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Lake Mac Holiday Parks make $82.5m splash in 2023

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Lake Macquarie Holiday Parks injected $82.5 million into the local economy and supported more than 650 jobs in 2023, according to new research.

The five venues – Sails at Belmont, Belmont Lakeside, Swansea Lakeside, Blacksmiths Beachside and Wangi Point – collectively recorded almost 300,000 visitor nights.

Lake Macquarie City Council section manager facilities and parks Garry Ellem said the past 12 months had been huge for the sites under the Lake Macquarie Holiday Parks umbrella, with bumper bookings and a range of upgrades either complete or underway.

An economic contribution report found the quintet combined contributed $67.1 million in tourism spending and $15.4 million in operating expenses in 2023, creating 665 full-time equivalent jobs.

“That’s the total number of nights people have stayed at our holiday parks,” Mr Ellem said.

“So, if two people stay for three nights, it equates to six visitor nights. It’s a fantastic result – not just for our holiday parks, but for the city’s entire tourism industry.

“Many holiday park visitors will go out and spend money in other parts of Lake Mac, whether it’s at local cafes and restaurants, or on fishing tackle and boat supplies.”

Mr Ellem said December and January were as always some of the busiest weeks of the year, with 53,600 visitor nights already booked.

“We’re typically fully booked for this period, year on year, and demand for camping and caravan sites continues to grow,” he said.

“Most of our visitors are coming from Greater Sydney, inland places like Tamworth and Dubbo, and also quite a few from closer to home, around the Hunter.”

Holiday park upgrades in 2023 included a comprehensive overhaul of Sails, featuring new safari tents, a new three-bedroom inclusive tourism cabin, new caravan sites and footpaths, accessible amenities and a new recreational room.

“We’ve also refurbished amenities at Blacksmiths and installed a new ninja park-style playground at Swansea, so it has been a big year for us,” Mr Ellem said.

“The wants and needs of holiday park guests are constantly changing and evolving, so we aim to stay ahead of the curve and provide them with the best offerings possible.”

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