Caravan Parks for sale are usually offered in one of three ways. These include:
Where the owner/operator is responsible for everything from bookings to refurbishment but there is no rent and they collect all profit.
Caravan parks are considered to be strong investments by lenders but if you are new to the industry the purchase of a caravan park can be a complicated process. Mike Phipps from Mike Phipps Finance advises that it can take time to “assess your requirements, and explain the purchase, finance process and provide a summary of your likely purchasing range”.
Caravan Park Value is assessed on a case-by-case basis, but the lenders generally want to see a business that has increasing revenue year-on-year and may also want a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) of the business completed. Generally, a lender that understands the caravan park and accommodation industry will give a stronger valuation.
Running a caravan park is a hands-on job! Here is what you can expect it to involve:
Caravans and camping are as much a part of our lifestyle as throwing shrimp on a barbie! According to Tourism Research Australia, Australians spent a total of 59 million nights in caravans and camping in 2019, making it the most popular national accommodation option.
Its popularity is continuing to bloom as the Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) recently noted that a “strong and sustainable resurgence of caravan park occupancy” was emerging as a post-COVID travel norm.
Aussies are global explorers but travel has changed, perhaps for many years to come, and people have turned their attention towards their own back yard. CIAA data highlights a “rapid uptake” of campers, giving the industry significant potential to lead regional recovery for Australia’s visitor economy.
“Coming from ground zero, this early data shows real green-shoots are occurring in caravanning which is now driving our tourism industry forward,” the association advised.
This data also reveals that 80 percent of CIAA’s consumer audience are considering staying in a caravan park and there are interesting signs that post-COVID campers and caravanners fulfil a younger demographic.
Camplify, the van sharing platform dubbed “Airbnb for caravans”, recently reported a 125 percent rise in Australian winter camping holidays compared to last year. It also reported an increase in younger users; nearly 30 percent of users of the Camplify website were between 25 and 34 years’ old and there is a growth in the 21 to 24-year-old age group. Interestingly, the data specifies that in 2019, nearly 50 percent of people hiring caravans on the site were between 35 and 55 years old and 54 percent of bookings were made by women.
We use the term “Caravan Park” but note that “Holiday Park” is also an umbrella term referring to all parks that accommodate caravans, cabins, camp sites and mobile homes – all ideally suited for holiday or long-term accommodation. Most parks offer short and long-stay options for holidaymakers, roaming tourists, permanent residents, or a mix of both.
Every caravan park is different but most offer powered and unpowered sites, ensuite and drive-through sites, camping, cabins and motel-style rooms with the addition of high-end “glamping tents” also on the rise. Some parks offer an environmentally sustainable and back-to-nature experience and some are health-focused, while others offer a full-on, fun-filled time. Many more focus on families but an increasing number feature trendy cafes, higher-end restaurants, outdoor cinemas, play areas and waterparks.
The permanent sector of caravan parks has also seen the growth of Manufactured Housing Estates (MHEs), more akin to gated communities, where residents own their own manufactured home and pay site rental plus metered utility costs.
Caravan parks are widely regarded as safer post-pandemic accom compared to other options. Keelan Howard from CIAA talked about why caravan parks are considered to be less of a cross-contamination risk: “By design, caravan parks have large open spaces, cabin accommodation and many caravans/RVs have their own toilet, shower, kitchen and air conditioning systems that reduce the need for shared amenity blocks and facilities. Caravan parks also have increased strong cleaning and hygiene practices in place.”
The signs are strong that the caravan park industry will continue to grow therefore owning one could be a great business opportunity for forward thinking people who enjoy a busy and varied lifestyle.