Pay ahead for leisure

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - TREVOR PADDENBURG

THE “buy now, pay later” phe­nom­e­non is now avail­able to WA hol­i­day-mak­ers, who for the first time can book a layby va­ca­tion when they hol­i­day at home.

RAC Parks and Re­sorts has launched a new pay­ment sys­tem for guests to fork out for their hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion in in­stal­ments.

Layby is com­mon in the re­tail in­dus­try and it is also a pay­ment op­tion for some in­ter­na­tional travel, while in Aus­tralia bud­get air­line Jet­star of­fers an “af­ter pay” op­tion on do­mes­tic flights.

But RAC ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager of brand and tourism Tony Pick­worth said the new layby sys­tem was a first for tourism in WA and would make it eas­ier for fam­i­lies to bud­get for a hol­i­day.

All five of RAC’s parks and re­sorts in­clud­ing the Ex­mouth Cape Hol­i­day Park, Mon­key Mia Dol­phin Re­sort, Bus­sel­ton Hol­i­day Park, Nin­ga­loo Reef Re­sort and Cer­vantes Hol­i­day Park can now be booked and paid for us­ing a layby op­tion.

“At no ex­tra charge, guests will now have the op­tion of mak­ing pre­pay­ments weekly, fort­nightly or monthly for book­ings start­ing at $200,” Mr Pick­worth said.

“This new layby sys­tem al­lows us to of­fer af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion with an easy way to pay in in­stal­ments ahead of sched­ule so the cost of fam­ily hol­i­days can be bud­geted more eas­ily.”

RAC is bet­ter known as the State’s peak motoring lobby group but it is grow­ing its share in the tourism sec­tor. Mr Pick­worth said the layby scheme was part of RAC’s plan to “pro­vide a range of af­ford­able, re­li­able qual­ity ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions” and en­cour­age more West Aus­tralians to hol­i­day at home.

“We are com­mit­ted to mak­ing hol­i­days more af­ford­able to our mem­bers and the WA com­mu­nity, re­gard­less of whether they choose to camp at an un­pow­ered site, stay in their car­a­van or book a stay in a self-con­tained villa,” he said.

WA Tourism Coun­cil boss Evan Hall wel­comed the scheme, say­ing it was an eas­ier op­tion for fam­i­lies to bud­get for hol­i­days.

“Other op­er­a­tors could well be in­spired to look at of­fer­ing sim­i­lar pay­ment op­tions,” he said.

On the road: Denise and Nigel Twig­ger, with daugh­ters Sa­man­tha, 17, and Cassie, 11, say the layby op­tion for hol­i­days would suit them down to the ground. Pic­ture: Justin Ben­son-Cooper

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