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How Center Parcs offers the right accommodation to its guests, thanks to data-powered insights

min. read
Business question
How to understand guest preferences and willingness to pay for different cottage features and services?

Center Parcs Europe, a renowned holiday park operator, is dedicated to providing exceptional experiences for its guests across  Europe. With a focus on renting cottages equipped with various amenities, Center Parcs offers a consistent atmosphere and access to a wide range of activities, from swimming pools to live music. To improve their cottage offering and get a deeper understanding of their guests’ needs and wants, Center Parcs decided to collaborate with boobook. We had the opportunity to speak with Victor Savigny, Senior Product Intelligence Manager at Center Parcs, about the impact of the insights from boobook on their business.

Business goal

Center Parcs sought to gain insights into guest needs, expectations, behaviours, and satisfaction levels, by leveraging internal and external data sources as well as boobook’s consultancy, "The goal of the collaboration with boobook was to manage and update the cottage portfolio, understand what works well and what doesn’t, and why. We also needed to understand which types of guests are our main target groups, what their preferences are, and their willingness to pay for different cottage features & services. The objective was to gather and analyse information about our village design and accommodations," shares Victor. 

Main challenges

 “We wanted to understand a lot of aspects regarding our guests and learn about the preferences for many features in our accommodations, such as the necessity of having a TV in the rooms, the level of importance of wellness experiences like sauna, or the importance of dining areas. In fact, too much to get everything into one survey," Victor confesses. Building on experience and by listening carefully to the stakeholders, the boobook team helped Victor and his team to determine the scope of the project and to identify the key features & services to question in the survey. 

The next challenge was interpreting the vast amount of data collected to find and reveal the right guidelines. Regular check-ins and close collaboration between boobook, Victor, and the stakeholders were crucial for a correct interpretation of the data and for detecting the right insights. It was also essential to communicate the guidelines in an accessible and understandable way - even for individuals on the Center Parcs team who weren’t familiar with the terminology or with the methods used (such as conjoint and MaxDiff).

Insights that drive change

Boobook’s trusted methodology and business acumen provided Center Parcs with valuable insights that served as a foundation for driving change within the organisation. Thanks to extensive data, strategic thinking, and understanding of the market, boobook gave clear advice on how to enhance the guest experience by giving insights into the types of guests Center Parcs attracts, their needs, which features & services are important for them, and the ideal village design. Boobook also gave strategic advice about the price setting of the cottages.

On the one hand, the results confirmed some of Center Parcs’ existing beliefs, and on the other hand, the insights also challenged others, offering a data-driven perspective for decision-making. "Thanks to the study, a lot of internal discussions were cleared out. Boobook's final presentation was really on point. The new insights we gained were ideal groundwork to build our new strategy and try another approach, based on facts rather than assumptions,” Victor explains. 

Close partnership with boobook

Victor highlights how important it was to find the right partner for this type of project. Choosing boobook was straightforward. "The decision to work with boobook was carefully selected internally. We examined three companies and selected boobook based on their interesting methodology, which fit within our budget," says Victor. Spanning over 12 months, the partnership involved brainstorming sessions, team meetings, and stakeholder discussions. Victor reflects, "It was a rather extensive project, but it was necessary to prioritise and align - first internally, then with the boobook team. We had regular meetings to align and communicate, ensuring that each step of the project was properly planned and executed." The close partnership between the two organisations allowed for a smooth exchange of ideas and a comprehensive understanding of the collected data.

Looking ahead

With a focus on aligning internal processes and utilising the research findings, Center Parcs aims to provide a new, enhanced experience for their guests across all 29 parks. 

Following the final delivery of results, Center Parcs set its sights on implementing the new cottage strategy based on the research findings. The learnings were shared with key stakeholders responsible for guiding the change process. Additionally, a standardisation list was created within Center Parcs to guide the quotation process of cottage renovations and new cottages and ensure consistent quality across their numerous cottages among existing and new parks. Victor acknowledges the challenges of making changes in a business with a vast number of cottages, stating, “It’s important to approach any modifications to the cottages properly given the high costs involved."As Victor and his team proceed with the next stages of implementing the insights, it’s important to highlight how this is just one part of the journey. The boobook team is still in close contact with Victor, making sure they can support him beyond the provided insights and help him create the optimal experience for all the Center Parcs guests.

"The collaboration with boobook has been transformative for Center Parcs. We now have a data-driven approach that allows us to understand our guests on a deeper level and make informed decisions that will positively impact their experience. We are excited about the future and the opportunities that lie ahead,” concludes Victor.

Are you ready to enhance your customer experience and make informed decisions based on data-driven insights? Reach out to our team, and let’s collaborate!

Iva Divic

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