RECENTLY I read an article that told me Tourism Holdings’ profits were up from an estimated $4 million to $5.6 million.

In case readers don’t know, THL is New Zealand’s largest motorhome rental agent.

This huge profit comes from the rental of certified self-contained motor homes and injects millions into New Zealand’s economy, along with the 50,000-odd New Zealand motorhome members, who also contribute.

Correspondent Pay Your Way seems to think there is no financial benefit to towns from motorhome tourism.

This is, of course, totally incorrect as motorhome people eat, drink, buy fuel, road user charges, mechanical repairs, tyres, fishing gear and just about anything else people in their homes buy.

Travelling in a motorhome today is about the travel and the exploration of our wonderful country.

They are built today to take advantage of being able to stay in remote and beautiful places if they choose, by having all necessities such as power (solar), water and sewerage on board.

Many only require the use of campgrounds maybe once a week, sometimes more.

Our council, by allowing 16 places to overnight in this area for certified self-contained vehicles only, is helping our town to collect some of that travelling income.

The towns that have opened areas for this type of overnight parking are reaping the benefit.

The towns of Masterton, Marton, Carterton and Featherston are prime examples.

The Wairarapa area, without the weather advantages that Whakatane has, is revelling in that extra income from motorhome tourism, as will Whakatane and Opotiki now our councils have recognised the future benefits to our area.

Kawerau has known the benefits for at least 10 years and is known throughout New Zealand as the most motorhome-friendly town in the country. It enjoys the extra income stream; why shouldn’t Whakatane also benefit by being a tourist destination?

We just need the vision.

I am a motorhomer and have been for 24 years. I can assure Pay Your Way that a good percentage of my disposable income has been well spread around small-town New Zealand over that time.

Mark S Clarke

 

Source: Whakatane Beacon