During January pages of the Central Western Daily were filled with details of Orange City Council’s tourism plan for Orange.
Why then, do we continue to read negative and concerning stories about the Orange Colour City Caravan Park? Sadly, the park seems to be coloured with issues of security and vandalism, rather than positive stories of good times spent there by visitors exploring and enjoying all Orange has to offer.
During fruit-picking season it is critical that we have accommodation for backpackers who contribute to our local economy - not only through helping our orchardists but also through spending while they are here.
Is it time council took these issues seriously and appointed a caretaker for the park? Having a 10pm curfew or rules for the camp kitchen, for example, seem pointless if no one implements these.
We must also recognise that backpackers, tourists towing caravans and permanent residents often require separate accommodation within caravan parks for a number of reasons - for example, young families and retirees in vans do not keep the same hours as backpackers.
Good caravan parks around Australia cater for different clientele by providing separate areas and facilities and most have a permanent caretaker on site. Good tourism cities also welcome caravans and motor homes by providing adequate parking and rest areas, and quality accommodation.
If council is serious about attracting tourists to Orange, then Orange must be recognised as a place to visit - where all visitors are welcome, safe and catered for.