RV Park should be a priority for Victor Harbor

FAMILY TRAVELS: Laura and David Jean, with daughters Frankie and Maggie, are travelling around Australia.
FAMILY TRAVELS: Laura and David Jean, with daughters Frankie and Maggie, are travelling around Australia.

Victor Harbor is largely missing out on a lucrative sector of the booming caravan and motor home tourism sector because it has no designated cheap or free RV park.

Young, adventurous and cashed up tourists are bypassing Victor in favour of locations where they can park up and stay for free, allowing them to spend on entertainment, food and fuel.

Victor Harbor Councillor Bryan Littlely said he will strongly push for the establishment of RV park facilities in a prominent location in a bid to keep pace, and overshadow, other coastal towns already capturing the important tourist dollar.

"The self-contained, free camping, sector is booming,'' Mr Littlely said.

"Right now, waves of caravan and RV owners are heading up the track north to Darwin, along the Great Ocean Road, across the Nullarbor and up the West Coast each day for extended trips.

"The majority are looking for the cheapest camping options they can find because they are self-contained and they would sooner spend on food and entertainment in the places they visit.

"Making a space for these tourists, showcasing our town and getting them talking about Victor Harbor makes great sense.''

Caravan Industry Association of Australia figures released last year showed a record 647,319 recreational vehicles were registered in the year to January 2017. The 30 to 54-year-old age group accounted for 47 per cent of domestic caravan and camping trips, with the cohort taking 5.6 million trips.

"I know I'm not alone on Council in identifying this important opportunity we should be capitalising on, now it's time to act and establish a RV park so we can take our share of this tourism dollar.''

The Jean Family from Canberra - David, Laura and children Maggie, 5, and Frankie, 2 - were nine weeks into a year long lap of Australia when they pulled their van up on a friend's property outside of Victor Harbor last week instead of booking into a paid park.

"In Tasmania we stayed 90 per cent of our time there in low cost or free camping options,'' Mr Jean said.

"A lot of the camping is linked to hotels and venues where it is the done thing to support the venues where you camp by having a meal at the hotel and spending in the region.

"There is a very good set up in Kingston SE. The council has set it up right on the foreshore with the cost at $10 for a maximum of 48 hours stay. It was packed and we met three other young families doing exactly what we're doing, travelling for an extended period and looking to save on accommodation costs at every chance.''

Mr Jean said Victor Harbor would not have been on their itinerary had it not been for visiting friends and none of a growing number of travellers he maintained contact with had plans to visit Victor.

"We have to keep accommodation costs at a minimum. That way we can spend on entertainment and food in the towns we visit and see the best of what they offer.''