Bunn Leisure, owned by Cove Communities, is located in Selsey in West Sussex. The Park is made up of three large holiday areas which make up one of the largest holiday and ownership parks in the UK. The three holiday areas (Green Lawns, White Horse and West Sands) also features a touring and camping site (Warner Farm). In the last year, Bunn Leisure has invested over £10m in brand new facilities, water complexes, pitch developments and a whole host of activities and Owner facilities.
Bunn Leisure, along with their American owners Cove Communities, were faced with a problem: how to avoid excessive queues of guests on check-in and check-out days. Social distancing considerations and contact mitigation may amplify these problems post-COVID. Mobile Key from TLJ proved to be the perfect solution: not only can guests use the ‘My Bunn Holiday' app to access their holiday accommodation, digital smart keys can be issued well ahead of arrival, eliminating the need to collect physical keys from Reception.
Another highly convenient feature of Mobile Key is that digital keys can be batch loaded into the system, meaning literally hundreds of guest keys can be issued in one go, saving lots of time. The Reception team can focus on welcoming guests to the resort without manual check-in, and guest experience is improved as there’s no lengthy paperwork to complete on arrival.
TLJ's Mobile Key smartphone integration solving an important problem for Bunn Leisure
Maybe less understood are some of the practical limitations of installing electronic locks to caravans. Normally a solid wooden door is needed for an electronic lock, due to the depth of the mortise mechanism. Caravans, however, tend to have doors of a non-standard construction, such as uPVC or aluminium, and feature multi-point locking. TLJ’s RezLok model is designed for precisely such a scenario, as the main working parts are contained within the lock handle itself.
Having been consulted by Bunn on the options to upgrade access control across the estate, TLJ were chosen to install almost 300 RezLoks to rental caravans, lodges and holiday cottages across the three main parks at Bunn Leisure. This constitutes phase one of the development, which will be supplemented by a second phase of installations throughout May 2021.
An important part of this project was providing integrated access control to the park itself, amenities around the site and, ultimately, to the guest’s static caravan, park lodge or holiday cottage.
TLJ played a major role in driving the integration agenda for Bunn Leisure’s ‘My Bunn’ smartphone guest app. Way beyond a simple white-labelling exercise, TLJ used their technical expertise to integrate with in-app functions such as booking swimming sessions and other park activities, as well as ordering takeaway meals and making (outdoor) reservations at the park’s restaurants.
The next phase will be even more exciting. TLJ are currently installing on Bunn’s third-party fleet of caravans. Here, privately-owned holiday accommodation, which can be hired out to guests, is managed by Bunn Leisure and will soon benefit from having Rezloks fitted. The big technological shift, however, will be with the imminent arrival of the next-generation ‘My Bunn’ app. TLJ will offer full API integration to Bunn, meaning park access will be truly seamless. From a guest booking online, the site’s PMS will allocate accommodation and connect with the TLJ Cloud to issue a Mobile Key for the precise duration, fully automatically with no human intervention. Prior to arrival the app will even know if a guest has failed to retrieve their key and can issue a series of push notifications, prompting them to do so.
Other enhanced features introduced at this point will be automated car park access and control, plus a resort-wide tracking facility which can indicate if a guest has retrieved their Mobile Key but has yet to access their holiday accommodation. This may mean they are lost on site, triggering an alert and allowing the guest to be pinpointed and offered help via an interactive resort map. Features such as cashless vending can also be introduced, with digital tokens to spend in the bar, amusement arcades or other on-park retail outlets.
From the resort operator’s point of view, the enhanced app will offer extended direct marketing opportunities too. The ability to present in-app marketing offers for ‘Happy Hour’ in the bar or ‘Kids Eat Free’ in the restaurant is proven to increase revenue. And to increase guest retention rates, who would want to offer time-bound discounts, pre-checkout, for repeat booking the following year?
Bunn Leisure's Head of Holiday Sales, Allison Tye, commented
It has been a real collaborative project working with TLJ to implement this innovative project and the positive feedback we have had from our guests has been fantastic. Our team have been bowled over by the TLJ team and how supportive and helpful they have been every step of the way; even supporting our first check in day which “went like a dream”.
TLJ’s Chief Technical Officer, Luke Martin, added
It’s great when you’re able to address a specific problem for a client, which makes such a huge difference for them. Removing the bottle necks on check-in and check-out days not only helps Reception staff, but also makes for a much more pleasant guest experience. When combined with state-of-the-art caravan locks and ever more sophisticated resort-wide integrations, we are confident that Bunn Leisure will benefit from increased guest satisfaction and more repeat bookings.