Camping Ground Manager
Camping ground managers operate holiday parks, motor camps, caravan parks or seaside resorts as owners or on behalf of an owner.
Camping ground managers usually earn
$32K-$38K per year
Source: Holiday Parks Association.
Camping ground managers' pay varies according to their role and the location and size of the holiday park, and usually includes accommodation.
- Camping grounds often employ a couple as managers, and pay is typically about $38,000 a year for one person, or about $76,000 a year per couple.
- Assistant managers' pay is about $32,000 a year for one person, or about $64,000 for a couple.
- Relief managers are paid between $100 and $180 a day per couple.
Source: Holiday Parks Association.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the figures and diagrams in our job information)
What you will do
Camping ground managers may do some or all of the following:
- greet guests and check them into cabins, caravans or campsites
- maintain the buildings and grounds
- hire, train and organise staff
- handle guest requests and complaints
- take accommodation bookings, plan budgets, keep accounts, carry out administrative tasks, and organise marketing activities
- clean and prepare public places for use
- run a restaurant and/or camp shop
- take bookings for local tourist attractions
- run activities such as tramping, horse-trekking or fishing trips.
Skills and knowledge
Camping ground managers need to have:
- customer service skills
- knowledge of local area and tourist attractions
- business administration, management and marketing skills
- basic knowledge of health and safety
- food safety knowledge.
Practical maintenance and repair skills, such as plumbing, and skill in operating machinery are helpful. It is also useful if holiday park managers/workers know first aid.
Camping grounds managers:
- work irregular hours, and are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- work outdoors and indoors in camping grounds, caravan and holiday parks, or seaside resorts
- may travel to get supplies and transport guests to local tourist sights and activities
- often work outdoors in all weather conditions in a rural environment with a bush, park or seaside setting.
What's the job really like?
Alan Hotter - Camping Ground Manager
Maintenance only a small part of the job
When Alan Hotter and his wife Lynnare decided to change careers and run a holiday park, Alan thought he was well-qualified for a job that seemed to be all about keeping buildings and grounds in top condition.
After all, he was no beginner at maintaining and fixing things, having worked for more than 20 years as both a maintenance and a structural engineer.
Pleasing people the real heart of the job
But after 13 years of running Kamo Holiday Park near Whangarei, Alan laughs at how wrong he was. "This job is all about people," he says. "You have to be able to please people, find out what they like and meet their needs." He admits it took him a while to make the transition from working mainly with machinery to working with people. "But now I really enjoy people and get a kick out of helping them."
The campground's guests also seem to admire Alan's approach to customer service. On their return home, a Hawaiian couple that Alan had taken on a free, impromptu sightseeing trip sent him and Lynnare a parcel containing gifts from Hawaii. "They said I went the extra mile – isn't that awesome?" he says.
- Meeting people from different countries.
- Satisfaction from helping people.
- Repair work such as fixing sewage problems can be unpleasant.
- Always having to be on-site.
There are no specific requirements to become a camping ground manager. However, you need to have numeracy and literacy skills.
Camping ground managers may attend courses and seminars run by hospitality and tourism organisations.
Camping ground managers need to be:
- well organised and efficient
- adaptable and practical
- friendly, polite and helpful
- skilled at communicating
- able to relate to people from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures
- good at solving problems.
Useful experience for camping ground managers includes:
- running a business
- experience in the hospitality industry, preferably at management level
- building, farming or practical work such as carpentry and plumbing
- customer service experience.
Camping ground managers need to be fit and healthy as the job involves a lot of physical activity, such as moving caravans around the park, gardening and cleaning.
Find out more about training
- Hospitality New Zealand
- (04) 385 1369 - www.hospitalitynz.org.nz
- 0800 863 693 - www.serviceiq.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Demand for camping ground managers or assistant managers is expected to remain steady or increase slightly because:
- the number of people staying in camping grounds between 2009 and 2014 has increased slightly
- fewer camping grounds closing down over winter, because of having cabins and motel units in the grounds
Demand often seasonal
Camping ground managers work year-round, your chances of finding work are best between November and April – when the weather is warmer, or in winter in ski areas.
Willingness to travel for work is also an advantage. Camping grounds often need relief managers, so it's possible to travel from park to park, doing short-term relief work.
Types of employers varied
Camping ground managers work at camping grounds and holiday parks. Many are owner-operated businesses, or small businesses employing two to five people.
- Angus and Associates, 'New Zealand Holiday Parks – Some Quick Facts', February 2013, (www.holidayparks.co.nz).
- Brown, F, chief executive, Holiday Accommodation Parks Association of New Zealand, Careers New Zealand interview, April 2013.
- Holiday Parks Association of New Zealand, 'Annual Report 2014', accessed January 2015, (www. holidayparks.co.nx).
- Ministry of Economic Development website, 'Commercial Accommodation Monitor', accesses January 2015, (www.med.govt.nz).
Progression and specialisations
Camping ground managers may progress to:
- manage larger camping grounds
- own and operate their own camping grounds
- work in a different part of the hospitality or tourism industry.
Last updated 29 May 2017