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Holiday parks spending big in own communities

Holiday parks return some 86 percent of their expenditure to their own regions and make significant community contributions, a new report has found.

Holiday Parks New Zealand commissioned Angus & Associates to investigate the value of holiday parks to the communities in which they are based. The report, part of HPNZ’s ongoing visitor spending research, examined the expenditure and non-financial contributions of a range of holiday parks across the country.

The average total expenditure of the holiday parks featured in the study was $1.11 million for the year ending March 2018. Expenditure most likely to be made in a park’s own region included rent, salaries and wages, indirect taxes, security, repairs, replacement and maintenance, cleaning and laundry, accounting and legal fees, and motor vehicle expenses. On average, more than 90 percent of expenditure in these categories occurred in-region.

Holiday parks’ average expenditure per region has grown compared with the 2016/17 and 2017/18 studies.

In particular, the proportion of expenditure spent within the region for a small holiday park increased to 77 percent from 71 percent in 2016/17.

Salaries, wages and other employee costs were the largest expenses for holiday parks, with small and medium holiday parks spending a fifth of their expenditure on capital improvements, such as ablution blocks and solar panels. Large holiday parks may have a stronger focus on replacement and repairs, the report suggests.

Small holiday parks were found to have a slightly higher expenditure on advertising, promotion and publicity compared to large and medium parks.

“Park investment has increased noticeably since 2017,” said HPNZ chief executive Fergus Brown.

“The improvement to facilities may reflect the strong performance of holiday parks and New Zealand’s tourism sector in general in recent years.”

The study suggests that when the contribution of parks is combined with the average spend of park visitors, the holiday park sector’s economic contribution to New Zealand is $1.32 billion – higher than previous estimates of $1.16 billion (2015) and $1.17 billion (2017).

In addition to financial contributions, holiday parks are making social, environmental, economic and community contributions to their local areas. These include having staff act as board members or trustees of local community boards and projects, and as predator control advocates and conservation volunteers.

Fergus Brown said: “Not only are the parks bringing $1.2 billion a year to the industry in visitor expenditure, they are creating a sustainable environment and allowing communities to thrive”.

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Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: editorial@accomnews.co.nz

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