Casino businesses welcome caravan spenders
MORE than 100 caravans have set up camp at Casino Village RV Resort and organiser Barry Konemann couldn't be happier.
The Australian Caravan Club's second annual muster offers a chance for members to meet again, after first becoming friends on the road.
Mr Konemann's mother and auntie, Lorna and Sylvia Perkins, originally hailed from Casino, so he has a soft spot for the town.
But the real reason the muster is based at the Casino Village RV Resort from today to Sunday is because it has the facilities needed to cater for such a large crowd.
Mr Konemann said, despite the size of the gathering, his organisation was committed to leaving behind a soft footprint on the towns hosting the caravan club.
While the club members are happy with the destination, Casino businesses are ecstatic.
Casino Village RV Resort Manager Julie James said resort residents' shopping receipts during January 2007 totalled $221,000, all spent in Casino and Lismore districts.
Since that time the resort has grown to include many more residents.
Richmond Valley Council Tourism Manager Rod Caldicott said a study into the spending habits of caravan tourists done at last month's Bushman Heritage Festival found each visitor spent an average $285 during the three-day event, with an average stay of between two and seven days.
While Mr Caldicott noted the typical caravan tourist rarely spends big money – they tend to be self-contained – they do require food, fuel and parts. And sometimes that can add up to a fair amount.
“You rarely see these tourists crowding a show gate,” he said.
“In reality they spend their money very quietly.”