A SOUTH Coast couple have come up with an innovative new tourism venture, which matches locals with room to spare on their properties with travellers looking for somewhere to stay.
It is a website called Youcamp.com, conceived and run by Bingie landholders Prue and James Woodford, to open up “backyard” tourism.
The new website allows landholders to open their land to responsible visitors. In return property owners will be able to access new revenue streams, meet new people and feel good about showcasing parts of Australia that until now have largely been off limits.
The website is rapidly on its way to listing 200 private properties across the continent and has nearly 10,500 Facebook supporters.
James and Prue had the idea for Youcamp.com one evening during Christmas holidays while sitting around a campfire on their property at Bingie. They realised that all around the NSW South coast and across Australia was private land that was being under-utilised while at the exact same time campgrounds were absolutely packed.
Youcamp.com allows private property owners to advertise their land for a range of activities, including cycling, bird watching, farm help, fossicking, picnics and feral animal hunting. Altogether there are more than 50 different categories of tourism activities that private landholders are now able to advertise on their land.
“Anyone who is on the south coast over the Christmas/New Year period knows any type of accommodation is almost impossible to find. Youcamp.com aims to help connect private landholders who have a campsite, cabin or even a possible private picnic spot, with tourists,” Prue Woodford said.
“The whole point of the website is to prove that adventures, leisure and experiencing the great outdoors is not just about national parks and busy camping grounds.”
The website encourages suburban landholders, who are prepared to offer a parking spot to grey nomads in fully self-contained campervans, to sign up. There is also the possibility of backyards in homes close to packed music festivals being used to pitch a tent as overflow accommodation.
“It is perfect for a place like the NSW South Coast where there are just so many wonderful secret spots hidden away on private property that the public would love to access,” Prue said.
“And it is a great way for land holders to earn extra cash. We are seeing examples of councils across Australia permitting this use of private land as a way of increasing regional economic growth and providing for the increasing numbers of self-sufficient travellers in RVs.”
She said Youcamp.com had already listed several sites in southern NSW. They ranged from a winery at Tilba, a property that has direct private access to Durras Lake and a campground run by former Eurobodalla Mayor Fergus Thomson. One Youcamp landholder describes their site as a “beautiful primitive camping spot which we treasured and figured that other people would enjoy too”.
For more information, please contact Prue Woodford on 0427825273 or email@example.com