BIG4 Holiday Parks

It all started over dinner in 1979 when four caravan park owners in Ballarat, Victoria, got together to discuss how they could best work together to benefit their individual businesses. Their insight was that with unity comes strength and greater enhancement for potential for profit. Passionate about all things holiday, these ‘big four’ decided that by banding together to form a co-operative they would eliminate competition and reduce business overheads.

Fast-forward 30 years and BIG4 Holiday Parks has grown to over 180 unique parks located throughout Australia. The story of success speaks for itself. Today, consumers associate the brand with premier quality holiday experiences. Celebrating the great outdoors, cricket on the beach, making new best friends around the barbie and nights spent under millions of shinning stars. That’s what BIG4 believes that holidays should be about a chance to relax, to take a step back and remember what’s important.

Terry Goodall, CEO of BIG4 Holiday Parks, said being part of the BIG4 family gives parks access to a range of invaluable added benefits that no stand-alone accommodation provider or park chain can offer.

“BIG4 Holiday Parks offers a tried and tested methodology and an enviable record of prosperity. From better occupancy and higher rates than the industry averages, to the strongest club with over 160,000 members and a marketing program that is unparalleled in the industry today, all initiatives are in place to ensure a higher profit is enjoyed by BIG4 Holiday Parks,” he explained.

A recent independent study of 250 holiday parks in 45 random locations across Australia proved the long-held theory that BIG4 is clearly the most profitable brand to be associated with was correct. The results showed that BIG4 Holiday Parks had an average occupancy rate of over 16% and that the average revenue for BIG4 is 54% above the industry average.

“These profit figures do not happen by accident. It’s because of BIG4’s attention to detail in all areas that thousands and thousands of visitors are attracted to BIG4 parks and then continue to visit,” Terry added.

BIG4 Holiday Parks implements strategic campaigns to ensure each park attracts an ever-increasing number of holidaymakers. Parks are supported by an extensive marketing program and IT platform, with the primary role being to introduce new guests while maintaining existing clientele. Through avenues including advertising at a national, state and local level (television, magazine, online) and marketing collateral, BIG4 ensures its parks are in the forefront of consumers’ minds all year round.


Under the BIG4 banner, each park receives a half page listing in the BIG4 Holiday Guide. Often referred to as the bible of the industry, over 200,000 copies of the guide are downloaded from the BIG4 website each year with an additional 500,000 copies printed and distributed through parks, tourism information centres, Britz and Maui campervans, at caravan and camping shows, inserts in selected magazines, online and phone orders and the list goes on. The value of inclusion in the guide and the reach of the publication is invaluable to any business.

Andrew Tribe, owner of BIG4 Tweed Billabong Holiday Parks said increasing profitability, asset value and customer recognition of our holiday park are objectives we value.

“BIG4 has been the fastest and most effective way to achieve and sustain this for us. BIG4 has been our smartest marketing decision ever,” explained Andrew.

Offering a fully integrated marketing mix, BIG4 draws on comprehensive public relations initiatives that forge a national presence and drum up strong local support.

For the annual free camping event run by BIG4, Come Camp with BIG4, that encourages families and friends to try camping for one free night in November, more than one million dollars in free media exposure was generated. Many BIG4 parks also reported more than 50% of the families who enjoyed the free night extended their stay, generating extra revenue for participating parks.

For complex consumer promotions such as this – designed to build traffic to member parks – stand-alone holiday parks could expect to pay approximately $4000 to cover the cost of both the idea development and implementation.

BIG4’s website is one of the strongest tourism websites in the country and an invaluable business generation tool for BIG4 Holiday Parks. The site is ranked #51 out of over 8400 sites in the accommodation and destination category and has over 60% share of web traffic when combined with it’s two competitors. An essential element in their communication strategy, the user-friendly, integrated site is a ‘one stop shop’ for both potential customers featuring more than 24 descriptive pages of content for each BIG4 park, including images, information on facilities and the surrounding attractions, special offers and even self-drive getting there itineraries.

“Production of websites can range dramatically in cost – for a professionally designed and built site with full content management that enables you to edit text and images, including maps and all the bells and whistles, parks would need a budget of somewhere between $6000 to $10,000. Many of our parks are choosing to close down their websites and save the associated fees, while others are content manage both sites and the visitors they both attract for their business,” Terry Goodall explained.

In September 2009, BIG4 launched an online reservation system. Reservations generated through the system for sites and cabins have met and exceeded BIG4 expectations at this early stage with some parks generating up to $23,000 in reservations per month. The addition of online reservations to the stable of BIG4 Holiday Park services has again increased the value offered to its parks through reservations when reception is closed and savings of licence fees of alternative reservations services.

Since the launch of the site upgrade in September, the website has shown huge growth. In December, the site achieved its second highest ranking ever according to Hitwise, with an overall increase of 76% in visitors compared to the same time the previous year.

These extensive marketing programs have led to BIG4 to become Australia’s leading group of holiday parks by reputation and the most recognised consumer brand in the industry.

Independent market research to check BIG4’s national brand health confirmed the strength of the brand in the marketplace versus a range of other holiday park brands. The results show that 50% total brand awareness for BIG4 Holiday Parks with 31% first to mind brand awareness.

“BIG4 brand awareness is very strong, with the gap between BIG4 and its competitors becoming even wider. This is clearly due to the professional marketing strategies put in place by our marketing team,” commented Simon Shuttleworth from Middleton Beach Holiday Park.


Alan King of BIG4 Harrington Beach Holiday Park explained how he purchased his park in Harrington, New South Wales in 2006 and then joined the BIG4 group.

“The park was previously unaligned, so we were able to consider all options without any limitations. BIG4 was the clear leader. It is the power brand in the industry. The first thing you notice when you display the BIG4 logo is the arrival of new customers. They come because they know and trust BIG4,” said Alan.

While the sound marketing strategies employed by BIG4 aim to draw in new customers for member parks, the BIG4 Club helps drive repeat visitation. BIG4 currently has 160,000 club members and this figure continues to grow year-on-year.

BIG4 members enjoy a range of added benefits. Members save up to $30 per stay on BIG4 holidays and can also enjoy a free book-ahead service that guarantees accommodation at their next venue, free room upgrades and a money back guarantee if they are not fully satisfied with facilities or service at any BIG4 park.

Many BIG4 parks offer local member benefits, meaning their visitors enjoy savings while holidaying at their park. Whether it’s a two for one deal at a local attraction, a baker’s dozen at the bakery or a saving on kids’ entry at a nearby attraction, these added bonuses offered by BIG4 are yet another reason holidaymakers choose BIG4 above others.

BIG4 membership also provides an income back to the park with an average sized park, earnings around $4000, while the larger sized parks could expect to earn in excess of $20,000 per annum.

“Upwards of 25% of all business is coming from BIG4 members, testament to the fact that this initiative is a great way to turn our visitors into regular and loyal customers,” Terry Goodall added.

Joining BIG4 also provides member parks with extensive savings off the day-to-day operation of their business thanks to the special deals with a number of preferred partners. BIG4 has also negotiated preferential deals with two of Australia’s largest service providers, Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank that sees member parks saving on up to 30% on all standard telephone costs and an extra 0.07% on merchant fees, making a big difference to the bottom line with the partnerships saving Member Parks’ up to $4,000 each year.

These days, caravan parks compete with the likes of resorts, bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels, apartments and houseboats. In order to stand out in this competitive market, BIG4 Holiday Parks promise guests to provide the foremost in personal service, facilities, tourist promotion and accommodation. One thing customers love about BIG4 Holiday Parks is the fact that no two parks are the same. While accommodation normally included anything from powered and unpowered sites for holidaymakers wanting to bring along their own caravans or tents and self contained cabins, BIG is now actively recruiting to cabin only parks. As long as the accommodation meets BIG4’s founding principles, is self contained, offers a sense of freedom, space and communal area’s it is certainly of interest to BIG4 and offer the business the benefits of the extensive BIG4 marketing.


Brendan Heenan of MacDonnell Range Holiday Park in Alice Springs believes BIG4 gives member parks support that no stand-alone has.

“If a park operator or owner is not in a chain they are missing out on the enormous growth for their business. The chain that has the most potential in growing your asset, increasing profits, marketing and brand awareness is BIG4 Holiday Parks. Where else would you go?” Brendan said.

BIG4 Holiday Parks prides itself on being committed to providing the superior service, facilities and accommodation.

But what strategies are in place to ensure all BIG4 Holiday Parks provide this high-standard of service?

BIG4 provides ongoing management and operation support to ensure member parks have the tools needed for their park to prosper now and in the future. Park support services include high quality training, mystery shopping, access to a 1800 call centre, technical support, as well as access to BIG4 Private (intranet), a great resource for manuals, forms, templates and procedures.

In order to ensure member parks are living up to the consistent standards of excellence synonymous with the brand, they are also subject to detailed annual assessments. BIG4 staff then provide valuable feedback to the parks and are there to assist with any areas that may need tweaking.

As well as the ongoing support provided by staff, BIG4 parks have the opportunity to attend a three day national conference each year. The conference includes a variety of training workshops and high profile speakers, keeping BIG4 park owners abreast of industry knowledge and providing insight into how to stay ahead of the pack.

Patrice and Quentin Fletcher of BIG4 Atherton Woodlands said being a member of BIG4 has been beneficial for business, both professionally and financially.

“BIG4 really is a class above the others, as it offers a fantastic opportunity to learn about the industry and helps build a stronger business. Joining BIG4 was a great decision for us,” Quentin added.

The benefits of being part of the BIG4 family extend beyond the demonstrable financial gains. By joining a team of unite like-minded owners, managers gain access to a wealth of knowledge and helpful advice they are more willing to share.

Are you interested in lifting your industry profile?
Email ([email protected]) or call (07) 5440 5322

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