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Camp revamp: GC goes back to future with $39m vintage van plan

Statewide

Gold Coast tourist parks and camp grounds are going back to the future to cash in on nostalgic beachside holiday vibes by spending big on upgrades including retro-style vintage caravans to capture more of the tourism drive market.

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The $39 million revamp by the City of Gold Coast across nine tourist parks is directly aimed at increasing the appeal of the parks to regional visitors and families longing for old-fashioned beachside family holidays at some of the world’s most spectacular beaches.

The pitch is also firmly aimed at enticing more Gold Coasters to holiday in their own backyard as a construction boom of high-end hotels increasingly dominates accommodation offerings on the tourist strip.

The upgrades will include rentable vintage caravans, complete with an annexe and deck chairs, surf-inspired villas, raising the height of existing villas to secure ocean views, and even wellness centres.

“We’re going to revive our tourist parks that are already thriving, we’re going to future proof them to make sure more families down the track get to enjoy the best parts of the Gold Coast,” Gold Coast Lifestyle & Community Chair Councillor Hermann Vorster said.

“We’re going to make sure our investment preserves the character that makes these places special.”

The parks attract around 150,000 visitors a year, injecting $86 million into the Gold Coast economy.

Domestic visitor numbers to the parks have remained strong through the pandemic with travellers to the parks largely coming from Queensland’s drive tourism market and from regional Australia.

“People are literally beating down the door trying to get into our tourist parks. The great thing about tourist parks is that it seems to be a magnet for all sectors of the tourist economy,” Vorster said.

“As Gold Coasters, I think it’s really sad that we can sometimes take these places for granted, but they are truly of international significance. Our tourist parks rank in the top 10 per cent of all tourist attractions according to Trip Adviser.

“There’s magic happening here and I just wish more Gold Coasters got to discover it for themselves.”

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