Gordonvale’s popularity as a destination for drive holidays has been given another boost with its declaration as a RV Friendly Town by the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA).
Cairns councillor, Brett Moller said the RV market was an important contributor to Gordonvale’s economy and recognition as an RV Friendly Town would provide greater exposure and boost visitation.
“This is a significant achievement and one that will enhance the town’s standing as a ‘must visit’ for the growing drive market,” Cr Moller said.
“Notably, Gordonvale will now be promoted to RV travellers across Australia through the CMCA club magazine The Wanderer, through the CMCA website and social media.”
The recognition comes after Gordonvale demonstrated its capacity to meet key criteria set by CMCA that ensures the town provides a certain level of service to recreational vehicle (RV) users, including:
- Provision of appropriate low cost overnight parking for self-contained vehicles;
- Access to potable water and a free dump point;
- Access to a general shopping area.
Cr Moller said the $2.4 million upgrade to the Greenpatch campground in 2019 had paved the way for the accolade.
The upgraded campground, which reopened this week following its closure due to recent flooding, has 42 campsites and includes a new amenity block with toilets and showers, dump point and day-use facilities such as picnic spots.
“The economic benefits to the town of Gordonvale from the RV market visitation are well known and appreciated by our small business owners,” Cr Moller said.
“This facility has proved immensely popular with RV users. Last year, despite COVID closures and restrictions, the facility was used by more than 4200 vehicles, which equates to between 8,500 to 10,500 visitors.
“We can expect those numbers to increase as restrictions continue to ease and the number of registered RVs in Australia rise as more baby boomers enter the market.
“Gordonvale and the Far North region are well positioned to benefit from this expected growth.”
CMCA Chairman, Kim Templeton said the CMCA RV Friendly Town network made a significant contribution to the RV Tourism market in Australia.
“As the value of RV tourism becomes widely accepted, CMCA has more than 340 towns across Australia with RV Friendly status” Mrs Templeton said.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Mark Olsen said RV travellers trended to stay longer than other visitors and had a significant economic impact on the region.
“They contribute to the visitor economy by stopping to restock for supplies and maintaining their vehicles in communities right across the region,” he said.
“A strong drive market is the key to dispersing visitors throughout the region and ensuring every town gets their share of the visitor dollar.
“The drive market, especially the caravan and camping market, has boomed since the pandemic and I congratulate the Gordonvale community and Cairns Regional Council on putting out the welcome mat for such a vital segment of our tourism economy.”
Gordonvale businesses will be hoping that a celebration to commemorate 125 years of the sugar industry in the region will also attract drive visitors to the region.
To be held at Norman Park, the Gordonvale Sugar Solstice event will be held on 12 June and feature food vans, live music and community performances, a side show alley area and conclude with fire shows.
Gordonvale & District Chamber of Commerce President, Susan Byrne Callaghan, welcomed the announcement that Gordonvale is now a qualified RV Friendly Town.
“Thanks to Cairns Regional Council, this last piece of news completes the RV destination package that Gordonvale can offer travellers,” Ms Callaghan said.
“The new infrastructure and campgrounds completed at Greenpatch on the banks of the Mulgrave River complements the RV parking on Mill Street in the heart of Gordonvale, with the two sites soon to be connected by a new heritage walk.
“Gordonvale businesses are geared to all the needs and requirements that the RV community require and are ready to welcome our new visitors and to encourage them to spend a little time discovering all that our historical country town has to offer.”
Mrs Templeton said joining the RV Friendly Town network delivers direct benefits to the local business community.
With the self-contained RV tourism market estimated to be worth more than $2.5 billion annually, Gordonvale is now well-positioned to access this lucrative tourism market.
Find out more about the CMCA RV Friendly Town network and other CMCA initiatives, visit the CMCA website – www.cmca.net.au.