022.

Significant findings show that lock fees and dynamic pricing are not widely used. In fact, only approximately 1-in-5 responding properties were reported using these (21% and 16%, respectively).

The survey also showed that efforts to minimize cancellations start with the cancellation policies; however, 4-in-10 (42%) characterize their policy as flexible, while 40% say their policy is moderately flexible.

Meanwhile, in 2020, the pandemic drove visitors’ average length of stay notably higher than pre-pandemic. In 2021, visitors continued staying longer in one location and increased the length of stay up to 5.0 nights.

Average Maximum nightly rates are increasing for all site types in 2022, with Full Service and Tent sites increasing the most (up 5.5% and 8.2%, respectively, over 2021 rates).

Average nightly rates range dramatically by region. The average maximum nightly cost of a Full-Service site, for example, ranges from a low of $39.83 in Cariboo Chilcotin Coast/Northern BC (were combined due to sample size) to a high of $75.38 in the Vancouver, Coast, and Mountains region.

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