Interest in buying a recreational vehicle has recently surged, with strong foot traffic and sales enquiry being reported by dealerships around the country as travel restrictions ease. This is great news for not only the local manufacturing and retail markets, but also the tourism sector, with the flow on effect reaching many regional towns as excited caravanners hit the road in their new vehicles.
“Recent weeks have shown a shift in people’s behaviour – having been cooped up for months, Australians are now turning their attention to travelling within their own backyard.” said Stuart Lamont CEO of Caravan Industry Association of Australia. Caravanning Queensland CEO, Jason Plant was very buoyed by recent activity, saying that “Since the gradual easing of restrictions in Queensland from early May, our retail members have reported a significant increase in retail inquiry and activity. This strengthened around the time of the Premiers announcement on the lifting of intrastate travel restrictions and continues to remain strong.” With further travel restrictions easing in the coming weeks, there is now a light at the end of the tunnel for all Australians to be able to once again explore, reconnect and spend time with loved ones.
The spike in demand across the country is reflective of the need to escape, with keen travellers reconsidering what they might want to do with the funds they had earmarked for a big overseas trip, to instead invest in a recreational vehicle to explore Australia.
The last three months have, undoubtedly, been among the most challenging faced by our industry.
Thankfully, Australia is in a much better place than it was back in March, where social distancing measures, health fears and general uncertainty made trading conditions particularly challenging not just for our dealers, but for most retailers. In good news, there is genuine purchase intent underpinning increased website activity such as searches, views and Editorial engagement post-Easter. For dealers and brands, it’s resulting in both immediate sales opportunities, and a pipeline of prospects to keep warm over the coming months. Craig Faser, General Manager (Corporate, Industry and Leisure) at caravancampingsales.
During May 2020, caravancampingsales.com.au sessions served totalled 1.5 million – up a huge 54% compared to April 2020 and up 16% compared to May 2019.*
Listings were not the only thing consumers were after in May, editorial content saw a huge 78% increase in sessions year on year (YoY).*
The independence on offer with ownership of a caravan, motorhome or camper trailer allows for flexibility to travel often, for as long as you want and be able to make spontaneous plans. The nature of many recreational vehicles having their own kitchens and bathrooms onboard all with your own equipment provides comfort in knowing the cleanliness and hygiene within. Interest from newcomers to the sector has also increased.
“With reports that international travel restrictions will be in place for some time, there is growing optimism that we may be on the verge of a caravanning or recreational vehicle retail boom in the medium to long term,” Mr Plant explained Although still early days, this speaks incredibly well to the recovery of one of Australia’s most loved industry’s - an industry which on a whole contributes $23.3 billion to the Australian economy.
Caravans are not what it used to be