Time to Roam Magazine Issue 9 - June/July 2014 - Page 13

| letters feedback FREE CAMPING DEBATE: There’s room for all I read with great interest the story in your last issue regarding caravan parks pushing for a change in competition laws applying to free camps. I consider myself reasonably qualified on the matter and can look at this ever-growing contentious issue from every angle having worked in a caravan park, travelled more than 70,000km towing our caravan, currently working for a caravan dealership and have had many published articles. Firstly, let’s look at it from the caravan park’s point of view. As stated in the article, it costs the owner up to $40,000 per site to set up, so naturally they, like every business person, will want a profit on their investment, who wouldn’t? To do this they must compete against all other types of accommodation whether it be motel/hotel, free camp or another caravan park. In my opinion many caravan parks have dropped the ball in trying to attract a narrow, seasonal sector of the custom with luxurious cabins, jumping pillows, Bali- style swimming pool set-ups, games rooms and the like. This is not a criticism, purely an observation of how caravan parks have evolved. In heading down this track they have isolated the other broader and longer travelled sector, the grey nomads. What retired caravanning couple do you see jumping on an inflated pillow or slinking around in the latest bikini with cocktail in hand? So many powered sites have either been replaced