The Humble Caravan Creates a Trifecta of Growth the Whole Country Can Benefit From


Annual registration change graph

ABS figures released yesterday report continued and significant growth in caravan registrations, aligning with comparable growth in manufacturing and tourism trends.

Caravans make up the largest portion of registrations of all recreational vehicle types, growing by a further 5% to reach 554,540 in 2016, with campervans registrations hitting 60,899, representing a 4.3% increase.

The overall 4.9% increase in these recreational vehicle registrations for the year ending January 2016 follows on from a 5.4% increase the previous year. The continued growth sees a total 615,439 caravan and campervans now registered to explore Australia’s many landscapes and regions.

Also, the caravan and motorhome manufacturing industry in Australia continues to buck the trend of other industries with its continued growth in recent years, culminating in its highest production levels in 37 years.  While other manufacturing sectors are experiencing a decline, the caravan and motorhome manufacturers are increasing production to meet continued consumer demand.  The comparable growth in registrations indicates that recreational vehicles are not sitting around in the manufacturers’ yards either, rather they are being purchased and registered by consumers, which bodes well for the Australian economy generally.

Australia’s caravan and camping industry contributed $8.6 billion in visitor expenditure to the economy in 2015, with much of this occurring in regional areas, supporting local communities.  In a trifecta of positive growth, the caravan and camping industry is also the fastest growing commercially –operated accommodation sector with 5% growth per year on average.

In short, the manufacturers are producing increasing numbers of recreational vehicles, consumers are purchasing and registering recreational vehicles in greater numbers, and caravan and camping tourists are out there enjoying the great Australian holiday more than ever before.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia, says “The current conditions are the perfect storm, creating far-reaching opportunities for the entire country. It isn’t just the caravanning and camping industry that wins here, it’s the local communities who benefit from jobs created and the vast range of businesses that service the visitor economy. And of course, the tourists who continue to enjoy the unique Australian experiences that the caravanning and camping lifestyle delivers”.

The backdrop to all the positive growth is low fuel prices and historically low interest rates, encouraging discretionary expenditure from domestic consumers.  This is further supported by the declining value of the dollar contributing to more Australians holidaying at home, creating the robust era in caravanning and camping with the potential to introduce new consumers to the experience as well as reconnecting with existing markets who may have holidayed internationally in the past.

Caravans on the road