The first quarter of 2017 has continued to show robust growth in international caravan and camping arrivals to Australia, growing by 10% to 368,490 visitors for year ending March 2017. This increase in visitation is being primarily driven by the traditional markets of the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States, increasing by 1%, 9%, and 24% respectively on the previous year – however, newer Asian markets are starting to make their presence felt in the caravan holiday parks around the country.
Asian markets continue to show promising signs for Australia’s caravan and camping industry, with the three-year average growth of visitors from China and Singapore recorded at 21% and 34% per annum. This trend is on the back of a 4% growth in the overall market share of Chinese Free and Independent Travellers to Australia (in comparison to group travellers).
CEO of Caravan Industry Association of Australia, Stuart Lamont said, “The increase in Asian markets is having a positive flow on effect for regional Australia as these visitors begin to seek out quintessential Australian experiences, such as a caravan or camping holiday”.
Tourism Australia have identified Australia’s nature as our biggest competitive strength and in terms of our world-class beauty and natural environments, we are the highest rating destination in our competitor set.
Mr Lamont went on to say, “A caravan or camping holiday is unrivalled in terms of closeness to nature and aligns perfectly with what international visitors are looking for when choosing a holiday destination. We expect to see further diversification in international markets and accompanying opportunities for tourism businesses in regional Australia.”
Although international caravan and camping visitation to Australia has increased, overall nights are marginally lower than the previous year, decreasing by 0.2% to 5,075,815 nights. This fall in nights is reflective of a broader decline in the length of stay for British and French visitors to the country on the back of challenging economic and political environments in the European Union.
Mr Lamont said, “While this indicates slightly softening conditions for these markets, with visitors choosing a shorter period of travel, they continue to increase in visitor numbers showing that a caravan and camping holiday in Australia is still high up in their travel aspirations”.