Lift in focus on customer service
Awards recognise NSW's
CAPPING off a year in which NSW caravan and camping holidays recorded their strongest-ever performance, 11 companies and individuals took out top honours at the 2019 Annual Awards of Excellence.
The awards are coordinated by the state’s peak industry body, the NSW Caravan and Camping Industry Association (CCIA) and recognise businesses and individuals that excel in terms of service, innovation and best practice.
CCIA president Theo Whitmont said the awards were particularly significant in 2019, which for the first time saw the number of domestic caravan and camping holidays taken in NSW surpass 4.4 million trips.
"In a year in which the NSW caravan and camping industry performed exceptionally, the Awards of Excellence have particular resonance. They not only acknowledge the outstanding performances of companies and individuals, but also reflect on the collective achievement of all areas of the industry in continuing to build and grow and innovate," he said.
"We take great pride in this industry and never overlook the fact that its success is the result of many contributions over many years."
Mr Whitmont added that the long-term efforts by members of the industry had prompted the CCIA board to introduce new awards in 2019 aimed at acknowledging the 'nnovators and builders' who had helped shape the industry over decades.
According to CCIA chief executive Lyndel Gray the awards show some very distinct trends in the way in which the industry is interfacing with its target markets.
"The judges have advised us that across all categories there is a very evident lift the industry’s focus on customer service," she said.
"This is reflected in strong investment in training programs and the introduction of thorough, multi-layered processes for obtaining customer feedback and channelling it to improve every aspect of the customer experience.
"Sometimes it's the small things that make huge differences – for example more holiday parks are introducing barista-operated coffee carts so their clients get the best flat whites and lattes on site; they are launching wellness sessions such as yoga for adults and inviting the local community to participate; planting herb gardens so their clients can pick fresh herbs to enhance campfire cooking."
Ms Gray said the most dominant trend in the holiday park sector was towards program enhancements and new facilities to improve the holiday experience for children.
"There is a remarkable focus on children's activities and a very conscious attempt to entice children away from their screens," she said.
"Our winners in the holiday park categories have been incredibly innovative – we are seeing the introduction of Game of Thrones-inspired infrastructure complete with medieval castles and knights in armour; sensory boards that invite children to get tactile and active; oversized toy car circuits and ever more adventurous water parks."
Ms Gray added that in the trade categories the award winners demonstrated ongoing improvement in manufacturing processes, design and materials and innovative take-up of technology and digital marketing,
"For me though, the most impressive award categories highlighted the outstanding contributions made by employees across all industry sectors," she said.
"We’ve built the industry on the passion and dedication of people – we need to acknowledge them and keep enticing young people to become part of the caravan and camping industry because it offers great careers and enormous personal growth and satisfaction."
Holiday Park of the Year Award (Less than 100 sites): Kings
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