CARAVAN parks across the Moyne Shire have been a “nice little earner” for the council, bringing in $2.7 million a year.
By comparison, Warrnambool City Council’s foreshore holiday parks earned about $2.09 million last financial year.
The bulk of the $1.08 million profit from Moyne’s parks goes into consolidated revenue with $128,000 directed to a reserve used to fund capital improvements at the Port Fairy caravan parks.
Shire mayor Jim Doukas said the revenue kept each caravan park and its amenities to a high standard.
“The caravan parks have always been a good little money earner for the shire and we’ve found if we put money back into them ... and make it presentable, people will enjoy coming and enjoy paying.
“We don’t just take the profit and run, there’s always a continued improvement plan to make sure it’s up to speed.
“They’re always booked out at Christmas time and Easter, and the way they’re managed is a credit to the park operators.”
Cr Doukas said arts events throughout the year helped to keep a steady flow of caravan park visitors.
“The folk festival plays a huge part over that weekend and without the folk festival you don’t know how many people would show up for the long weekend.
“It fills the town with visitors.”
The first round of tickets for the festival will go on sale today, with American folk singer Arlo Guthrie announced as a headline act.
Cr Doukas said the Winter Weekends had also been very good for bringing people in over the colder months with motels and bed and breakfast providers all supporting each other.
“The Spring Music Festival is coming up in October too.
“We’re at the high end of tourism and can bring a more artistic culture to the community. A lot of them come for three or four days, not just a weekend.”
Moyne’s income comes from its two Port Fairy parks — Gardens Caravan Park and Southcombe Caravan Park & Lodge — as well as four smaller parks at Yambuk, Koroit, Killarney Beach and Mortlake.