It is with deep sadness that Top Tourist Parks announces the passing of its Chairman Mr Richard Davis OAM, aged 70. Mr Davis was a successful businessman and a key player in the tourism industry who had owned caravan parks, a motel and hotels both in Adelaide and on the Yorke Peninsula. “Richard loved tourism and used his knowledge and experience to support the entire industry throughout his life,” Top Tourist Parks Chief Executive Officer Stuart Livingstone said.
“He was affectionately described by his peers as a giant of the tourism industry and was respected for his down-to-earth attitude and tenacity.
“He saw the industry grow from humble beginnings to the billion dollar industry it is today and his wise words, warmth and humour will be sorely missed not just by the caravan park industry, but by everyone in tourism.”
Mr Davis, a car enthusiast, had just finished driving a section at the Targa High Country car rally in Victoria late yesterday afternoon when he suffered a heart attack.
He had been a long-standing member of the Top Tourist Park Board and became Chairman in 2011.
He also served as the President of the South Australian Caravan Parks Association for more than 40 years. In 1997, he won the South Australian Tourism Awards Outstanding Contribution to Tourism by an Individual award and in 1999, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to South Australian tourism.
Just a few years later in 2010, he won the prestigious Harry Dowling Award for an Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to the South Australian regional tourism industry.
He also won Top Tourist Park’s Hugh Diedrich award in 2009 and the Eric Hayman Award for services to the Australian caravanning and camping industry in 1996. In addition, Mr Davis judged the South Australian Tourism Awards for many years, served on the South Australian Tourism Commission Board, was a former President of the national caravanning body, Chairman of Yorke Peninsula Tourism and a former councillor of the Copper Coast Council.
He also served on the Tourism Council of Australia and Tourism Development Board. Aside from tourism, he was also a founding member of the Quarter Club, a group which raises money to support Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes.
Just last month Mr Davis sold his last caravan park, the Adelaide Caravan Park in Hackney, to the Aspen Group and oversaw the rebranding of the consumer brand of Top Tourist Parks to Top Parks. He was born on 7 June 1945 and is survived by his wife Margaret.