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Fuel cost fails to slow popular caravan park chains

September 26, 2005
Fuel cost fails to slow popular caravan park chains

High fuel prices have not slowed demand for caravan park holidays,

Senior executives from Family Parks of Australia, BIG4 and st1:place st1:placename Top /st1:placename st1:placename Tourist /st1:placename st1:placetype Parks /st1:placetype /st1:place told st1:personname GoSeeAustralia /st1:personname .

BIG4, CEO, Terry Goodall, said BIG4 bookings are in line with last year. st1:place st1:city Top Tourist Parks /st1:city st1:country-region Australia /st1:country-region /st1:place , Executive Manager, st1:personname Bill Pycroft /st1:personname and Family Parks CEO, Noel Guthrie agree demand for parks has not slowed. Mr Guthrie said FPA business in st1:state st1:place Queensland /st1:place /st1:state had in fact increased since the fuel price hike.

st1:personname Bill Pycroft /st1:personname , Executive Manager of Top Tourist Parks Australia, told st1:personname GoSeeAustralia /st1:personname fuel cost increases may change caravan park use patterns for some Top Tourist Park members, but if there had to be price rises they came at a good time with the start of the Southern Australian caravan park touring season.

'Our members do not travel as far during the Southern Australian caravan park season and they may decide to make a couple of shorter trips. They will consider staying longer in caravan parks, not shorter stays. The prices charged by caravan parks have not gone up,' he said.

Tathra NSW'Really fuel is a very small component in the overall cost of a touring vehicle and a holiday'.

'Top Tourist Parks has 86,000 card members and our people are very flexible in the way they approach their travel arrangements. Many are semi-retired or retired and they may just sit back for a bit and see what happens with fuel prices', Bill Pycroft said.

'I think food costs will probably go up and that is an adjustment people planning touring caravan park holidays can manage themselves to best offset the overall cost', he said.

Noel Guthrie, CEO of Family Parks Australia, told GoSeeAustralia that there has been: 'A lot of grumbles from Grey Nomads travelling in the North, but there has been no downturn in our parks, in fact there has been an increase in FPA business in Queensland.'

White Ibis Holiday Village'Next year could be critical, but our people are relaxed and it might mean that caravan park visitors will just stay in caravan parks longer. If they feel they cant afford to travel right up to Cairns they might only go to Brisbane.

'Industry demographic analysis shows that Victorians are the number one caravan park travellers in terms of distance driven. Traditionally they go to Queensland, but they could decide to travel to Northern NSW', he said.

Mr Guthrie said he thought it would not be until next year that definitive information on the longer term effects of high fuel pricing would be available.

Big 4 Whitsunday site

BIG4 Holiday Parks Chief Executive Officer, Terry Goodall, told GoSeeAustralia that even at $1.60 a litre the cost of fuel remains the smallest expense on a touring holiday, only representing a quarter of the daily budget; accommodation costs, food, drinks and sundry items making up the rest.

'To date the petrol prices do not appear to have significantly affected peoples travelling habits,' he said. 'Business in BIG4 Holiday Parks remains strong and bookings are in-line with this time last year.'

Mr Goodall believes that even in the long-term Australians looking for a holiday park experience whether its cabins, caravans, campers, motor homes or camping - will continue to enjoy the great Aussie road-trip in BIG4s 165 Holiday Parks.

We Love This CountryThere are a number of simple steps that can be taken to become as fuel efficient as possible when on the road;

* Maintain 85 90km highway speed. There is a critical factor in reducing fuel consumption and will produce a saving of between 10 30 per cent compared with maintaining 100km

* Down shift an auto manually when confronting a crest of long climb rather than kick down. And switch off cruise control when climbing or in hilly country.

* Use overdrive and cruise control on flat terrain (coasting). This will reduce engine revs and maintain a steady and efficient balance

* Try not to overload your vehicle or caravan do you really need the extra Esky?

* If you are towing or carrying plenty of camping equipment, plan your trip so you stay in one location longer. This way you can visit local attractions in a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Editor's note: Also see -