New operator to boost ‘glamping’ at Sydney’s Lane Cove River Tourist Park

Cabins at the Lane Cove River Tourist Park in North Ryde, Sydney.

Fresh from its acquisition of Darwin’s casino operations, US hospitality giant Delaware North is continuing its aggressive drive into Australia’s tourism industry, buying the rights to operate and develop the popular Lane Cove River Tourist Park in Sydney.

Delaware North has acquired the rights to the medium-sized camping ground with 156 powered and 48 unpowered sites plus one luxury glamping tent, retail shops, 28 cabins and laundry facilities on a 30-year lease agreement from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The purchase price was undisclosed but Delaware North, which also operates the King’s Canyon Resort in the Northern Territory, proposes to develop more glamping tents, cabins, a cafe and upgraded retail facilities at Lane Cove, about 10km from Sydney’s CBD.

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Data from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia reveals the caravan and camping visitor economy continues to break records. For the year ending September 2018, caravans and campers accounted for 15% of all nights spent in accommodation around Australia, an increase of 9% on the previous year.

Growth in the domestic caravan and camping industry continues to outpace the national visitor economy, where total overnight trips last year grew by 7% to reach 102.7 million, and nights grew by 6% to 368 million.

Record numbers of international visitors are choosing caravans and cabins over more traditional accommodation. In the year to June 2018, 381,888 visitors chose caravanning and camping, spending 4.87 million nights around Australia.

Delaware North recently won regulatory approval to buy Darwin’s SkyCity casino, paying $188 million.

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