Turning a passion into a career is a dream for many people, one that may seem impossible when stuck in the daily grind of life. The caravan and camping industry however, is one industry that offers a multitude of opportunities and an incredible network of individuals and organisations, that not only support everyday people to make life changing career transitions, but also helps people to flourish within the industry.
A prime example of this is former owners of the BIG4 Atherton Woodlands, Patrice & Quentin Fletcher. A burning desire to escape city living combined with a love for camping and caravanning, saw Patrice, Quentin and their young daughter Courtney embark on a tree change adventure far from their familiar lives in Sydney, settling in the luscious surrounds of the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland.
Park Acquisition & Big Brand Marketing Power
While the end result was idyllic, the process of researching and finding a park that ticked all of the boxes for the Fletcher family was one that took more than two years. In this week’s episode of ‘That Bad Review’ podcast, Patrice shares her advice on what to look for when researching parks for acquisition and the advantages of partnering with established organisations within an industry, particularly when it comes to the marketing power of larger brands. I chat to Patrice about the additional advantages of belonging to industry organisations, associations and networking groups, to keep abreast of developments within the ever-changing industry, especially with changes to legislation and advancement in technology and innovation.
Working Together to Build Local Tourism
Patrice shares with our listener’s the importance of working closely with surrounding business owners to grow tourism in local areas and how Patrice and Quentin developed a local initiative that turned the transient client base of the park and township into a thriving community of regular and repeat clientele. An innovative solution that has been in use for over ten years, with many of the original local businesses still benefiting from the initiative, despite Patrice and Quentin selling the park.
Catering to Niche Markets
During our chat, Patrice highlights the importance of engaging guests in conversations around their travel needs and the benefits of taking on feedback to establish facilities that provide an edge over competitors. Patrice explains how to cater to niche markets by building innovative infrastructure, and describes how herself and Quentin accomplished this on multiple occasions through eco-tourism and building a custom designed onsite mountain biking facility. By looking for ways to offer unique experiences that cater to the needs of guests, park owners can build an award-winning holiday destination that guests return to, time and time again.
And if that is not enough to get you excited about this week’s episode, tune in to hear more about:
- The importance of keeping abreast of changes within an industry
- Applying for grants and awards to grow your business
- The importance of supporting infrastructure and attractions to encourage repeat visitation
- Establishing a point of difference
- Tips for establishing an Eco- Tourism certified business
- Sharing occupancy rates with local businesses to ensure adequate services for guests in peak periods
- The importance of understanding industry goals and strategies at a local, regional and national level
You can listen to the full episode here.