The cost of not being RV friendly

ON THE ROAD: Gary and Leigh Pearson of Caboolture love Warwick, but agree the CBD is not ideal for RVs and caravans.
ON THE ROAD: Gary and Leigh Pearson of Caboolture love Warwick, but agree the CBD is not ideal for RVs and caravans. Jonno Colfs

WARWICK could be missing out on a large portion of the lucrative grey nomad market unless more provisions for RV and caravan friendly areas are developed.

Patron of the Allora Show Society Ted Cowley said opening up the showgrounds to travellers had been a boon for the town.

"It's been a big boost to our community," he said.

"And I think most businesses in Allora would agree with me on that."

Mr Cowley said they had taken half a dozen bookings from touring caravan clubs this year.

"We've got three different groups booked in for the Autumn Festival next weekend," he said.

"That could mean upwards of 60 vans staying.

"Having them in the town means they utilise our businesses."

Mr Cowley said one group earlier this year kept all the dockets of their spending over a weekend in Allora.

"Apart from the money they spent for the fees to stay in the showgrounds, they spent $4000 in town," he said.

"I pop into shops in town and business owners will say to me, 'you must have a caravan group staying up there'.

"It makes a big difference and people certainly notice."

Southern Downs Regional Council's manager economic development and tourism Scott Templeman said the Southern Downs did not currently have RV friendly status from the RV Association.

"But we certainly always welcome visitors in caravans and RVs," he said.

"Council is currently exploring options for more parking spaces.

"In particular, there is a report to be considered by council at next week's general meeting regarding the proposed decommissioning of toilets behind the Warwick Town Hall, which, if approved, would see the provision of an estimated three additional car parking spaces in place of the toilet block."

Grey nomad Arthur Stacey of Cleveland said most towns struggle with adequate parking for RVs and caravans.

"I don't think Warwick is any different," he said.

"The city centre is historic and wasn't designed with large vehicles in mind.

"It's not a good move to have the tourist info centre in the main street, it should be on the highway."

Fellow traveller Nevil Tait of Bethania said if caravaners didn't see signs for RV friendly parking or free camps, they would just keep on going.

"There's no doubt the town is missing out on dollars," he said.

"Many more travellers would stay if Warwick had those provisions, I've no doubt.

"It's a wonderful town, you should have somewhere to make people stop and spend their money here."

Gary Pearson of Caboolture said he and wife Leigh came through Warwick a lot.

"We love Warwick and we know where to go when we get here," he said.

"The CBD isn't great for caravans but if you follow the signs, it's pretty easy.

"And if we ever move, we'll move to Warwick."

Topics:  allora show society grey nomads rv

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