'2020: the year of the local road trip'

Camplify bookings soar as families seek safer holidays in COVID times

Justin Hales Have your say

INNOVATIVE peer-to-peer caravan hire and RV company Camplify reports a 125 percent increase in winter camping holidays compared to last year.

In a new research report it labels 2020 as "the year of the local road trip".

Founder and chief executive Justin Hales (pictured) said there had been a huge demand for hire RVs as families looked for socially distanced holiday options, particularly within their home states.

"Camplify's mission has always been to make caravan-life accessible to all," he said.

"With overseas travel now on-hold for the foreseeable future, making camping accessible to Australians had never been more important."

Aussies loved a good holiday, and local caravan or campervan holidays offered a great way for people to safely venture out during COVID times.

"With self-contained caravans and campervans socially distanced by design, we understand that this style of travel offers holidaymakers an extra feeling of safety and control," Mr Hales said.

The report said that having missed the Easter holidays due to COVID-19 shutdowns, Aussie families were eager to hit the road once restrictions were lifted.

This had resulted in an incredible 115 percent increase in demand for winter camping bookings in June compared to 2019.

The vast majority were organised for the July school holidays.

Trends led to massive increase in bookings

These trends led to a massive increase in bookings on Camplify across the board.

Both hard and soft floor camper trailers, which are usually less popular during the winter months, saw some of the largest increases in booking rates (almost 200 percent compared to 2019).

As one of the first states to make announcements about lifting restrictions, WA saw a surge of early bookings in May. This equated in over a 1200 percent increase in bookings compared to April.

SA and NSW also saw increases of 711 percent and 543 percent in bookings respectively in May. When local travel restrictions were lifted in Queensland, bookings increased by 140 percent in June, accounting for almost a third of Camplify bookings across Australia.

Whilst caravans continued their dominance as Australia’s favourite type of RV, accounting for the majority of Camplify bookings throughout May and June, campervans saw a massive increase of 148 percent from last year.

With overseas holidays on-hold, many families were planning their first domestic camping trip, with the majority of first timers opting for a campervan or motorhome.

This translated into a 120 percent increase in 'Drive' holidays in June compared to 2019. 'Tow' holidays also saw significant year-on-year growth, largely driven by the high proportion of caravan bookings.

The average age of people searching on the Camplify site has fallen significantly.

Almost 30 percent of users now fall within the 25-34 category and there has been significant growth in the 21-24 category.

This is compared with the same period in 2019 where almost 50 pcercent of hirers were aged between 35-55.


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