Feather in cap for Ashburton business

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Ashburton has been welcomed into an innovative scheme that is promoting tourism in mainly rural and provincial locations outside the traditional tourist routes.
The scheme, Motorhome Friendly, was developed by the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA) to offer significant economic benefits to participating towns.
In return, members in certified self-contained motorhomes are assured of a warm welcome.
NZMCA local and resource management assistant Gary Green says Ashburton is one of 41 towns nationwide that are motorhome friendly and the network is increasing rapidly as more local authorities recognise the economic opportunity that responsible motorhomes offer.
‘‘Independent research shows domestic and international motorhomers spend $650 million-plus annually in New Zealand,’’ Mr Green said.
‘‘Motorhome friendly gives areas like Ashburton that would otherwise miss out on their share of that revenue, a chance to benefit, too.’’
Mr Green said the fact that the motorhomefriendly destinations often do not have the bright lights of the big name tourist resorts is exactly what attracts his organisation’s fast growing membership.
‘‘We currently have 67,300 members – a number that is increasing by around 10% per year and is projected to reach 80,000 in just three years time. Much of that increase is driven by Baby Boomers, for whom motorhoming is often the culmination of a long held dream to enjoy the freedom of the road.
‘‘The Baby Boomer generation only started reaching retirement age in 2011 but are very different from past generations of retirees. No longer prepared to buy the bach at the beach and put their feet up; these active retirees will have a significant impact on New Zealand’s economy over the next 15 years at least,’’ he said.
Ashburton has a new motorhome waste disposal station on East Street.