Caravanners and Campers Actively Planning Next Holiday, Although Remain Cautious

Caravan Industry Association of Australia today released the Caravan Industry Consumer Sentiment Report February 2022. The report provides insights into the opinions and travel intentions of Australian caravan and campers.

The research was conducted as the Omicron variant had fallen from its peak in New South Wales and Victoria, whilst South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland were managing the emergence of the outbreak. Western Australia’s borders remained closed and government plans were underway for reopening.

With high vaccination rates, the ending of lockdowns and the easing of restrictions, Australians are starting to feel more optimistic about the outlook.

However, with the latest variant outbreak as a reminder of the ongoing pandemic, consumers remain realistic about the economy and that pre-Covid conditions are not expected to return quickly.

Consumers are also feeling more financially confident. While the share of respondents saying they are doing OK financially has remained stable around 87% across the last three surveys, there has been a shift between categories; the percentage of respondents that are cautious has decreased from 45% to 39% whereas those that are not financially affected by the pandemic has increased from 42% to 48%.

Consumers are feeling more financially confident.

Despite the challenging environment, Australians’ affinity for caravan and camping remains strong. This is reflected in the high number of caravan and camping trips booked for the rest of the year, with 56% of respondents actively planning their next trip.

Whilst intrastate travel remains the focus for many Australians, there has been an uptake in consumers planning an interstate holiday which suggests confidence is beginning to return as the threat of border closures subsides.

However, concerns remain, with 70% of respondents worried about catching Covid-19 when caravan and camping. This highlights the importance of communicating with consumers on health and cleaning measures that promote a Covid-safe experience.

Consumers continue to remain cautious regarding international holidays, cruising, and city breaks. With international borders reopened, 59% of respondents have no plans to travel internationally. Most international travel is planned for 2023 and beyond with 70% of those with international travel plans not travelling for at least another year.

59% of respondents have no plans to travel internationally.

As we write this release, a backdrop of devastating flooding in New South Wales and Queensland, along with the invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent economic sanctions, is certain to influence consumer confidence and travel behaviour.

Economically, Australia will ‘do well’ in several commodities that we export as demand is restricted on other global markets. Yet, increased prices of basic goods such as bread, groceries and fuel will impact consumer spending at the loss of discretionary expenditure in the short to medium term.

However, what the past two years has highlighted, is that although Australians may change their behaviour, they are not prepared to not travel.

Whilst an increase in fuel for drive tourism will increase travel costs, it will be significantly less than the 25% increase that airfares have been forecasted to experience in the coming year.

This positions the caravan and camping industry to continue to deliver affordable holidays, as well as provide travellers with familiarity in these challenging times.


The report is available for download here.