11 April 2024
11 April 2024, Comments Comments Off on Australian caravan industry measures success of its Road to a Million campaign
Australian caravan industry measures success of its Road to a Million campaign

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia says the importance of industry-led campaigns, such as its recent ‘Road to a Million’ promotion cannot be understated, after feedback from over 1,300 participating caravan parks confirmed it raised awareness and was a win-win for both visitors and destinations.

A campaign survey with over 4500 respondents highlighted the impact of the campaign and the positive influence on behaviour with people taking camping holidays they had not intended, traveling further and staying longer.

  • 38% took a camping holiday they had not intended
  • 66% per cent say it had put camping at the ‘front of mind’
  • 34% say they booked more nights on the Road
  • and 33% say they had travelled further

The promotional period was strategically designed to provide high visibility leading into the summer period, reminding Australians of the fantastic ‘value’ offered by the industry as traditional competitors had returned with force, most notably cruising and international markets.

It successfully put camping ‘front of mind’ for millions of Australians between October and February, reminding them of the tremendous value offered by taking a caravan holiday park road trip, including the well-being benefits both physical and psychological. This includes the opportunity to enjoy life’s simplest and most enjoyable moments, a chance to disconnect from life’s busyness and reconnect to nature, your friends and family.

“The Road to a Million campaign, led by the National Industry Body, was a moment for all caravan parks to come together,” she said Director of Tourism Creatures, Joanne Keown. “The campaign has been instrumental in ensuring travellers chose caravan parks over direct competitors. Campaigns such as these mean a great deal for our industry as collectively, we are showcasing caravan and camping on a national level,” she continued.

The industry association commented that Australia’s National Visitor Economy Report for December has one major take-away – caravanning in Australia has held its ground, demonstrating once again the industry’s resilience, but the rest of the tourism industry is catching.

The ‘Road to a Million’ campaign by numbers recorded directly over 75,000 holidays amassing over 367,000 nights across the 1300 participating caravan holiday parks during the campaign period.   

In total to December 2023, 60.6 million nights were spent in a caravan or in a park, numbers that still hold the industry up on 2019 numbers by 3 per cent. 

Michelle Weston CEO of Caravan Parks Association of Queensland said parks in that state have strongly embraced the campaign as a way to give back to their customers: “It is not often that we can provide an opportunity like this, where our members can participate in a program that costs them nothing except a little bit of time and willingness to participate,” she said.

Adding to the sentiment, Carol McCracken, CEO of Caravan Industry Association Western Australia, highlighted the collaborative effort behind the success: “We were delighted to team up with Caravan Industry Association of Australia and the other state Associations to execute another exceptional marketing campaign for our valued members. This partnership once again highlights the importance of working together to create opportunities to promote the excellence of our industry and connect with our consumer audience. The Road to a Million campaign has delivered outstanding results on every level, and we look forward to developing more strategic initiatives in the near future.”

Matt Linsley, who has owned Acacia Caravan Park in Ararat for over seven years says there had been a noticeable dip in customers over the past 12 months, however, campaigns such as Road to a Million are helping improve customer sentiment: “It’s been a fantastic add-on for people who come in—they get a chance to win something for not doing too much. It just helps us, even as a small park, to on-sell something.” 

Joanne Keown said the campaign in 2024 built momentum as caravan parks already had experience with the campaign in 2023 and were able to take full advantage of the marketing exposure. “Staff in parks were also able to have fun with this campaign, utilising the great graphics that were supplied to them by the industry body, encouraging guests to book and enter at various tough points along their customer journey,” she said.

The campaign winner, Renee who was given the chance to win the million said she was ecstatic to have ultimately walked away with $5,000.  She had a 1 in 250 chance to pick the million-dollar number but came up short.  However, she says the money was just the cherry on top of the real reward—camping with her family.

“We travelled to Adelaide for 10 days and on the way back we stopped in Horsham to break up the trip. We stopped at Horsham because we love the pool,” she said. “It’s a special family holiday where we get to enjoy being with each other and doing lots of playing, swimming and fishing.

Caravan Industry Association General Manager Keelan Howard said the campaign could not have achieved its goals of creating more “caravan” traffic to regional holiday parks without the support of the state-based caravan associations: “We would like to thank the state-based associations for their financial and logistical support.  Without them, we may not have seen this campaign be so widely adopted among the camping and caravanning community.” he says.

He also thanked a number of corporates who amplified the campaign: “Thank you to BIG4, Discovery Park, NRMA Parks and Resorts, G’DAY Parks, Tasman Holiday Parks, and Ingenia Holiday Parks,” Mr Howard said. “This year, we got people out of the house and onto the Road. Our aim is to share this vast and beautiful country with more people,” he continued.