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Important to dream and plan your next holiday

Caravanning and camping provide a light at the end of the tunnel: report

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CARAVANNERS and campers are doing it tough ... but looking forward to hitting the road again, according to new research.

Most consumers are dreaming or planning a caravan and camping trip, with 90 percent hoping to travel in the next six months.

This is the view of the newly-released Caravan Industry Association of Australia's Consumer Sentiment Report for August.

"Overall, while many Australians are doing it tough right now, caravan and camping is acting as a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of holidays," it said.

"It's important that the industry continues to encourage Australians to dream and plan their next caravan and camping holiday to ensure it stays in their top-of-mind awareness."

The research was conducted when New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland were managing COVID outbreaks and snap lockdowns.

It reflected "the low mood" of caravan and campers who remained concerned about the current pandemic and its impact on their daily lives.

"While older people felt more positive than their younger counterparts, 84 percent of all people surveyed indicated that they felt their life was on hold due to the pandemic," the report said.

It said that this time last year, Australian caravan and camping consumers were optimistic about the post COVID outlook.

But the new study suggested a significant shift, with the share of respondents thinking the worst was still to come, increasing from nine percent to 37 percent.

Despite challenges, consumers remain in solid financial position

"This is reflected in the 27 percent of respondents who expect a return to normal life in 12 to 18 months, compared to 45 percent in last year's survey," it said.

"Despite the challenges, Australian caravan and camping consumers remain in a solid financial position and expect it to remain similar for the next 12 months.

"Respondents raised concerns about the ongoing impact that COVID-19 would have on the economy, local business and to their health.

"However, the majority (70 percent) felt that Australia was heading in the right direction and was less impacted than other countries (74 percent)."

The report said most consumers were dreaming or planning a caravan or camping trip, with 90 percent hoping to travel in the next six months.

"Encouragingly, 92 percent of respondents were excited about the prospect of travelling around Australia. Importantly, 60 percent of respondents agree that travel in Australia is good value for money.

"However, compared to overseas travel, less than half (47 percent) feel travel in Australia is better value for money.

"However, it's important to continue to distinguish the value proposition of Australian caravan and camping holidays for those visitors that may be more familiar with international holidays."

It said that 76 percent of respondents felt it was safe to travel within COVID Australia and was reflected in their high levels of comfort they had with self-contained travel modes such as caravan and camping, drive tourism and staying in regional destinations.

"Compared to pre-pandemic times, respondents are more likely to plan and book their next caravan and camping trip closer to their travel date. This reflects the uncertainty around border closures and travel restrictions that the pandemic continues to produce."

The report said the likelihood of Australia entering another recession was growing and although consumers could be expected to remain financially cautious, caravan and camping was well positioned to provide affordable holidays to all budgets.

"Additionally, operators need to continue to remain flexible in their booking policies, showcase how the sector is safe and healthy and to prepare for the reopening which should see a surge of travellers across the country," it added.


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Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
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