Domestic Tourism numbers see a slight drop but there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic

< Date: 06 October 2017

The recent Tourism Research Australia data for the year ending June 2017 has reflected a slight downturn in the numbers of people caravan and camping in the domestic market. These figures reflect some of the challenges that our industry has had to deal with such as Cyclone Debbie in QLD and a general economic downturn in WA, however, there is also a lot of good news in this recent data release.

There was a total of 11.6 million overnight caravan and camping trips undertaken by Australians for the year ending June 2017, a 2.4% decrease from the previous year. The decline is largely attributed to the impacts of Cyclone Debbie in Queensland during April which led to an 8% decrease quarter on quarter from last year within the state. This is in addition to a downward trend within Western Australia’s overall visitor economy which is negatively impacting the caravan and camping industry as well as other sectors in the state.

Despite winter typically affecting the visitor numbers in the southern states, both New South Wales and Victoria had growth in June 2017 quarter compared to the June quarter in 2016, resulting in a 6% and 10% increase in trips quarter on quarter respectively. This is a positive indication that moving forward into the summer months with our continued marketing efforts and promotions such as the recent Sunrise TV promotion, Australians will be taking to the roads.

Total nights generated by domestic caravan and camping visitors for the year reached 49.97 million, a 1.1% decrease from the previous year. This fall is primarily influenced by a decrease in nights in Western Australia due to broader market conditions. After very strong growth in New South Wales in 2016, there was a slight steadying and as such, it is expected that the quantity of visitors is now returning to the trendline.

Looking forward, Tourism Research Australia forecast an increase in domestic nights and trips for 2017-18, albeit at a more modest rate due to slower economic growth. It is predicted that oil prices will remain stable over the coming year which is positive for the caravan and camping industry as it helps to promote consumer confidence to encourage purchase of recreational vehicles and to undertake self-drive holidays.

For the caravan and camping industry, this is an opportunity to continue to spread the good news that travel within Australia can be a fun experience for all people allowing families to reconnect with both each other and nature.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia contributors can request the full report by contacting research@caravanindustry.com.au. State Association members can request the full report from their State Association.