Camping trips prove popular for families over school holidays with 72% Cabin occupancy, an increase on 2019 figures.

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A $170 million boost over school holidays for regional tourism, an indication of the important role campers can play in the country’s recovery.  

Caravan Parks across Australia reached average occupancy levels as high as 72% in cabins and 64% in powered sites for the week commencing 28 September 2020 as confidence starts to return among Aussies looking to spend time with loved ones over the school holidays.

This resulted in an estimated $170 million worth
of economic benefit generated over the school holidays in
regional communities throughout Australia.  To put this in
context, during COVID restrictions the two weeks post
Easter, normally a busy period, only saw $12.4 million in
2020. (Data Source: BDO, Newbook, RMS).

While this significant injection of visitor expenditure has
helped many businesses across the country start to see some relief, this is
still a far cry from business as usual for many others.  There are still
many communities throughout the country that are struggling from the extended
impacts of border restrictions and the disrupted visitor movement
for long term travellers such as Grey Nomads, coupled
with aftermath of natural disaster earlier in the year.  The
school holiday occupancy figures provide hope for what is to come for those
regions still struggling.

September school holidays showed that there is pent up
demand among Aussies who have spent months facing the challenges that COVID-19
has bought to our lives. With the continued relaxation of borders around
the country, we would expect to see increasing RV travel.  Consumer
research conducted by Caravan Industry Association of Australia indicated
that 79% of caravan and camping consumers are at least ‘fairly
confident’ at travelling
in the coming months.

Cabin occupancy increased on the same period last
year (2019)
 with early indications suggesting that a
raft of ‘first timers’ are now seeing the many
benefits of a camping holiday. 
 This includes the array
of choice offered by accommodation types for all
budgets, from unpowered sites to cabin and
glamping accommodation.

Not only are caravan parks naturally open spaces, they have been
some of the very first to adopt COVID best practices regarding contactless check-in,
cleaning and guest declaration tracking to keep guests

“Cabin accommodation and motorhome hire are easy entry
points for first timers and those wishing to take a road trip and explore
this vast and wonderful country.  New campers are often interested in
the romantic idea of vanlife on a motorhome road trip or the outdoor luxury
afforded by a
 glamping experience” said Keelan Howard GM
of Marketing & Communications

This comes as Tourism Australia pivots its
focus to domestic marketing and announces new ambassadors Hamish
Blake and Zoe Foster-Blake
, which is a fantastic initiative. Hamish is
certainly no stranger to a road trip and the benefits of a camping,
which are well documented in successful Hamish and
Andy ‘Caravan of Courage’ TV show.  Hamish and Zoe also
represent the largest demographic of campers, the family market.

“While there is still a long road ahead to recovery, it is
great to see those Aussies who are in a position to travel hitting the road and
exploring their own backyard” said Mr Howard.

As with many businesses over the past year, COVID-19 coupled
with natural disaster across the country has made operations very
challenging.  Caravan Parks play a very important role in
facilitating visitor movement throughout regions and offering the
hospitality and experience that makes travelling throughout our beautiful
country so unique.

It is no wonder that caravanning and
camping became the most popular holiday choice in 2019 and remains a
favourite as we begin to rebound out of the pandemic.

If you are looking for a way to support local business to reconnect with family, friends and nature after a challenging year then it’s time to plan and book your next caravan and camping adventure.

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