Large KOA Delegation Heading 'Down Under'
A group of 27 Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) executives and campground owners is on its way to Christchurch, New Zealand, to join more than 350 owners and operators of campgrounds in New Zealand and Australia at a joint conference of BIG4 Holiday Parks and Top 10 Holiday Parks, according to a news release.
“We’ve had a longstanding relationship with our counterparts on the other side of the world, and we felt it was time to bring some of our top KOA owners over to exchange ideas and expand our camping horizons,” said Jim Rogers, KOA chairman and CEO and the group leader, with KOA President Pat Hittmeier, of the KOA contingent. The group includes KOA owners from both the United States and Canada.
The relationship goes far beyond an idea exchange. Earlier this year, BIG4 Holiday Parks of Australia adopted KOA’s KampSight campground operating system as its software for centralized online reservations, renaming their version of the industry-leading system BIG4 PAM (Park Accommodation Management).
“While we certainly had something to offer BIG4 in the way of technical expertise, we look forward to learning from their vast experience with accommodations camping,” Rogers said. “They have been managing accommodations such as lodges on their parks for a very long time, and they do it very, very well.”
The Christchurch conference also celebrates the success of both BIG4 and Top 10, which have both experienced growth in recent months. BIG4 Holiday Parks has increased its revenue by 5.5% to more than $270.5 million.
To reflect on the combination of shared experience the three groups will bring to the conference, and the support that comes from the relationship they have, the conference will be run under the banner of ‘Together we achieve more."
With keynote presentations being made by Hittmeier; Peter Blackwell, CEO of AAA Tourism New Zealand; and Stuart Lamont, business development manager of the Caravan, RV & Accommodation Industry of Australia (CRVA) amongst others, attendees will be treated to information from some of the industry’s most knowledgeable sources across Australia, New Zealand and America.
BIG4 Holiday Parks Acting CEO James Shearer, said he looks forward to marking the Group’s success alongside TOP 10 Holiday Parks and Kampgrounds of America and is excited to see what each group can contribute.
“A joint conference is a new concept to BIG4 Holiday Parks and one we’re really looking forward to. Following in the pioneering spirit of the original BIG4 Parks who decided to band together because ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parks’, we will use our combined knowledge and experiences to support the industry even more on both sides of the world,” said James.
Those attending from KOA include:
- Jim and Sandy Rogers, KOA Inc.
- Pat Hittmeier, KOA Inc.
- Diane and Scott King, Springfield, Mo., KOA
- Sam Shevat and Renee Scialdo-Shevat, Herkimer Diamond, N.Y. KOA
- Mike Bell, San Diego Metro KOA
- Guenter and Theresa Kippschull, Fort Collins, Colo., KOAs
- Matt, Jeffrey and Catherine Stovold, Toronto North, Ontario KOA
- Amy and Tony Raposo, Barrie, Ontario, KOA
- Joe and Rhonda Landis, Dayton, Ohio, KOA
- David and Susan Barton, 1000 Islands Ivy Lea, Ontario, KOA
- Kristie and Michael Kuper, Thunder Bay, Ontario, KOA
- Barbara and Jerry Dale, Manchester, Tenn., KOA
- Hope Perkins and Nick Harrison, Elhart/Middlebury, Ind., KOA
- KOA has 475 locations in the United States and Canada.
BIG4 Holiday Parks is a franchise group comprising more than 180 holiday parks across Australia. The group provides a range of high-quality accommodation options from powered ensuite sites for caravan and motor homes to luxury cabins. BIG4 Holiday Parks’ BIG4 Club has over 170,000 active members.