Holiday parks are central to driving sustainable regional tourism growth, says Holiday Parks New Zealand, as statistics show holiday parks now host more than eight million guest nights per year.
The latest Statistics New Zealand figures indicate that over the year ended February 2018, guests spent 8,019,234 nights at holiday parks in New Zealand – more than a fifth of total guest nights and 4.5 per cent up on the previous year.
“Holiday parks provide a large proportion of regional New Zealand guest nights and are an important part of regional economic development,” says Holiday Parks New Zealand CEO Fergus Brown.
In the Coromandel Peninsula, holiday parks account for 58.6 per cent of total commercial guest nights.
In areas like Central Otago, Kapiti-Horowhenua and the East Coast, holiday parks represent nearly half of all commercial guest nights. Wanaka has seen a 10.7 per cent jump in holiday park patronage over the past year.
“Our regions have fantastic natural tourism assets,” said Fergus. “We provide the facilities that enable visitors to get their taste of nature without leaving too much of a footprint.
“We operate at around 20 per cent occupancy so have enormous potential to increase guest nights without major investment.”
Holiday Parks New Zealand is encouraging councils to make the best use of their districts’ accommodation resources in the face of the burgeoning numbers of international travellers coming to New Zealand.
“All visitors benefit the New Zealand economy, but the best way to preserve our environment is to guide these travellers into commercial accommodation like holiday parks,” says Fergus.
“We ask councils to consider holiday parks and to not open up freedom camping sites next door to them.”