Mildura Weekly : Friday February 13 2015 Vol 9 No 14
24 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2015 AUSTRALIANS – and in- ternational visitors, are taking to our roads in the tens of thousands, with the motorhome, caravan, camper van and camping business fast approaching an $8 billion a year indus- try. Registrations across the whole range of rec- reational vehicles are in- creasing at a rapid rate, as more and more Aussies develop - or continue - their love affair with cara- vanning and camping in the great outdoors. Taking your home with you on the road is becoming far more popu- lar, despite the often high cost of fuel in remote Aus- tralia, and the range of accommodation options ranges from the primitive to sheer luxurious indul- gence. In monetary terms, it ranges from a few hun- dred dollars to upwards of $500,000. Interestingly, judging by recent media reports, various travel blogs and comments on the Grey Nomads web site, more people are travelling, but like to be self-contained, cutting down stays at cara- van parks, opting instead for free camping across the country. One of the rea- sons, they say, are prices charged by caravan parks - sometimes $40 or more for an overnight powered site in some areas. Mildura Weekly re- search indicated that caravan and motorhome registrations have jumped significantly in recent years as more people take to the roads. The figure is fast ap- proaching 550,000 units, with around 500,000 be- ing the towed variety. Recreational vehicle production rose by around eight percent in the past year alone. Another inter- esting statistic is that the industry contributes sig- nificantly to the estimated 60 million-plus visitor nights a year in Australia. And while the bulk of the travellers might be classified as Grey Nomads, latest data suggests that more and more ‘younger’ people – especially in the 35to50agegroup–are joining the camping and travelling revolution. The camping boom has added to the success story of companies like Winnebago and Jayco. Winnebago spokes- man Max Mayo was re- cently quoted as saying that Australia’s biggest mo- torhome company expects to record its second succes- sive record financial year after topping 600 sales last year. According to Max, the market is growing at a rapid rate, with ‘baby boomers’ hitting the road in record numbers. The 47-year-old fam- ily owned company has built a second factory on its Emu Plains site, and can now churn out a new motorhome every three hours, doubling its capac- ity. The factory has a staff of 250. Max told media that Winnebago tries to keep its price structure highly competitive, especially in the face of products from China, Taiwan and Korea. Jayco is another huge success story, and will also be strongly represented at this weekend’s camper and motorhome event at the Melbourne Showgrounds. The family-owned business dates back to 1975, is Australia’s most recognised brand of rec- reational vehicle, and also one of our biggest employ- ers, with 800 staff. Seven years ago, Jayco moved into a new 50- acre complex in Dande- nong South, setting up a purpose-built 60,000 square metre under cover manufacturing complex. A new Jayco rolls off the manufacturing line every 12 minutes! The company even runs factory tours. Jayco is recognised as an industry leader, with various awards, includ- ing the Melbourne award for manufacturing, entry into the Employer Hall of Fame and Victorian award for excellence. The company has built well over 160,000 recre- ational vehicles for the Australian market. Melbourne to host world RV conference The Caravan Industry Association of Australia will Host the 2015 World RV Conference in Melbourne at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne from February 25- 27. “Since its inception in Dusseldorf in 2008, the World RV Conference has provided the RV industry with an op- portunity to come together and discuss trends, challenges, and strategies to im- prove growth and international coop- eration,” CIAA chief Stuart Lamont said. He says Australia being chosen to host the 2015 World RV Conference is a testament to the strength and dyna- mism of the Australian caravanning and camping industry. “Already we have delegates registered from China, the US, Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Ghana,” he said. The World RV Conference has been hosted previously in Dusseldorf (2008) and Florida (2013). It’s an $8billion industry as more and more Aussies are... 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Friday February 6 2015 Vol 9 No 13
Friday February 20 2015 Vol 9 no 15