Raglan Holiday Park awarded Visitor Experience Excellence

Raglan Kopua Holiday Park is going from strength to strength, getting busier all the time and bringing home an award that recognises customer service excellence.

Park manager Rob Clark said he and wife Mary had had a busy winter with the units full most weekends and booking requests throughout the year on the rise. Many spots were also booked from year to year.

To cap off a good winter, the park was recognised recently by the Holiday Park Association of New Zealand, receiving the ServiceIQ Holiday Park Visitor Experience Award at the HPANZ annual conference in Auckland.

Rob said the park was one of the first of the 320-odd holiday parks around New Zealand to embrace new tourism qualifications for its staff.
“I just understand the value of customer service,” said Rob, who had been in the holiday park industry for about 20 years. “It’s not just important, it’s your business.”

Five of the park’s 15 staff members were enrolled in tourism courses, which had about 40 different units on offer so qualifications could be tailor-made to each person.
More staff would be enrolling for the qualifications in the future.

Rob said the staff had really got on board with the training and were now seeing visitor experience in a different light.
“We’re not selling accommodation, we’re selling memories,” he said. “From the moment they [the guests] come in the door, they start interacting with us and we want that experience to be memorable.”

To get to Raglan, guests had often driven over roads that could be challenging for some. “They arrive here and they want to be looked after.”
“A lot of people will travel here who don’t have any set plans. ‘What is there to do in Raglan?’ is a reasonably common question [for park staff].”
Being warm and friendly was part of the job for staff, along with problem solving and giving out information to guests.

Rachel Benn

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