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Australia’s caravan industry has called on all political parties to recognise the industry’s economic potential ahead of the country’s federal election on May 21.
“The industry has been adaptive through the COVID-19 crisis and stands ready to continue leading domestic tourism and automotive manufacturing as Australia recovers,” reads a statement by Caravan Industry Association of Australia.
Australia has recorded a “30 year high” in 2021 for RV production, with a total of 23,931 recreational vehicles manufactured domestically, a 42 percent soar from 2020 and a 11.5 percent increase from 2019, according to data from the Association.
Caravan sales and prices continue to increase amid the pandemic-driven boom, with a higher than ever demand for imported and homegrown recreational vehicles.
“Talk to many dealers, importers, and manufacturers and they’ll tell stories about how Aussie buyers have been investing their hard-earned ‘travel’ money on slide-outs and pop-tops instead of Caribbean cruises and family trips to Tokyo Disneyland,” wrote an article on caravancampingsales.com.au.
Stuart Lamont, CEO of the Association, said there is no better time for the government to be looking for strategic investments and sound policy agenda into traditional industries, which are looking to invest, develop, and pivot to the new economy.
“Caravan and camping in Australia is too often looked at as a comfort recreational activity, as opposed to an economic powerhouse which delivers across manufacturing, retailing, tourism, and affordable housing,” Lamont said.
The Association has put forward a four-point policy platform, aiming to generate “highly leveraged returns to the Australian recovery in employment, investment, and economic activity.”
The policy includes strengthening Australia’s sovereign manufacturing, supercharging Australian tourism for recovery; future proofing the caravan and camping industry; and improving road safety outcomes.
“Caravan and camping are enjoyed by all—rich, poor, young, old and offers social and health benefits on top of the economic return through employment and visitor expenditure,” Lamont said.
“Caravanning retains a strong manufacturing base (despite broader automotive manufacturing largely moving off-shore), while also being the most popular accommodation choice in Australia for holidaying, and the most popular accommodation choice in regional Australia irrespective of the purpose of travel.”