On behalf of Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC), Deputy Mayor Councillor Doug Hawkins has extended thanks to the Australian Caravan Club (ACC) representatives who presented three workshops to give local business owners a better understanding of the benefits that can accrue through encouraging RVers to visit the Shire.
“The workshops highlighted awareness of the value of the industry, a breakdown of RVers’ daily spending, how to encourage RVers to visit, the overall experience they a seeking, and better ways to access the burgeoning market,” Councillor Hawkins said.
Getting ready for the first Quirindi seminar - John Snell from ACC’s Policy, Advocacy & Town Support Team, Tom Smith ACC Deputy Chair, Donna Ausling LPSC Director Environmental Services and Economic Development, Kaye Christie & Graham Christie ACC Director, Membership Support
“LPSC and ACC have developed a close working relationship to achieve a better outcome for all RVers as well helping to drive local economic development. Council has invested in the establishment or upgrading of Freedom Camps at Willow Tree, Wallabadah, Currabubula and Premer plus the Caravan Park in Quirindi. Work is underway to improve facilities at Spring Ridge and when a suitable location is agreed upon a new Freedom Camp will be developed at Werris Creek. Possibilities at Blackville are also being explored. These developments have seen the number of RVers utilising Shire facilities increase greatly with flow on benefits for all communities involved,” he said.
“Approximately 50 people attended the workshops held at Quirindi and Spring Ridge,” he continued.
Glen and Lisa (right side middle row) from the Marshal McMahon hotel at Wallabadah, Caroline (centre front row) from The Hub at Wallabadah and Cathy (front right) from the Currabubula Hotel attended one of the seminars which focused on hospitality.
The Spring Ridge hall was the venue for one of the workshops. Local businesses are keen to develop the potential that an upgraded Freedom Camping site can bring to their community.
“Some of the info local businesses need to take on board includes Freedom camping use increased 24% over the last year. Growth is being driven by adult couples travelling without children. Overall though 50% of the RV market is families with Grey Nomads accounting for 25-30%. Families are more likely to stay at caravan parks, particularly at beach side locations, whilst couples and grey-nomads are more likely to utilise Freedom Camp sites,” he said.
“The numbers are big! Nationally, over $7 billion is spent each year by RV travellers, with 30 million domestic visitor nights spent in caravan parks and freedom camping grounds. Importantly for our Shire, 90% of all visitor nights in the sector are spent in regional Australia.
“I’ve received positive feedback about the workshops with the business community appreciating being better informed about what the RVers are looking for when they visit.
“Businesses who missed out on attending can contact me for more details on 0407 001 048. I often hear businesses saying times are tough, we’re not making enough, well supporting Council’s attempts to drive economic development by courting the RV market provides an opportunity for you to grow your business. The aim is to provide what the RV market requires and at the same time to help our Shire prosper,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.