Campsite owners in Queensland, Australia usually benefit from enormous demand and good, steady occupancies – it’s fairly self explanatory why people would visit the Sunshine Coast! However, the economic downturn and the increased number of ‘grey dollars’ visiting Australia has meant that some towns and areas are being completely avoided by motorhome owners in search of cheap overnight rents. Visitors are bypassing towns which have been traditional campers towns and are moving on rather quicker than previously. Why is this and could it be something that’s coming to the UK?
Low Facilities, Low Costs
For motorhome owners, nothing really matters if you’re staying for a night in a campsite. Motorhome owners almost certainly not interested in external bathroom facilities or electric hook-ups and probably not interested in arcade activities, watersides or kids clubs. The mobility that the motorhome offers is completely different to that of the traditional caravan club and, thus, motorhome owners are choosing to drive on and camp somewhere cheaper.
High Spending Customers
The problem with this phenomenon is that older motorhome owners (those who spend the ‘grey dollars’) tend to be big spenders when they’re away from the campsites. This cash boosts the local economy. However, the downturn means even older visitors are not wasting any money on overnight stops and choosing to enjoy the daytime instead. Of course, this does come at a cost to the local area.
Coming to the UK?
It could well be that high prices in some of the more developed campsites are preventing visitors from stopping by and it’s a decision that encompasses more than it used to. Campsites are under competition from both cheap hotels and from motorhomes which, after a long usage, can make far more sense than renting caravans in traditional parks. We could well see areas of the UK being bypassed, but it’s important to remember the UK is a lot smaller than Australia and so there is considerably less choice over where to park up.
Campsites are struggling somewhat at the moment but hopefully an improvement in economic conditions will boost demand in the future. If you’re thinking of travelling to Australia then consider what you need before you fly – and don’t forget your motorhome insurance! You may not be covered on the other side of the world.