Unique business software has allowed tourism industry veteran Ken Upchurch to launch his own, “fully automated” campervan company.
Mr Upchurch officially launched LeisureRent this month.
After 30 years working in the Tasmanian vehicle rental industry, the business owner decided to resign from his old senior role and start a new project.
“The timing was right to launch my own specialised rental company,” he said.
“I launched my own company with knowledge of the tourism industry in Tassie showing strong signs of growth.”
Rather than waiting in queues and signing paperwork at the state’s airports, Mr Upchurch’s e-sign forms allows payment and papers to be completed prior to the tourist arriving in Tasmania.
All that is left for the tourist to do is collect the vehicle at the airport.
“The customer is given the keys and away they go,” he said.
Mr Upchurch said he wanted a business that was flexible and could work from anywhere.
“The way I set it up and the software I’ve got around allows me to work anywhere,” he said.
A fleet of Toyota HiAce vans are located at Hobart, Launceston and Devonport airports.
Mr Upchurch has seen a significant amount of interest, which he puts down to a strong season.
“I’m turning business away, which is a good sign – but not for the tourist,” he said.
With the peak tourist season of November to April upon us, Mr Upchurch said he would wait to see how the quieter winter months affected the business.
“I can’t expand [vehicle numbers] for this peak season because the construction time for the vehicles is quite long,” he said.
With a strong start to the company, Mr Upchurch has plans to invest about $1 million in the business over the next several years to expand the fleet of vehicles.
“Continued growth in tourism visitation has given LeisureRent the confidence to establish this niche product offering,” he said.
“Touring Tasmania by campervan is one of the most flexible and cost-effective holiday options, because you have your own kitchenette and bed.”
Tasmania is one of the only states where tourists can also camp for free in many places.
Mr Upchurch offered advice for other budding Tasmanian entrepreneurs.
“Know the market, provide a good quality product at a reasonable price and be prepared to back yourself,” he said.
Bookings can be made at www.leisurerent.com.au.