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Discovery Parks acquisition creates Australia’s largest holiday park network

Discovery Parks acquisition creates Australia’s largest holiday park network
February 14, 2018

In a move that will see the creation of Australia’s largest network of holiday parks, Discovery Parks has announced its acquisition of the Top Parks brand.

Explaining how the combined group creates a network of more than 220 parks and a loyalty base of over 140,000 camping enthusiasts, making it the single largest group of caravan, holiday and resort parks in the country, Discovery Parks Chief Executive Grant Wilckens explains “it’s the logical next step for Discovery.

“Our customers travel all over Australia and we want to offer them great places to stay and loyalty rewards, even where we don’t own our own parks.”

Top Parks Chairman Richard Emerson said the agreement would position Top Parks members for strong future growth, with clear synergies between the groups around culture and customer experience.

Emerson advised “it will create a leading market industry member group that can deliver great benefits both to the park owners and our customers.”

Under the agreement, both the Discovery Parks and Top Parks brands will be retained, allowing for differentiation between the company owned and licensed parks. In addition, using an innovative licensing model, Top Parks member parks will remain independently owned while forming part of the growing Discovery Parks network.

Wilckens says the deal will provide licensed parks with access to Discovery Parks’ greater purchasing power as Australia’s largest park owner-operator, as well as its digital marketing expertise.

Top Parks and Discovery Parks members will have access to a new customer rewards program, G’DAY Rewards, which is being launched today at the Adelaide Caravan and Camping Show - part of a suite of customer-orientated systems and technology.

Wilckens added “you might not think about holiday parks as innovative digital service providers but that’s where Discovery Parks is heading. We are investing significantly to be able to provide a better customer experience.

“Just as we are using digital technology to turn on the lights at home, do our shopping and manage our security, our holiday parks will be tapping into this technology to deliver a range of new and innovative services to customers in the near future.”

Wilckens, who is also Federal Chairman of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, said the deal would make Adelaide the national hub for the caravan and camping industry, worth $19 billion to the national economy.

Discovery has bucked the 5% downturn in the national caravan and camping market in 2017 , growing revenue by nearly 14% year on year. The Adelaide office grew by 30% last year, prompting a move to larger premises.

The company has spent more than $11 million in key parks in South Australia and $30 million at parks nationally this financial year.

Wilckens concluded “with the backing of our majority owners, Sunsuper, we are expecting to continue this strong growth into 2018 as we are able to use our customer data to innovate and continuously improve the customer experience.”

Discovery is more than 90% owned by Brisbane-based Sunsuper (with $50 billion funds under investment) which sealed its majority shareholding four years ago when the company was valued at about $240 million.

Image: Richard Emerson and Grant Wilckens celebrate Discovery Parks' acquisition of the Top Parks brand.

1st January 2018 - CARAVAN AND CAMPING SECTOR POSITIVE ABOUT INTERNATIONAL VISITOR GROWTH

10th December 2017 - NEW FEDERAL CARAVAN BODY CHAIRMAN LOOKS TO UNIFICATION TO DRIVE INDUSTRY GROWTH 

28th October 2017 - LARGEST AUSTRALIAN HOLIDAY PARK OPERATOR STEPS UP SUPPORT FOR NATIONAL BODY

26th September 2017 - DISCOVERY PARKS INVESTS $14 MILLION ACROSS SIX PROPERTIES 

22nd September 2017 - GROWTH ONGOING IN AUSTRALIAN TOURISM AS SPENDING EXCEEDS $103 BILLION

20th June 2017 - NRMA EXPANDS HOLIDAY PARK OPERATIONS WITH ACQUISITION OF AUSTRALIAN TOURIST PARK MANAGEMENT 

5th April 2017 - WINE INSPIRED SPLASH PARK OPENS IN THE BAROSSA VALLEY

26th October 2016 - CARAVAN INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION HIGHLIGHTS WHY HOLIDAYS MUST BE ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL

 21st August 2015 - BIG4 HOLIDAY PARKS PREPARE FOR CHINESE CAMPERS 


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

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