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13 June 2023 Posted by 

How caravans are playing a key role in growing Coast tourism

The Central Coast’s tourism industry is experiencing a fast growing segment of the market – family caravan and camping holidays.
The Coast has always had a strong camping tradition, but today’s campers want the latest swimming pools, water parks and community facilities.
And they want to be within walking distance of the water, whether it is the beach or lake.
A major positive is the fact that campers in 2023 are more likely to eat out than light up the barbecue.
The days of new resorts in areas like the Central Coast are fading, with today’s new tourist facility more likely to be a luxury caravan park than a four star hotel.
Up to a third are 'newcomers', mainly young couples and families with caravan dealers reporting record sales, while holiday parks are being "overwhelmed" with visitors.
Today’s new caravans can cost $100,000 or more, but they hold their value incredibly well with a 15yo offroad model selling for around $30,000.
The national industry is worth $26B annually and employs more than 6000 people – and its growing fast.
There are currently more than 750,000 recreational vehicles such as caravans and motorhomes registered on Australian roads, with 90% of these vehicles being built in Australia.
"The caravan manufacturing sector is the largest remaining bastion of automotive manufacturing in Australia with 25,000 units built per year in Australia," CEO of Caravan Industry Association of Australia Stuart Lamont said.
The Coast has the potential to be a major manufacturing hub for these vehicles, but that’s another story altogether.
It has huge potential on the Coast because of our close proximity to Australia’s biggest market -Greater Sydney, the Coast’s stunning beaches and waterways and major shopping centres which are a mecca for families.
Now, the problem with family tourism on the Coast is that it is restricted largely to school holidays periods. But caravanning is different because over 50s -the famous grey nomads- tend to travel more in the periods between school holidays.
There is plenty of space available in locations like the Central Coast Council owned Budgewoi Holiday Park which provides a laid back lakeside setting within walking distance of the shopping centre and Budgewoi beach.
The Coasts’ most acclaimed park is NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort Central Coast which took out the Silver Award for Caravan and Holiday Parks at awards for the state’s peak tourism organisation, NSW Tourism Industry Council.
The awards are managed by the NSW Tourism Industry Council powered by Business NSW, the state’s peak business organisation, and supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
The Australian Reptile Park took out the Silver Award for Major Tourist Attractions and Central Coast Council took out Silver in the Local Government Award for Tourism.
“Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventures was also commended. Glenworth Valley offers the most unique camping experience anywhere in Australia.
There is already demand for new state-of-the-art caravan parks on the Central Coast. However the likelihood of them being close to water is minimal because of the lack of suitable sites and the high housing value of vacant land.
The answer may be to locate parks close to the M1 and develop them as self-contained holiday parks. They could be linked to the beaches and shops with a shuttle bus service.
Today’s newly developed holiday park has a major water park facility, lagoon-style pools, shops, food outlets and luxury cabins.
Another answer may be to open up a holiday park in Lake Munmorah recreational Park at a spot like Fraser Park. Only time will tell.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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The Central Coast Sun covers the business and community issues of the NSW Central Coast region. The Central Coast Sun is a prime media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities.