GREY NOMADS BRING GOLD TO TOWN
MORE than 200 grey nomads are set to bring a golden boost to Pittsworth this week, with an estimated $150,000 economic injection.
And it comes at no better time after Covid-19 has hit the tourism economy of smaller town.
State rally committee chair Greg Whitley said while caravanning was a growing industry and more and more people were opting for holidays on the road, the event will have 15 less caravans due to border closures.
“About 30 clubs affiliated with Caravan Clubs Queensland attend a state rally every three years and this will be the third time we’ve brought it to Pittsworth,” Mr Whitley said.
“I can’t speak more highly of the support we’ve received from the business community of Pittsworth and we estimate $150,000 will be spent in the Pittsworth community over the course of the week.”
Pittsworth District Alliance secretary Belinda McKinlay said the caravan rally was last held in Pittsworth in 2005 and it was exciting to welcome visitors back to the small town.
“To encourage supporting local businesses, they host a shop docket raffle barrel where caravanners add up how much they have spent during their stay,” Ms McKinlay said.
“Back in 2005, the total amount was $46,000 and we saw about 250 vans.
“The planning committee which involved three clubs and 25 vans also stayed here for about a week in early July and during that time $11,000 was spent.”
Ms McKinlay said the town’s tourism sector had been hit hard due to travel restrictions and lockdowns.
“We see a lot of vans pass through town but they don’t tend to stay,” she said.
“District Alliance had planned to get an RV strategy together but then Covid hit, but we hope to get that going in the coming months to keep people in Pittsworth for a little longer.
“We’re very happy to welcome visitors to Pittsworth and hope they enjoy their week-long stay.”
Among the visitors staying at the Pittsworth Showgrounds is husband and wife Bob and Claire Barnett, from Ipswich.
“It definitely stifled us as our monthly rallies were cancelled, but we’re very lucky that it hasn’t stopped us from attending this event,” Mr Barnett said.
The week-long rally starts on Thursday and will feature live entertainment and seminars.
While the rally is strictly limited to ticketholders, the general public are welcome to attend the markets on Sunday.