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CTIAVic Blueprint points to smaller lighter caravans as parks build visitor nights share

August 06, 2012
CTIAVic Blueprint points to smaller lighter caravans as parks build visitor nights share

Smaller and lighter caravans are part of the future for manufacturers a Blueprint for the industry says.

Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) will replace bigger popular tow tugs, but with about 11 million vehicles registered in Australia the trend to smaller tow vehicles will take considerable time to take affect, the Victorian Caravan and Camping Blueprint says.

The sheer size of the current Bay Boomer bulge over the next decade is likely to offset the percentage of holiday makers who will not consider a caravan holiday in the next two years, the Blueprint says.

Tourism Research Australia expects that the average share of caravan and camping parks of total accommodation is likely to rise from around 14 percent of visitor nights to 16 percent by 2020.

The Victorian Caravan and Camping Industry (CTIAVic) has launched the Blueprint for the continued growth of the industry.

The detailed action plan took five months to nail together. Minister for Employment Industrial Relations, Manufacturing, Exports and Trade, Richard Della-Riva, made the Blueprint official at Lotus Caravans in the Melbourne suburb of Campbellfield.

CTIAVic and the Government of Victoria- Department of Manufacturing funded the Blueprint.

CTIAVic President, Peter May, says industry members have provided open and constructive feedback during the consultation phase. Assistance has also come from the Boating Industry Australia (Vic), Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, Automotive Skills Australia and Kangan Institute.

Collaborative Research and Development is an opportunity to develop new designs while covering risks, the Blueprint says.

Caravan Parks need to consider providing Electric Car re-charging stations in the future. As petrol electric and pure electric vehicles build their market share there could be a switch to on-site cabins as a consumer preference in caravan parks.

The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce says the trend to two-car families continues. A small vehicle for commuting and second bigger vehicle for longer trips and family outings.

The shift to diesel is also likely to continue, the Blueprint says, as 91 RON fuel is phased out consumers will find their fuel choice is more expensive 95 RON-ULP.

The main issue that may have some impact on the caravan industry is the vehicle manufacturers are very focused on reducing vehicle weight in order to improve fuel economy.

As cars become lighter, more sophisticated electronic stability control systems need to be installed to preserve stability when towing.

The Blueprint says that tow stability with lighter tow vehicles should be the main focus of research for the industry.

Growth initiatives include CTIAVic support for the development of a Victorian Camping, Caravan and Holiday Parks Strategic Plan. This will look at peak, off-peak and shoulder season issues.

This revolves around Victorians taking more short breaks in the off-peak and shoulder seasons.

CTIAVic will continue the theme of more innovative concepts for Caravan and Camping Shows.

The Blueprint notes that although there is a National road tourism strategy in place its focus is on the development of touring routes and the marketing of those routes, and it has little to say on the subject of accommodation infrastructure in general, let alone caravan parks as a component of the overall accommodation mix.

In Victoria there is no Victorian Caravan Park Accommodation Strategy in place.

The caravanning industry as whole now spends more than $2 million per annum across Australia on industry promotions, largely managed by Caravan, RV Accommodation Industry of Australia Ltd (CRVA) which acts as the industry national marketing body.

But the Blueprint says there is little overt promotion designed, for example, to promote 'Australian Made' caravans, to target niche markets such as specific ethnic groups or special interest groups, or to extend the market by challenging traditional definitions of the market's characteristics.

Lotus Caravans factory Campbellfield Vic.
Lotus Caravans factory Campbellfield Vic.