CARAVAN parks across the municipality were ready for the school holiday onslaught, following work at several sites.
Leading the charge was Discovery Holiday Park at Gerroa, investing $1 million on seven two-bedroom, two-bathroom deluxe units.
Despite drops in tourism being blamed for business vacancies in Terralong Street six months ago, Discovery Holiday Parks chief executive Grant Wilckens said caravan parks had withstood economic challenges.
"When the GFC [global financial crisis] hit, everyone traded down ... The resorts lost occupancy, but people seemed to go for caravan parks," he said.
"Our reports say visitation is up 30 per cent year on year."
Easts Beach Holiday Park has also used the off-peak period to work on its facilities to keep up with the market, spending about $800,000 on seven new budget cabins and upgrading the pool area.
Director Jennifer Drummond said business this year had been down on previous years, which she attributed to the strong Australian dollar making overseas holidays more affordable.
"But we're very lucky being so close to Sydney," she said.
"People come to holiday parks for the experience."
A Kiama Council spokeswoman said $1.5 million had been spent on the council's holiday parks during the past financial year, including Wi-Fi, a new playground at Seven Mile Beach, a new linen buggy at Surf Beach, new ensuite sites at Surf Beach and Kendall's Beach, amenity upgrades at Surf Beach and Seven Mile Beach, and road and drainage works at Werri Beach.
"Over the past 12 months, Kiama Coast Holiday Parks have seen an increase in the occupation of our tourist sites, which also aligns with the overall trend within the industry and, in particular, the rise of the baby boomers and the active retirees," she said.
Kiama Harbour Cabins was judged the Best Park South of Sydney (less than 100 sites) and Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park was a finalist in the Best Park South of Sydney (more than 100 sites) category at the recent NSW Caravan and Camping Industry Awards in Sydney.