In an Australian first for sustainable travel, Reflections Holiday Parks has become the first holiday park group in the country to be certified as a social enterprise. As a profit-for-purpose based business, Reflections Holiday Parks reinvested $9.1m in the financial year ending 2022 into their 36 holiday parks and 43 community Crown reserves, which are vital habitats for animals and plants, and treasured playgrounds for regional communities and visitors.
Why was Reflections offered the certification?
Reflections’ re-investment into communities and the environment saw $3.5 million allocated to Crown Land reserves managed by councils and community groups, $2.6 million to Reflections Crown Land nature reserves and $3 million to cross-subsidise the operation of inland parks and reserves – in turn creating and maintaining jobs in regional communities.
NSW Minister for Lands and Water, the Hon. Kevin Anderson, said the certification was a significant accolade for Reflections as New South Wales’s largest holiday park operator, welcoming 2 million visitors a year to the parks it manages on Crown land across NSW.
“Reflections has earned its honour as Australia’s first certified social enterprise holiday park group due to its unique model. As well as a commitment to make its parks leaders in nature-driven holiday escapes, all profits it earns are reinvested back into the 9,289 hectares of Crown land it manages and cares for on behalf of the people of NSW,” Minister Anderson said.
What were the stakeholders’ thoughts on the certification?
Social Traders Head of Certification, Georgina Cohen, said supporting a social enterprise business enables consumers to achieve social good and community impact. “Reflections Holiday Parks is among a growing number of tourism focused certified social enterprises in Australia but is the first certified social enterprise holiday park,” Ms Cohen commented.
“When you buy from a social enterprise, you are purchasing quality goods and services that your business needs, while buying community impact in the same transaction,” she said.
Commenting on the milestone, Reflections’ Chief Executive Officer, Nick Baker, said the certification by Social Traders reflects a growing consumer movement towards businesses that exist for social and environmental good. “An increasing number of travellers want to reduce their environmental footprint and contribute to local communities when they travel.”
“Securing social enterprise certification demonstrates that Reflections exists for social and environmental good by investing profit into local communities and the environment across NSW. It also introduces a network of social enterprise businesses that we can engage as suppliers, further enhancing our social, cultural and environmental impact,” Baker added.
“As well as preserving vital flora and fauna habitat, we attract 2 million visitors to regional New South Wales each year and encourage them to spend with local businesses and tour operators, injecting $83.2 million into regional economies and supporting local jobs.”