The Stats Don’t Lie: Camping Is The New Aussie Travel Norm
As Aussies, we love camping. It’s been our favourite holiday go-to for centuries, even more so today than ever before. Now that the fundamentals of travel have changed, perhaps for many years to come, Aussies have turned their sights to their own backyard. On top of its ongoing popularity, camping has been identified as a new (post-COVID) travel norm in 2020, which includes “strong and sustainable resurgence of camping site take up rates”.
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The New Travel Norm
As the world grapples with the COVID crisis and international travel takes a beating, domestic traveling has proven to be very popular. According to Tourism Research Australia, camping has always been popular with Aussies, who spent a total of 59 million nights and camping in 2019. This makes it the most popular accommodation option for Australians. Data from the research highlights a “rapid uptake” of campers, giving the industry the potential to lead recovery for the regional Australia visitor economy.
“The youth market (under 30s) has shown strong signs of growth in the 12-months to March 2020, this group took 3.1 million caravan and camping trips,” says Madeleine Sawyer, Tourism Executive Caravan Industry Association of Australia; an 18 percent increase from 3 years ago. In total they spent 9.5M nights, a 27 percent increase from three years ago.
Now even more so, working in the confines of an office are becoming less and less essential to success and young Aussies are able to get on the road while continuing to pursue their careers. With these options available, there has been a significant rise in Australian winter camping holidays compared to last year alongside a growing number of younger users.
The growth in domestic travellers under 30’s who are caravan and camping could be attributed to changing lifestyle with an increase in young Australians adopting the nature and outdoorsy movement, as well as the ability for people to travel and continue to work digitally. The average age of people searching on the site has also decreased significantly. Almost 30 percent of users now fall within the 25-34 category and there has also been significant growth in the 21-24 category.
Stimulating The Economy
These camping trips are also very valuable to Australia’s economy, particularly in regional areas, with over 6.3 million camping domestic visitors choosing to eat out at a restaurant or café to drive the economy. Visiting the beach or sightseeing in the local area were also popular activities, attracting 4.2 million and 4.1 million domestic visitors respectively. This highlights the importance that caravan and camping has in connecting Australians to scenic and nature based experiences.
Due to being one of the first states to lift restrictions, it can be noted that Western Australia saw a surge of early bookings in May “equating to over a 1,200 percent increase in bookings compared to April”. States like South Australia and New South Wales saw “increases of 711 percent and 543 percent in bookings respectively in May”. Furthermore, when local travel restrictions were lifted in Queensland, bookings increased “by 140 percent in June”.
Camping trips are a famous Australian experience and have consistently been a favourite holiday option among couples, singles, families and friends for many years. Now, in a world that is slowly picking up from the COVID-19 crisis, camping trips are proving more popular than ever.
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