QUEENSLAND'S Mackay Regional Council plans to grab a larger slice of
the lucrative recreational vehicles tourism market.
It will launch an action plan to slash red tape surrounding caravan parks
and camping areas in a bid to attract more caravanners and other
travellers into the region.
And the local mayor stressed the importance of catering for all travellers,
including the emerging low-cost and minimal facility camping sectors
The council has already held meetings with stakeholders, ranging from
industry bodies to existing commercial camping and caravan operators.
It will review of local laws, fees and various approvals
to make it easier and more affordable for businesses to provide camping
and caravan facilities in the area.
Local caravan parks complain of free camps hitting their business
The Mackay region boasts 28 commercial caravan and tourist parks offering
just over a thousand powered sites, 109 unpowered sites and 398 cabins,
villas and permanent residential sites.
There are also free camping areas ‒ both official and unofficial ‒ and
eight camping areas in State National Parks.
Local caravan parks complain their sites are left empty as grey nomads and
other travellers enjoy free overnight camping.
One park owner said there was a need to reduce rates and land charges so
caravan parks could survive.
Mayor Greg Williamson said the Mackay region was well positioned to claim
a greater stake of the growing self-drive market.
"We have a wonderful climate, attractive natural environment, tourist
offerings and a strategic location on the Bruce Highway," he said.
"Other local governments across Australia and New Zealand have already
developed strategies to help increase RV attraction.
"There is little doubt that improving our drive tourism market would
deliver significant positive economic benefits to our region."
He said the drive tourism market was a growing component of the camping
industry which continued to expand on the back of high production levels
of recreational vehicles.
"It is important to ensure that the Mackay region caters to all consumer
needs of travellers, including the emerging low-cost and minimal facility
camping sectors," he added.