Free Camping? There’s a Heavy Cost say Upset Operators

Call it the Airbnb or Uber moment for holiday parks. Disruption has finally arrived in the sector – but with a twist. Established operators are facing increased competition from lightly or unregulated competitors, that are often free and operated by the councils they pay rates to. As you can imagine, there is friction.

There’s probably already more than 10,000 free or low-cost sites around the country, according to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, with more coming on stream every month as local councils target the tourist dollar with what is effectively a loss-leading strategy.

They want to attract the Grey Nomads or young families travelling Australia in the new breed of self-contained RVs, motorhomes and caravans, vehicles which allow their occupants to go off the grid for days at a time. No need to stop in town, they say. Unless there’s free or low-cost camping… See full story

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