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|Author :||Rod Caldicott & Pascal Scherrer|
|School/Work Place :||Southern Cross University, Australia|
Coastal caravan parks in Australia are in decline due to the conversion of beachfront land to higher yielding forms of commercial enterprise (Prideaux and McClymont, 2006; Tourism Research Australia, 2007). The resulting reduction in accommodation facilities for mobile travellers (caravanners) over the past decade is contrasted by increasing consumer demand for, and participation in, drive-tourism experiences (Carson et al., 2002): particularly by grey nomad caravanners and a new wave of younger adventure seeking couples and families in camper trailers (Caldicott, 2011). These opposing trends are on a trajectory to create a serious accommodation facilities shortage for the caravanning sector of the tourism industry.
This paper uses a case study of caravan parks in the Tweed Shire, NSW, to examine the lifecycle pattern of this type of accommodation facilities in the area and to produce an informed outlook towards the sector’s future. The sector’s history is framed within Butler’s (1980) enduring concept of the Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC).