They’ve only been re-opened for just over a week, but already BIG4 Barossa Tourist Park, Nuriootpa have been inundated with people wanting to explore and support our region.
Mrs Tanya Pumpa, Barossa Tourist Park Business Manager, said that since the ease of stage one restrictions and the encouragement of regional travel from last week, the phones have been ‘ringing non-stop’.
“It’s one thing for the Government to say yes you can go travel, but we didn’t know if people were actually comfortable making the decision to go and if they’d do it so soon,” said Tanya.
“We’re seeing people visit our park that most probably wouldn’t consider coming to a caravan park or even this region, because they can’t go anywhere else.
“Along with these new faces, we are also seeing repeat guests who have missed out on their traditional Easter visit or have missed the region in general due to its lockdown.”
Weekends in winter that have traditionally been quieter are expected to be a lot busier this year, especially the June long weekend.
The park grounds have been polished and are looking better than ever, and the senior’s discounts and the ‘stay four, pay three’ options are incentives for travellers to visit.
Tanya is hoping the big, wide, open space and fresh air of the park, as well as the nature trails, nearby wineries, food and fresh coffee entice people to the region.
“It’s an opportunity to take advantage of how local businesses have changed as well. It’s a chance to support the community, take time out and appreciate the things we’ve missed,” she said.
“I’ve been working from home whilst having my two young children at home with me, juggling a work life balance all under one roof… so I know how challenging it’s been. Now is the time for families to get out and explore!”
While it seems like things are looking up for BIG4 Barossa Tourist Park, the past month has not been easy for the business or tourism.
The park closed their doors back in March, when the Barossa was labelled a COVID-19 high risk area.
Tanya said the park took the Government’s advice and stopped accepting non-essential travellers, despite a large amount of people still trying to book into the park.
They made the decision to not accept any guests, especially those that wanted to self-isolate, as they didn’t want to take any risks or expose their staff.
“We have 10 permanent residents in the park that we still looked after, and we had about half a dozen caravaners already here that didn’t have another abode to go to. So the Government’s advice was that they could stay in the park too,” said Tanya.
Public areas including the swimming pool, meeting room and the amenities blocks were all closed to guests.
Tanya explained that the biggest challenge they faced was that they are a Council owned park. All stimulus support packages excluded any entity wholely owned by Council.
“We’ve had to do this without any financial assistance of packages handed out to small or tourism businesses,” said Tanya.
“We had to stand down staff for a period of time which was really challenging. But it also highlighted how phenomenal our staff are, they were all so supportive and understanding.
“It was so good to call them and tell them they could come back to work last Monday… it happened a lot sooner than expected!”
Tanya said that the Easter long weekend is usually the park’s biggest weekend, and they were fully booked out as people book their sites a year in advance.
She added that a lot of people were disappointed as they had been going to the park for years over Easter, but they have moved their bookings over to 2021.
“Hopefully they can all re-unite in a year’s time. To have a ghost town here over Easter, even across the whole region… it was eery,” said Tanya.