Tourism has been strong on the Coffs Coast this summer holidays.
Tourism has been strong on the Coffs Coast this summer holidays. CHCC

Parks vital for local economy

AS THIS is my first column of 2018, I would like to begin by wishing everyone a very happy new year.

And, as we are still enjoying the holiday season, I thought I'd take a look at one of the mainstays of the local tourism market - council's holiday parks.

Council runs four award-winning holiday parks located in Park Beach in Coffs Harbour, Sawtell and Woolgoolga. The parks are located on beachside reserves with accommodation options including villas, cabins and camping sites.

Council runs the facilities as the corporate manager of the Coffs Coast State Park Trust, appointed by the NSW Department of Industry - Lands.

The parks serve a number of purposes for the Coffs Harbour community. First and foremost they attract holidaymakers to the area, which is absolutely vital for the local economy.

Since Boxing Day, all our parks have been full, with 100 per cent occupancy.

If the good weather continues, we expect strong occupancy figures to continue right through until the Australia Day weekend.

Caravan park industry research shows that for every dollar of revenue achieved by a caravan park, there is $1.38 of economic activity in the local region.

All in all, that means about $3.5m of local economic activity this Christmas season alone.

Another important aspect to realise is that all the parks are run very much as businesses.

They are all fully self-funded and all profits are reinvested into the reserves they sit within.

This also means that the amount of money council has to spend from other sources on major capital improvements and running costs for public reserves is reduced by the funds generated by the holiday parks.

We work hard to ensure that the holiday parks retain their attractiveness by continually investing in new and upgraded accommodation and facilities.

This is vital, as maintaining the appeal of the holiday parks for future and current visitors has a direct link to providing improved public spaces for locals and visitors alike.

Ultimately, the aim is to continue to help grow the prosperity of the Coffs Coast region.