"Want to continue to offer added value for holidays!"

Interview with Riné van Dingstee, CEO of the RCN Holiday Parks

RCN Holiday Parks - Laacher See

As different as the holiday parks of the RCN Holiday Parks may be, they all have one thing in common. They are all located in a beautiful and natural landscape and offer their guests peace as well as a variety of excursion possibilities. The company, founded in the 1950s and based in Leusden, has continuously expanded its range of services and operates parks in the Netherlands, in France, and in Germany. Here, individuals feel just as at home as couples and families with children.

"We try to offer vacations within driving distance, always near forests, water, or mountains," explains Riné van Dingstee, CEO of RCN Holiday Parks. "Our range extends from simple grassy areas for camping to wooden cabins and mobile homes, up to very comfortable stone accommodations. Moreover, we encourage guests to participate in activities outside our parks so that they also get to know the surroundings."

But even within the parks, there's plenty on offer, including children's entertainment, bowling alleys, play and sports fields, as well as restaurants, small supermarkets, and traffic education parks. The visitor structure is very diverse, with older guests and families making up the largest share. 60 to 70% of the visitors are Dutch, but Germans and French people also enjoy taking a break in nature.

Riné van Dingstee, CEO of RCN Holiday Parks
Riné van Dingstee, CEO of RCN Holiday Parks

Many Regular Guests

Currently, RCN employs 350 staff members, a number that increases to up to 1,000 with temporary workers during the holiday season. The 18 holiday parks record a turnover of 60 million EUR. "We also have a very high number of regular guests, whom we regularly inform about our activities via emails," the CEO emphasizes.

RCN Holiday Parks Reception Building
With an area of 80 ha the largest holiday park: reception building of RCN Het Grote Bos near Doorn
RCN Holiday Parks Cottages
Comfortable and in the midst of nature: holiday cottages in the park RCN Het Grote Bos

New customers are often made aware of the parks through recommendations from satisfied visitors. Otherwise, RCN also relies on online marketing for acquisition, such as search engine optimization, as well as on the clearly designed website, from which bookings can also be made directly. Bookings can also be made by phone through their own contact center with multilingual staff.

Park in the Volcanic Eifel

"We are not out for commerce," says Riné van Dingstee. "For us, making money is a means to an end, not the goal. The human aspect and social projects, for example, social activities for lonely people, holidays for people who otherwise couldn't afford it or for sick children – that's what also drives us."

RCN Holiday Parks Camping with a View
Magnificent view: Camping at the French RCN Val de Cantobre
RCN Holiday Parks Brasserie
Here's to a lovely vacation: Enjoying yourself at an RCN Brasserie

This mindset is certainly shaped by the founding era, as RCN was founded in 1952 by the Reformed Church of the Netherlands, which at that time opened the first park, RCN Het Grote Bos, near Doorn. Today, RCN is a limited liability company and operates nine parks in the Netherlands, eight in France, and one campground at Laacher See in the German Eifel volcanic region.

Sustainability as a Focus

Although RCN, as a modern company, controls many processes electronically, digitalization never comes at the expense of human contact and personal hospitality. In addition to individual attention, RCN has also committed itself to sustainability. Riné van Dingstee: "Sustainability is one of our focal points. We have even hired a special Sustainability Manager for this purpose. We rely on renewable energies and have many photovoltaic systems. In our restaurants, we largely avoid plastic and ensure the use of recyclable materials."

In addition to the well-being of the guests, the satisfaction of the staff is naturally also close to the manager's heart. "People should work with us with joy. With us, they are seen as human beings and can act independently." Especially in Germany, the CEO wants to expand further: "We are looking for pearls in AAA locations in nature, to be able to offer people added value for their holidays in the future."