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Selling a campsite

How to Sell a Campsite

Australia’s camping sector is thriving. Follow these tips and you’ve every chance of finding a credible buyer.

Now is a good time to sell your camping business if you’re seeking an exit. The camping and caravanning sector is in a reasonably healthy place, with $1 billion generated in revenue and growth of 1.7% a year.

For a buyer craving a more tranquil existence outside the city there is the additional incentive of a better lifestyle. As you’ll know, this is not your average 9-5 office job, with most campgrounds situated in places of outstanding beauty and your customers invariably in a relaxed frame of mind.

Nevertheless, unless you’re lucky enough to have a family member ready to take over the business, selling up might be a more complicated and lengthier process than you might anticipate. Here are a few steps to follow for a smooth transition.

Easy wins

Now that you’ve decided to sell, get your business organised and your site looking as appealing as possible. A buyer could come along at any moment, so it’s important to get prepped.

There are plenty of ‘low-hanging fruit’ improvements that you can make immediately to impress a potential buyer:

Organise your paperwork. Getting all your paperwork in order and making it easily retrievable will help the selling process go smoothly. Prepare logs of previous camper bookings, future bookings and any waiting lists you may operate, ready for a new owner to inspect.

Tidy your office and shop space. Get your shop and office looking clean and organised; this will instil confidence in the buyer.

Spruce up your site. Planting flowers and greenery, mowing the lawn, giving the playground and swimming pool – if you have such facilities – a lick of paint, replacing faded or outdated signage – these are just a few things you can do, at modest cost, to make a favourable impression.

Call in the experts

Business brokers can help you navigate all aspects of the selling process, from preparing paperwork through to marketing, finding buyers and negotiations. Ideally you want a broker with experience of selling campsites or similar businesses.

Value your business

Valuing your business is one of the first things you should do, and there are various ways of working it out. The most common method is a multiple of profits, plus the value of your land, property and facilities, while the site’s reputation may be factored in too.

This is not something you should do yourself, however – not just for want of expertise but because of your lack of objectivity too. So this is another reason to appoint a broker or accountant, and one who specialises in business valuation – ideally with experience of valuing campsites.

You should also get a sense of how other similar businesses in your area are valued in order to price your business competitively.

Marketing your campsite for sale

Finally, you’re ready to put the word out that you’re moving on.

Unlike residential real estate, you’ll want to do this with discretion. Loyal campers that come back every year might go elsewhere if they hear you’re selling, so it’s wise to get buyers to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Ways to find buyers include:

  • Through business brokers and real estate agents
  • Placing an advert on for exposure to thousands of active buyers
  • Rarely, employees or business contacts might declare an interest
  • Advertising in the local newspaper or trade publication

A well-oiled machine

The most attractive business to a seller is one that can almost run itself. Show the buyer that it will be an easy transition without you at the helm and you are halfway to a big payday.

All the more important, then, to document daily tasks and processes – from logging bookings to maintaining the pitches – to reassure the buyer that they can step into your role with ease.

After all, the buyer is making a significant outlay, so the more concerns you can allay, the more attractive a proposition the business will be.

Preparation is the name of the game when it comes to selling a business. Get organised and prepped long before any buyers visit for the grand tour to avoid missing opportunities for a quick, financially rewarding sale.

Ready to sell? You are just 10 minutes away from advertising your business to 1.3 million prospective buyers. 

Faye Ferris

About the author

APAC Sales & Marketing Director for, the world’s most popular website for buying and selling businesses globally, which attracts over 1.2 million visitors each month.