Richardson Wrench Real Estate Agents North Sydney North Sydney

Tourism Property Definitions

Caravan Park

Caravan parks come in various guises; Holiday Parks; Residential Parks; Manufactured Home Estates (MHEs) being the most common.

All parks need an approval to operate in NSW and throughout Australia. These approvals specify the number of 'sites' permissible within a park, and will often show a mix of the above 'uses'. The 'uses' are generally indicated as 'long term' or 'short term' sites.

Residential Parks

Residential parks are properties on which manufactured homes, caravans and other movable dwellings are situated, and in which residents live subject to agreements with the park operator. New South Wales legislation now refers to residential parks as 'residential (land lease) communities', but most people still call them 'residential parks'.


Manufactured Housing Estate, relocating housing, often to the 55+ age group, residents own their own homes and lease the land, paying an ongoing rent.

Holiday Parks

The Holiday Parks (Long-term Casual Occupation) Act 2002​ began on 28 February, 2003. These laws cover situations where people leave their vans in a caravan park for occasional recreational use during the year.

Caravan Parks

Caravan parks generally accommodate overnight and short stay tourism activities. Cabins, vans, camping etc.

Other Common Terms


People who have a cabin/van in a park on a semi permanent basis, paying an annual fee. (See Holiday Parks).


People living permanently in cabins or vans. (See Residential Parks).

Boarding Houses​

Boarding House

A private house or building that provides accommodations and sometimes also meals for paying guests. Boarding houses can range from about 5-100 rooms and historically offer shared facility such as kitchen, bathrooms and garden area.

Boarding Houses cater for low income earners and are a most welcome facility by the State Government. There are certain taxation advantages involved in this type of operations (e.g. Land Tax exemption) but also some restrictions.

New Age (Or New Generation) Boarding Houses

Many boarding houses, especially new builds, are now going upmarket.

Introduced in 2009, the state government's affordable rental housing provisions include incentives that permit a developer to build and lease smaller, and therefore cheaper, 'micro apartments' in buildings of a larger scale than otherwise permitted in low-density areas.

Backpacker Hostels​

Backpacker Hostel

A budget tourism property for younger travellers.

Hostel accommodation ranges from twin rooms to dormitories with multi-bunks. These are usually boisterous operations requiring a fair amount of management.


An inn, a communal residence for students or others, simple temporary accommodation for backpackers, hikers & travellers.

Similar to the New Age Boarding House student accommodations are now becoming very 'upmarket' and in the form of 'micro apartment' blocks or residences.

Private Hotels

​​​A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging, usually on a short-term basis. Hotels often provide a number of additional guest services such as a restaurant, a swimming pool or childcare.

This type of tourism accommodation property similar to a Motel however generally in a development of several levels, with common hallways and in some cases share bathrooms.

There could be a dining room associated with the property.


Freehold Motels

Freehold: The dwelling and the land on which it stands is owned by the owner until they choose to sell it.

A Freehold Motel is the sale of the real estate (land and improvements) and the business.

The return on the purchase price can vary from 8% to 16% and even higher in remote areas.

Leasehold Motels

Leasehold: The right to possession and use of land for a fixed period of time. The lease is the agreement that creates the right.

The sale of a Motel Lease is the sale of the business only by way of assignment of the lease by the current lessee.

The average sale price is around 3 times the net profit.

Depending however on location, years left on the lease etc. this could be as low as 25% return (4 times net) to 40% return on sale price.

Investment Motels

Investment: Money put in property or other ventures with the expectation of making a profit, with sufficient security to return and protect the capital; not speculation.

An Investment Motel is the sale of a Motel property with a lease in place.

The average return on purchase price here is between 8% and 10% net.

The tenant usually pays all outgoings and must maintain the property at the current star rating.

The Investor Owner is usually only liable for structural costs - damages that are usually covered by insurance.

Guest Houses

The host and guests are accommodated in the same building and the host has a separate individual living area from the guests.

This type of tourism accommodation property similar to a Motel however generally in a development of several levels, with common hallways and in some cases share bathrooms.

There could be a dining room associated with the property.

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