‘Please come and stay … but you will have to pay!’

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Is the Geelong economy being held back?

Economic growth in Geelong in Victoria is being stunted by a lack of free camping spots according to one local councillor … bur change is most definitely not in the air.

Kylie Gryzbek says the city should have both paid caravan parks and some small free short-term parking places with a dump point

“I don’t believe we have enough places that our caravan and RV community to stay for free and spend their money in our great region,” she told the Geelong Advertiser. “Other states have facilities for this community and facts from the Australian caravanning community is that they are an economic benefit to the region they visit.”

However, tourism boss Roger Grant has rejected the calls saying the region is well-equipped with high-quality camping spots that accommodate RV and caravan users.

“We have the most caravan parks of anywhere in the southern region and (RV users) are very well catered for,” said the chief executive of Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine. “There is no such thing as free camping, because someone has to pay … campers are welcome, caravanners are welcome — we say ‘please come and stay’ but you have to pay.”

Recent figures presented to councillors indicate tourism injects $921 million a year in Greater Geelong with 5.3 million annual visitors supports more than 5000 visitors. This is expected to grow to more 7 million visitors exceeding $1 billion in expenditure by 2030.

The Geelong Advertiser says figures show the region has 27 commercial caravan parks each drawing about $1.26 million into the local economy per year.

Council figures show the parks account for about 12% of the accommodation industry revenue and 9% of industry employment.

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10 Responses to ‘Please come and stay … but you will have to pay!’

  1. Goodbye Geelong

    • I wouldnt waste my time on Gelong with their one eye.
      It is called FREEDOM camping and with our self contained
      Vehicles we have a choice and SUPPORT TOWNS/CITYS
      which support our needs.
      The needs for Grey Nomads vary greatly to Caravans with
      Families .
      Open both eyes and listen Gelong, to the consumer
      If you want your city to flourish.

  2. Mr I am Rodger Grant is totally against free or low cost camps, always has, so not a good advocate for the region, as with the bigger towns and the coastal tourist towns you pay above normal prices, so if some free or low cost no frills camps where available the visitor numbers would rise hence more dollars spent in these regions. He hates low or free camp travellers. I do live in the region

  3. Places like Geelong I beleive don’t provide the best destinations to visit, smaller towns and regional areas have so much more to offer. Example: people are so much more friendly and don’t seem to be so preoccupied with status or wealth just down to earth people with great stories to tell and lets not forget about some of the wonderful things to see while you are visiting their towns. Would much prefer to spend my money in these small country towns than in larger cities like Geelong.

  4. Seriously!!!!!! . Change in the air….. Self sufficient campers growing of course with technology and major advancements…. As free campers We support towns who provide the opportunity to park up, buy fuel, go shopping.. Food, post office, chemist, car parts, mechanics, go to a local pub for a meal or drinks, go bowling, go cycling Etc… What we don’t agree with is supporting a van park which expects a crazy payment when no facilities are used and its often council or a sole monopoly in the town. I mean what would one pub owner say to the other 2,3 4 or 5 in his town… Cry not Fare……. Come on geelong coucil, if u don’t believe it… Put up a box in a free camp area and as we are asked to do when other towns want to show the $$$that come into a town from us……. we put in our receipts from our time in the town… Future is what it’s about. Amazing how much comes in from all nomads travelling around oz, and we love meeting local people, not been sardines meeting other travellers…… We meet them anyways

  5. Geelong is going to continue to miss out on a large spend unless Ms Gryzbek gets listened to.

  6. Port Fairy, $102.00 per night. We’ve gone elsewhere. I’m not scrooge but come on. Tourism is word of mouth and it gets around. I don’t mind paying a fair price but I refuse to be ripped off.

  7. Roger Grant .. totally out of touch with change .. its not about free, its about demand and low cost for self sufficient travellers. Not a CP where one size fits all and ‘holiday fun and entertainment’ at a huge cost is forced on a growing part of the travelling public that require no more than a safe place to park with basic amenities to enable them shop and visit your town.
    Its a big country so we will go to the communities that recognise this and welcome and appreciate our patronage.. Geelong you’re wrong.

  8. Plenty of other places to stay and spend our money.Mr Grant must be blind ,deaf or stupid or all three.It just shows he is not up with what is going on, and is not the person for the job he is appointed.Have a look at what is going on in other RV friendly towns and how they are benefiting from having free camps and the grey nomad dollar.Like I said before we dont have to go to Geelong.Cheers Stevo

  9. I don’t mind paying a reasonable price to stay in a park but many are now charging exorbitant rates. As stated, they need to realize that a very large portion of the travelling public are grey nomads who do not need or want anything more than a pleasant powered site and clean facilities if not self contained. We do not want to pay for bouncy castles, water slides and the like.

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