The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has published its highlights of 2018.
January – Australia’s Greatest Camping BBQ
Two major Australian TV Networks, Channel Ten and Seven, did live national broadcasts from Caravan Holiday Parks. The national coverage highlighting the camping lifestyle reached millions of viewers and reminded them why caravan and camping is as much a part of Australian culture as sports, and is a number one lifestyle activity.
February – Report on Chinese visitors
In February 2018, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia released the 2018 Chinese Visitors to Caravan Parks report; one of the first research reports in the world designed to provide insights into Chinese travellers staying in caravan parks. In the past, Chinese visitors have often focused on tourist experiences in cities, however the modern Chinese traveller to Australia is evolving to seek an independent trip with ‘special moments’ that are based around uniqueness, authenticity and quintessentially Australian. This search is increasingly leading Chinese visitors to a caravan and camping adventure in regional Australia. According to the research, the typical Chinese tourist is a female aged between 30-54 and will spend 11-15 days in Australia. 70% of respondents also said they would be likely to return to Australia, with 77% of those responses stating that they would stay in a caravan park again.
The booming market is not showing any sign of slowing down soon, with Chinese caravanners and campers increasing by 126% in 2017.
May – Grant Wilckens sat down with Michale Mc Cormacj MO Deputy prime minister
In May, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia Chairperson Grant Wilckens had the opportunity to sit down with The Hon. Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Leader of The Nationals in Sydney. The meeting was an opportunity for Mr Wilckens to highlight some of issues impacting the caravan and camping industry including the Road Vehicle Standards Act, proposals to change the Australian Consumer Law and the Caravan Industry’s Coexist initiative.
Mr Wilckens and his team commended the Deputy Prime Minister on the 2018 Federal Budget initiatives for small businesses.
May – Future Leaders Forum
Also in May 2018, with record numbers of 113 delegates, the Future Leaders Forum, open only to those under the age of 40, returned on the success of the inaugural conference in 2017. It provided some sensational educational and networking opportunities to the group.
The participation by under 40’s within the industry has shown that there is a large group of committed and energetic future leaders looking to get involved in the future direction of the industry. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia believes this commitment and energy must be harnessed and encouraged for the industry to remain relevant and contemporary with the ideas of this group integrated into the thinking of industry.
May – Caravan Industry Association of Australia National Conference
May also saw the 2018 Caravan Industry National Conference provide networking opportunities with industry colleagues, with two full days of focused presentations by leading speakers, provocative concurrent sessions, an interactive trade exhibition, a fantastic trade passport prize and exciting evening social events.
It was the largest ever National Caravan Conference with 700 delegates attending and the largest ever trade exhibition.
June – Over 3 million media value in partnership with Newscorp, Jayco, Top Parks, and Dometic
In June, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia partnered with Jayco, Dometic, Top Parks and NewsCorp to launch a‘Win a Weekender’ competition. Readers and digital subscribers of all 22 NewsCorp mastheads around the country including the Daily Telegraph, the Courier Mail, the Sunday Mail, and more, had the opportunity to win one of three Jayco recreational vehicles, plus daily prize packs from Dometic and Top Parks.
News Corp Australia newspapers reach a total of 11.9 million Australians every month. The Win a Weekender promotion offered a total of 93 frequency prizes. Each day the association gave away five $1000 Top Parks vouchers and one $2900 Dometic camping pack.
Throughout the competition, the three major prizes were a Jayco Camper Trailer Swift, Jayco Freedom Motorhome and a Jayco Journey Caravan. The promotion’s media value was calculated at over $3 million, significantly higher than the initial $1.9 million estimate.
July – Launch of real life classroom
In July, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, together with Tourism Central Australia, created a “Real-Life Classroom” competition, supported by Apollo Motorhomes and Ted’s Cameras.
The competition was open to families with children between the ages of 5-13, with the lucky winners set to win a trip to see some of our country’s most iconic sights in the great Northern Territory. The children became junior explorers as they set off (with their parents) on a 28-day trip in an Apollo Motorhome documenting the four-week outback adventure using their new Ted’s Cameras ‘digital tools of the trade’ to create blog posts, photos and videos. The Real Life Classroom competition has been promoted across both industry and consumer platforms in addition to reaching out to a variety of media publications and platforms.
November – New research showing increase in international caravan and camping visitors
In November, new data revealed that in the year ending June 2018, 381, 888 visitors chose to caravan and camp, spending 4.87 million nights around Australia, with shorter trips to Australia also remaining a trend. This represented an increase of 1.3% of visitors choosing to caravan and camp while in Australia.
While overall nights spent caravan and camping declined by 5.5% in a reflection of broader trends of shorter stays in Australia, there was positive growth in a number of emerging markets. Caravan and camping visitors from the Netherlands increased by 42.8%, while China grew by 21% and French visitors increased by 7%. These increases represent a good sign for the industry in diversifying our core markets and attracting a wider audience.
November New Road Vehicle Standards Act set to transform the Caravan Industry
In November, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia warmly welcomed the Road Vehicle Standards Act (RVSA) navigating its final hurdle through the Senate. This legislation will see safer caravanning products for Australians, and provide better conditions for industry businesses currently burdened with competing with cheap imported product which in many cases do not meet the tough Australian Standards and Design Rules designed to cater for Australian caravanning conditions.
The RVSA will provide much safer and compliant caravans and campers (as well as other light trailers), while maintaining consumer choice of both products manufactured locally as well as those sourced overseas. The passing of the bill is after five years of strong and active Federal lobbying by Caravan Industry Association of Australia for better outcomes for the caravanning industry.
November – Success at second annual Federal Technical and Regulatory Industry Symposium
November 2018 also saw theCaravan Industry Association of Australia hold the second annual Federal Technical and Regulatory Industry Symposium at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, proudly supported by Wells Fargo. The symposium was designed to help attendees gain comprehensive knowledge of the federal obligations within the caravanning and camping industry.
This year’s symposium covered topics such as the new Road Vehicle Standards Act, Australian Consumer Law, how changes in automotive technology impact the caravan industry, the real data concerning imports, employment law changes and more. The event was attended by over over 150 delegates from over 45 different organisations, with a ‘behind the scenes’ tour taking place the day beforehand for future leaders.