Although Leah O’Connor, Manager of Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park had heard of Rainbow Accreditation for Caravan Parks she hadn’t given it much thought until hearing about it at the 2017 Caravanning Queensland conference in Mackay. It was here that she heard from Caravan Industry Association of Australia’s Compliance and Accreditation specialist Mark Shipton speak on the program.
After hearing about the program, Leah explained that “I was intrigued. I had never thought that we would need to target such an audience, however as a member of the LGBTI community myself, I thought about going camping and having that reassuring knowledge that if we chose a rainbow accredited park we could relax and enjoy the park and facilities without feeling judged or uneasy.” Now, being the one of the first officially accredited Rainbow Accreditation Caravan and Holiday Parks, they have an additional marketing tool in their tool belt.
Leah found the approval process for the program to be simple and straightforward. She was able to use her existing workplace Policy and Procedures on Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination, which enabled instant approval. She could also see benefits for the community in making her park more Rainbow friendly, she says “I believe members of the LGBTI community will view this accreditation the same way as I did. They will feel safe and unjudged when staying at our park. For me it was not about targeting a market to make money, rather, making everyone feel welcome to stay at Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park.”
Moving forward, Leah believes that while Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park has had many same sex couples and LGTBI people stay at the park, she hopes that this accreditation will encourage them to not only return but to share the good news that they were staying in a welcoming and Rainbow friendly caravan park widely to friends and family.