Why humble caravan park is a winner this winter break
FORGET the glitz and glam of holidaying at the Gold Coast or Brisbane, Queenslanders are returning to their roots and booking the humble caravan park this school holidays.
Parks are sitting close to capacity with more bookings expected when the borders open in coming weeks.
Nestled on the picturesque Isaac coast, the BarraCrab Caravan Park at Clairview has been flooded with bookings.
Part-owner Sharron Clarke said the phone was ringing off the hook.
"From the first of June as soon as the restrictions changed, the phone has not stopped ringing," she said.
"It has gone through the roof with people coming here."
Ms Clarke said customers in the most part had been visiting from Mackay and Rockhampton.
This is different from the park's usual customers who Ms Clarke said normally came from further afield and pulled in for a night as they passed along the highway.
Ms Clarke bought into BarraCrab Caravan Park as a part-owner in December last year.
She said the impacts of coronavirus had weighed heavily on her mind over past months.
"It was (thinking) how long would this go on for, how long could we keep going," she said.
The recent spike in bookings and interest has helped reduce the stress.
"There was a lot of stress involved and now that we are super busy," she said.
"It is a great feeling; to look at the bookings for the rest of the year is just great.
"I was expecting a rise but probably not to the volume we have had."
Data complied by the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland shows occupancy for powered camp sites across the state increased by 320 per cent from May 25 - just before stage one restrictions were dropped - and the last week of June.
An association spokeswoman said this was expected to jump further when the state borders opened and "sun-seeking" grey nomads hit the roads.
The Big4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort in Airlie Beach is also reporting bumper bookings.
Marketing manager Tanya Cran said the number of bookings since they reopened in early June had been "astronomical".
She said sales growth and bookings were up 325 per cent and 250 per cent respectively compared to last year with Easter 2021 already 40 per cent booked out.
Ms Cran said the park would be popular for those wanting to reconnect with family and loved ones without having to book a high-cost hotel room.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Executive Daniel Gschwind said increased interest in Queensland's caravan parks was promising.
"Clearly Australians are very keen to go out in the heat or the cold to explore their own country," he said.
"We are hearing even the sales of campervans and associated equipment has gone up."
Part of the attraction, Mr Gschwind speculated, was that people could travel in their "own bubbles".
"They can take their own little shell with them and will have more self confidence that they will stay safe," he said.
"And we know there are a whole range of caravans and campervans banked up on the Queensland border to New South Wales.
"On July 10 when the borders open … we expect to see (that) caravan of vehicles and visitors travelling into Queensland though the outback, along the coastal waters and all the way up to North Queensland."