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Caravanners and campers looking forward to hitting the road

Caravanners and campers looking forward to hitting the road
August 31, 2021

A new survey from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia is providing insights into the opinions and travel intentions of Australian caravan and campers.

Released today, the Caravan Industry Consumer Sentiment Report August 2021 was conducted during a time where NSW, Victoria and Queensland were managing outbreaks and snap lockdowns. This was reflected in the low mood of caravan and campers who remain concerned about the current covid-19 situation and the impact this is having on their daily lives. While older people felt more positive than their younger counterparts, 84% of all people surveyed indicated that they felt their life was on hold due to the pandemic.

This time last year, Australian caravan and camping consumers were optimistic about the post covid outlook, however the latest surveying suggests a significant shift with the share of respondents that think the worst is still to come has increased from 9% to 37%. This is reflected in the 27% of respondents who expect a return to normal life in 12 to 18 months, compared to 45% of respondents in last year's survey.

Despite the challenges, Australian caravan and camping consumers remain is a solid financial position and expect it to remain similar for the next 12 months. Respondents raised concerns about the ongoing impact that COVID-19 would have the economy, local business and to their health. However, the majority (70%) felt that Australia was heading in the right direction and was less impacted than other countries (74%).

Most consumers are currently dreaming or planning a caravan and camping trip, with 90% hoping to travel in the next 6 months. Encouragingly, 92% of respondents were excited about the prospect of travelling around Australia. Importantly, 60% of respondents agree that travel in Australia is good value for money. However, compared to overseas travel, less than half (47%) feel travel in Australia is better value from money. This suggests that there is strong desire to experience Australia as opposed to just holidaying here as there is nowhere else to go. However, it’s important to continue to distinguish the value proposition of Australian caravan and camping holidays for those visitors that may be more familiar with international holidays.

A total of 76% of respondents feel it is (COVID) safe to travel within Australia and was reflected in their high levels of comfort that they have with self-contained travel modes such as caravan and camping, drive tourism and staying in regional destinations. Compared to pre-pandemic times, respondents are more likely to plan and book their next caravan and camping trip closer to their travel date. This reflects the uncertainty around border closures and travel restrictions that the pandemic continues to produce.

Overall, caravan and camping is acting as a light at the end of the tunnel for Australians’ holidays plans, with the Caravan Industry Association of Australia expressing the view that it is important that the industry continues to encourage Australians to dream and plan their next caravan and camping holiday to ensure it stays in their top-of-mind awareness.

The likelihood of Australia entering another recession is growing and although we can expect consumers to remain financially cautious, caravan and camping is well positioned to provide affordable holidays to all budgets. Additionally, operators need to continue to remain flexible in their booking policies, showcase how the sector is safe and health, and to prepare for the ‘reopening’ which should see a surge of travellers across the country.

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8th April 2020 - Caravan Industry promotes socially responsible initiative this Easter

26th March 2020 - ‘Heartbreaking and confusing’ time for caravan parks operators, guests and RV travelling community

25th March 2020 - Travellers look to stay on in Australia’s caravan parks

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