November 14, 2022
Want to head out for a weekend without having to book a campsite in advance? For a long time, this was no longer possible, because the overuse of many sites, sometimes by geotag apps, created a wild camping problem in popular regions. As a result, many municipalities imposed camping bans because they were overwhelmed with the situation.
With Parkn'Sleep, the parking app for campers, the management of simple RV parking spaces has been possible since 2021. Campers drive to the site spontaneously and make the "check-in" and payment digitally on site via a QR code. The system is similar in principle to a parking app for passenger cars. Just with a tourist approach. For example, campers see live availability in the app's pitch directory, are informed about pitch rules and behavior, and automatically pay the tourist tax to the municipalities.
Going away with the camper is often combined with (weather-dependent) activities such as skiing, hiking or mountain biking. Guests can thus still arrive in the evening and go straight to the mountain in the morning. Many mountain railroads now provide signalized areas for campers and settle the overnight fees and tourism taxes with Parkn'Sleep.
In the following interview with Michael Wehrli of Säntis-Schwebebahn AG, you can find out how such parking spaces can now be created and managed with little effort.
Around 180 Swiss municipalities are already connected to the tourist tax levy. Parkn'Sleep received the highest Swiss tourism award "Milestone Excellence in Tourism 2021" for this concept last year and is also working together with the Swiss Touring Club (TCS). With the aim of making spontaneous travel by camper possible again.
Michael, since when has the Säntisbahn been using the Parkn'Sleep system?
We have been using Parkn'Sleep since May 2022.
What was the decisive reason for the collaboration?
We wanted to have a system that "runs autonomously" and does not generate extra administrative work.
What do you see as the advantages of Parkn'Sleep for the Säntisbahn?
In addition to the additional income, we mainly wanted to create order on site and separate the motorhomes from the passenger cars. We now have the motorhomes where we want them.
How many Parkn'Sleep pitches do you offer to campers?
We have currently provided 11 signalized parking spaces.
How many overnight stays have you been able to generate with Parkn'Sleep this season?
We have already recorded 370 "check-ins". That is around 600 overnight stays. Mostly people are traveling in pairs or stay more than just one night.
How has "self-check-in" been received by guests?
By and large unproblematic. The guests are now used to digital processes. The biggest problem is when a foreign camper does not have roaming, but these are rather rare cases.
Do you plan to use Parkn'Sleep all year round? Or do you see it more as a solution for the mid-season?
Planned were first only the summer months, because it is a bit difficult because of the snow removal on the large square. However, after the successful summer with Parkn'Sleep we would now like to operate two to three places directly at the building.
For which mountain railroads is the introduction of Parkn'Sleep worthwhile from your point of view and why?
Basically, you have to have a parking infrastructure that allows you to offer reasonably level SP. Why? It's simple, we can't afford not to accommodate this growing customer segment.
What added value does this Parkn'Sleep solution bring to Schwägalp?
Measured as a proportion of total sales, it is a small part. However, not to be underestimated, because the campers are always welcome and have a lasting experience with the Säntisbahn and the whole destination.
Your personal conclusion?
We are very satisfied with your concept. For the camper it is easy to use and for us an uncomplicated system that simplifies our everyday life and also generates added value.
The Säntis, the highest mountain in the Lake Constance region - nestled in one of the most beautiful natural settings in Europe - offers a unique panoramic view of six countries from its summit. Together with the Schwägalp, the NatureExperiencePark and the many hiking trails, it forms the best known and most popular destination for excursions, events and "Wellbeing".
We offer our guests a unique mountain experience with exciting encounters in a modern and trustworthy infrastructure. With our authentic, friendly and service-oriented employees, the high-quality, versatile and customer-oriented gastronomy and hotel business, we make the perfect host.
Read more at www.saentisbahn.ch
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