The Tasmanian caravanning industry risks a bleak summer despite Australians embracing caravanning and camping in other states as they emerge out of lockdown and borders start to re-open.
Recent data released by Caravan Industry Association of Australia regarding November caravan park accommodation shows Tasmania is the worst performing caravanning destination for the month with falls of 40% on last year. This was at a time when overnight rates for cabin accommodation also saw the greatest decrease of any state.
While consistently in the top 3 desired caravanning destinations in the country, Tasmania is missing out on the V-Shaped recovery as states clamber to attract or retain Victorians looking to re-engage with drive-based holidays.
Bass Strait continues to be the single biggest impediment to the Australian caravanning community flocking to the island, with the local market still slow to recover and get out and see some of the magnificent natural features that the state has to offer. Calls for Federal Government support to extend the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme to include free travel for cars and caravans are echoed by the peak national body for the industry.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia CEO, Stuart Lamont said “Passengers who arrive by the Spirit of Tasmania stay longer, spend more and disperse further, supporting not only Tasmania but also stimulating the Victorian industry as well”.
“The Passenger Equilisation Scheme is meant to normalize the costs of travelling on the water as if it was part of the road network, with the Government saving millions of dollars as Bass Strait has been largely closed during COVID with border closures between Victoria and Tasmania.”
“The Government must act quickly to save Christmas for many local caravan park operators who are already struggling to survive and whose pipeline bookings are much softer than they should be for this time of year,” Mr Lamont said.
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