KOA Joins Forces with BIG4 of Australia

November 7, 2011 by · Comments Off on KOA Joins Forces with BIG4 of Australia 

KOA Vice President of Franchisee Operations Jef Sutherland (left) shakes hands with BIG4 Holiday Parks of Australia CEO Ray Schleib today in Las Vegas at the 2011 KOA Convention.

Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) and BIG4 Holiday Parks of Australia announced today (Nov. 7) that they will join forces to further enhance KOA’s KampSight campground management system into the worldwide leader in campground management technologies.

The announcement came during the first day of the annual KOA International Convention in Las Vegas, Nev., according to a KOA news release.

KOA Vice President of Franchisee Operations Jef Sutherland took the stage with Ray Schleib, CEO of BIG4 Holiday Parks of Australia, to make the announcement.

In an unprecedented move three years ago, BIG4 Holiday Parks acquired the KampSight System and adapted the system to better meet the needs of its campground owners.

Today’s announcement by Schleib and Sutherland is the result of a longstanding operational relationship between the two world camping industry leaders.

Founded in 1979, Big4 operates more than 170 parks across Australia.

“In the next 24 months, we’re both going to work to make KampSight even better for KOA, and that will also mean many improvements and advances for our parks in Australia,” Schleib said. He said he expects 600 campgrounds will be using the improved operating system worldwide within the next two years.

“It’s all about making managing campgrounds quicker, easier and ultimately better for our owners and our guests,” said Sutherland. “By pooling our resources from two different parts of the world, we’ll be able to accomplish that goal.”

Aussies Like KOA’s Campground Operating System

February 23, 2010 by · Comments Off on Aussies Like KOA’s Campground Operating System 

Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA) KampSight campground operating system has found a new home – and a new name – on the other side of the world.

BIG4 Holiday Parks of Australia has adopted KOA’s KampSight as its software for centralized online reservations, renaming their version of the industry-leading system BIG4 PAM (Park Accommodation Management), according to a news release.

BIG4 PAM is a simple, all-in-one, web-based system for accommodation management that will not only improve the day-to-day operation of each member park in Australia and increase revenue, but will arm the BIG4 group with valuable consumer insights, improving its ability to market to different customer groups.

Already, five BIG4 parks are using the new system, which enables them to track all room allocation in real time, removing the ongoing task of uploading inventory and ensuring they are not missing out on any potential business. In its first year of operation BIG4’s new website, featuring 24-pages for each of its 180-plus parks, has generated in excess of $6 million in bookings. The increased revenue is now averaging in excess of $1 million per month with between $10 million and $12 million of online revenue forecast for the financial year.

“An upgraded, centralized system will only add to this increased revenue our parks are already enjoying,” says BIG4 Holiday Parks CEO Terry Goodall.

“Our relationship with Kampgrounds of America enables BIG4 to share best practice and adopt systems like this, which is modeled on KOA’s KampSight system. These initiatives all provide a better customer experience and further cement our position as market leader,” he said.

“One of the key advantages with BIG4 PAM is the removal of the need to constantly upload room inventory to the system. Typically, people will book a holiday between 30-40 days out, but potentially up to a year out, so by having a comprehensive offering of room availability our parks can capture that business then and there. We don’t even like to think how much business our parks may have missed out on where inventory wasn’t loaded.”

Goodall said KOA’s proven track record with the KampSight operating system has enabled BIG4 to recommend this system to its parks with uncompromised confidence.

“KOA has been using this online accommodation management system at 100 per cent of its parks for three years now, with the system providing great benefits to its 400-plus parks. While our system has some similar functions, we know from KOA’s experience with their model that there is significant potential to increase revenue and further build our brand with a centralized system,” he says.

KOA Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers said the benefits KOA’s centralized park management system has been providing both for guests and park owners.

“Today’s hospitality guests want recognition, customized services, and technologically advanced conveniences. KOA’s centralized park management system allows us to serve guests with the most advanced high tech/high touch technology in the outdoor hospitality sector,” Rogers said.

“Over the last three years, more than 1 million bookings have been made directly online, with the average booking $120 giving a total revenue value of $120 million. Currently 30% of all bookings taken are made through KOA’s centralized reservation system, and that is growing.

“The guest data has allowed us to launch the first automated loyalty rewards frequent camper program in North America,” Rogers said. “It also serves as the basis for our comprehensive guest feedback research which allows targeting very specific service and marketing opportunities by camper and park. Developed by park owners, the system includes financial, accounting, and reservations systems they needed to optimize the park business.”

BIG4 Holiday Parks plans to have all its parks transitioned onto the BIG4 PAM system within the next three years.

For more information on Kampgrounds of America Inc., visit For more on BIG4 Holiday Parks, go to

Australia’s BIG4 Holiday Parks Meeting with KOA

November 10, 2009 by · Comments Off on Australia’s BIG4 Holiday Parks Meeting with KOA 

big4-logoDes Watts, one of the founding members of BIG4 Holiday Parks of Australia, is part of a contingent of Australian camping experts on a tour of the United States that will include a stop Nov. 18-20 at Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA) annual Convention in Houston, Texas.

There will be more than 10 BIG4 Holiday Parks represented at the KOA Convention this year, according to a news release.

Watts, owner of several BIG4 Holiday Parks in Australia, was one of the original four park owners who, in 1978, decided to combine forces to better market their camping properties and amenities to Australians.

BIG4 Holiday Parks is now the leading chain of holiday parks in Australia, with more than 180 individually owned and operated parks. BIG4’s Holiday Park Club membership stands at more than 176,000 members, and the parks host more than 4 million visitors each year.

BIG4 provides a wide variety of high-quality accommodations throughout Australia, including full-service, luxury cabins

The BIG4 contingent at the KOA Convention will also once again include BIG4 Chairman Rodger Powell. Powell also attended last year’s KOA Convention in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

BIG4 Holiday Parks has had close ties with KOA for the past five years. KOA CEO and Chairman Jim Rogers and his wife, Sandy, recently returned from BIG4’s National Conference in Alice Springs, Australia.

Josh Bell, a member of the Bell family which owns both the San Diego Metro KOA in California and the Grand Canyon/Williams KOA in Arizona, was recently named general manager of Park Systems for BIG4. Bell has spent the last year in Australia working as a liaison between BIG4 and KOA, primarily working on transitioning BIG4 to KOA’s KampSight campground operating system.

KOA recently signed an exclusive 10-year agreement with BIG4 to share intellectual property.

“The agreement will accelerate the progress of these two world-leading outdoor hospitality organizations,” said Rogers.

As part of the agreement, BIG4 recently purchased the KampSight system from KOA and plans to develop the system to better fit BIG4’s needs. BIG4 will call their system PAM, for Park Accommodation Manager.

“We’re planning to give the operating system a facelift,” Bell said of his new duties. “We’ve got 30 BIG4 Holiday Parks ready to go with PAM right now. It’s going to change the way Holiday Parks in Australia do business, and it all started with KOA. It’s nice having a great partner like that in the States.”

While in the United States, the BIG4 group will also be visiting the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) Convention in underway this week in Orlando, Fla., and a variety of campground locations.