The Riverina’s caravan and camping industry has helped the national industry contribute about $20.4 billion each year to the national economy, a new report has revealed.
A July 2018 report by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia shows that a staggering 90 per cent of visitor expenditure takes place in regional Australia, with the majority of industry businesses located outside of urban centres.
In NSW, the industry contributed $861 million in revenue (excluding visitor expenditure and caravan-park revenue) to the national economy
In the Riverina, for the 12 months to March 2018, there was roughly 160,000 overnight caravan and camping trips and more than 334,000 nights spent by visitors.
The report also found that as of January 2017, Australians had registered 647,319 recreational vehicles registered – the highest number since records began.
NSW made up nearly 23 per cent of those vehicles, behind Queensland and Victoria.
The Wagga LGA made it into the top 10 in NSW with 1751 vehicles.
Fiona Aicken, owner of Carinya Caravan Park near CSU Wagga, said the trend of the local industry and her site aligned with the report.
“When we took over, it was a little run down and more quiet, but we’ve built the clientele and we’re at full capacity now,” Ms Aicken said.
“We’re usually at capacity.
“We have a lot of university students, so while we don’t have a lot of the short-term traffic flowing, we have a lot more long-term visitors, including contractors who stay 6–10 weeks.
“Everything is usually booked out, from medium- to long-term stays.”
When we took over, it was a little run down and more quiet, but we’ve built the clientele and we’re at full capacity now.Fiona Aicken, owner of Carinya Caravan Park
The industry provides jobs for more than 53,000 direct employees nationally and is comprised of caravan parks, manufacturers, dealerships, parts and accessories retailers, repair businesses, marketing groups, camping equipment retailers and more.
The caravan and camping sector is also pivotal to Australian tourism as it facilitates the dispersal of visitors and employment throughout Australia.
In 2017, the caravan and camping industry welcomed more than 11.9 million domestic trips, creating a combined total of 57 million nights caravan and camping in Australia.
Stuart Lamont, CEO of Caravan Industry Association of Australia, said caravan and camping trips were “quintessentially Australian with more and more Australians each year enjoying the great outdoors through a caravan or camping experience”.
“Importantly, while contributing significant economic benefits to the country as a whole, it is in the regions where this benefit is most felt with 90 per cent of caravan and camping undertaken in regional Australia,” Mr Lamont said.
“The ability for our travellers to reconnect with what and whom is important to them is driving the resurgence in caravanning.
“Regional communities should be embracing the caravanning and camping family as important contributor to regional economies.”