Southern swarm on way

Tweed van parks brace for influx

By LEONIE BRANN

THE winter migration of travellers from southern states is once again expected to flock into Tweed caravan and holiday parks, managers of local tourist parks say.

Both private and council-run caravan and holiday parks on the Tweed are once again bracing themselves for the arrival of thousands of travellers from Australia's southern states, with most sites already booked from mid May to September.

"Winter is one of the busiest periods for our local parks, we have people who book in year after year to spend their winter on the Tweed," Tweed Coast Holiday Parks Reserve Trust executive manager Richard Adams said.

The winter migration of travellers has been the trend for the last 30 years or so, according to Mr Adams who co-ordinates the management of the Tweed Coast, that are located on Crown land and run by Tweed Shire Council.

Virginia Willmott, who co-owns both the Tweed River Hacienda and Homestead Holiday Parks at Chinderah and is the president of the Tweed Caravaning and Camping Industry Association that represents private caravan park owners, agrees winter is a busy time at local parks.

"We are not 100 per cent booked as yet, but we have the regular bookings with the same people coming back to spend the winter," Ms Willmott said of local caravan parks in the association.

"I think it is the weather and the position that draws people here. People from the southern states enjoy conditions that is like their summer during our winter."

"We have had the same people coming back to stay with us for the last 20 years of so, and as they tell their friends about winter on the Tweed the number of advance bookings we take has been steadily increasing," Mrs Willmott said of the seasonal bookings at her family's two parks.

According to figures released by the Caravan, Camping, RV and Accommodation Industry of Australia, winter is becoming a boom time for holiday parks, with the caravan and camping industry expected to inject $6.7 billion into the national economy in 2006, with more than 605,000 Australians set to embark on touring holidays this year.



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