Saturday, April 11, 2009

Holiday parks booming in recession?

Watch video HERE

Good to see Fergus Brown, CE of the Holiday Accommodation Parks Association of New Zealand (HAPNZ) making it on television this evening.

At the end of March 2009, HAPNZ released its research findings on the economic contribution of holiday park visitors. Click HERE for the highlights

The Association was able to gain good traction in all media with its revelation that visitors contribute around $623 million in direct expenditure to New Zealand’s economy each year.

This revelation was again repeated on this evening's news clip with the backdrop of fine weather and happy Easter holiday park occupants eagerly smiling for the camera. This was a coup d’├ętat for Fergus and HAPNZ that have to be congratulated on stimulating a positive cost-effective media campaign!

Other accommodation sectors can learn from this.

Are Holiday parks booming in recession? Well....that is probably optimistic. There was a wee bit of spin, with the news item leaving the viewer with the impression that caravan parks and camping grounds were overrun with increased occupancies. For the December 2008 year caravan parks/camping grounds were up by 60,000 guest nights (1 percent).

Unfortunately the 2009 year has not started well for the caravan parks and camping ground sector with guest nights in January down by 47,000 (3 percent) and February down by 42,000 (5 percent).

March figures are unlikely to be spectacular when released and who knows if having Easter fall in April will be enough to boost this month's figures?

On the positive side, caravan parks/camping grounds in spite of bleeding guest nights comparative to last year have still performed relatively better than the motel and hotel sectors.

April 11, 2009
www.tvnz.co.nz

Holiday parks across the country are having a happy Easter as the beginning of school holidays see people pitching tents around the country.

But it is not just the holiday parks who cash in on the benefits. According to research commissioned by the Holiday Parks Association, guests nationwide inject $623 million into New Zealand's economy annually.

"People look at holiday parks and in many cases thought that's the bottom end of the market," says Fergus Brown of the association.

"But what we're actually finding is that people who are choosing to stay at holiday parks are doing so because they might want to spend more money on activities, on attractions, on eating out."

Tough economic times mean more Kiwis are seeking cheaper holidays at home and the sector is recognising that.

"At the moment we're seeing new holiday parks opening up," Brown says.

"People are seeing that holiday parks can be profitable businesses and, run well, they are making good money."

Source: Click HERE

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