b'Effective SEO requires researchinto several pieces of information,including terms, regions and com-petition, and the know-how to put itall together to achieve results. ItsrelativelynewtoAustralianparkowners, said Sheree.When asked about a marketingbudget, she noted that historically,parksspend1%to2%oftheirturnover on marketing where some-where around 4% is whats recom-mended. She adds that many of themore successful parks are spendingup to 6% of their total turnover ontheir marketing program.Addressing the PandemicAustraliahastakenCOVID-19very seriously. After 16 weeks, thecountrys second-largest city, Mel-bourne, in the state of Victoria, wasreleased from strict lockdown meas-ures. Interstate travel is also begin-ningtoslowlyopenup.TheCIAsentiment report found that 79% ofrespondents indicated that they feltconfident they could travel domes-tically in the coming months. Whenaskedaboutwhatmeasurestheywouldrequirebeforetheywouldconsiderstayinginaccommoda-tions,respondentsindicatedthatenhanced cleaning regimes (61%,free cancellation (58%), transferablebookings (52%), and managementof communal areas (51%) were im- The Aussie market is seeing more investment as parks work to attract consumers with sophisticated amenities.portant considerations.InAustraliasquesttocontrolCOVID-19 early on, businesses were staff attempt to address this by so-(and still are) required to have an ac- cially-distanced,maskedchatstive, updated COVIDSafe plan. Ini- throughout the park.tially,parkswererequiredto What the Future Bringsmanually collect information about One organization that predicts atheir guests. This burdensome pa- bright future for the caravan/camp-perworkresultedinanincreased ing sector of the travel industry ischeck-in time with park owners re- PathFinder Outdoor Destinations.quired to hold the paperwork for 28 An incredible amount of money isdays.Sincethen,thegovernment being injected to attract and holdhas developed the COVIDSafe app, new consumers, again with an em-avoluntarydownloadthatisde- phasis on the non-consider market.signed to assist with contact tracing They are seeing more investment inif need be. And while it is voluntary, newbuildlocationsandexpectits required at check-in. parkstobecomemoresophisti-The app includes an encrypted cated, rivaling Club Med-style re-QRcodespecifictotheuser, sorts.Theyarealsoobservingascanned at check-in, and used in the battlebetweenco-op/corporateevent of a COVID-19 outbreak. This caravan/camping organizations asis highly enforced and businesses more independent parks are beingnot complying face stiff fines. Victo- purchased.Withthisincrediblerias neighboring state to the north, growth, however, they also foreseeNewSouthWales,haspublished strongerregulationsgoverningpenaltiesforbreachingpublic parks and the industry.healthordersrangingupto Glamping is of increasing interestAU$55,000,withafurther in Australia. Guests clamor to stay inAU$27,500 penalty possible for each the well-appointed canvas tents andday an offense continues. Thats no think nothing of spending upwardssmall change. of AU$200 per night. In season, theTodays understandably cautious glamping facilities are at capacity.publicisinterestedinevende- Off-season, not so much. It contin-mandsdetails on how they will be ues to be a growing segment in theprotectedfromthevirus. There- caravan resort business.quiredCOVIDSafeplanallows Interestingly,aonce-reliableguests to rest assured that attention bookingsolution,OTAs(onlinehas been paid to safety measures. travel agents) such as TripAdvisorFor example, restrooms are cleaned are suffering through the pandemic.every hour and cabins have been Bookings are down somewhere indeepcleaned,reportsTerry.A the neighborhood of 90% with mostdownside, he continues, is the ef- consumers going direct to the parks.fectofcontactlesscheck-in.The Terry attributes that to a consumersowner and staff personalitythe ap- desire for confidence, safety, secu-proachable friendlinessis one of rity, and assurance.the things that sets the caravan in- A more immediate business con-dustry apart from other hospitality cern for park owners and operatorslodging and is sorely missed. Park is the difficulty in obtaining insur-WOODALLSCM.com January 2021-27'