Australian caravan market remains cautious for 2022 and beyond

Pretty much everyone in the camping, caravanning and RV industry can agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has been somewhat of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the hobbies have never been more popular with many folks forced to try their hand at them or at least to bring forward their long-term life plans about buying an RV. On the other hand, the disruption to global supply and manufacturing, and the ever-changing government rules and restrictions have made planning for the future extremely difficult for many. In Australia, the extremes of these highs and lows have been felt in a more severe way than most other countries on Earth. The country had some of the harshest and longest lockdowns, but it also reported surging interest in camping and caravanning as many Australians found themselves stuck in their own state or region, let alone just in their own country.

Industry indicators taken from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia 2022 Business Conditions Report.

To truly gauge the feeling of the industry, there really is only one way: talk to them. That’s exactly what the Caravan Industry Association of Australia has done with its January 2022 Business Conditions Report. The body surveyed 157 industry players throughout January including caravan parks, dealerships, RV manufacturers, RV importers, repairers, OEMs, industry suppliers and consultants, rental companies and land lease companies to get a better understanding of how the industry feels and how it believes it will perform in the post-pandemic era. Here, we have accumulated some of the most interesting findings, which clearly show that not everyone has a rosy view of the industry’s future and that we must all work hard to overcome the challenges we face, and the challenges we are yet to face.

Key findings of the study:

Business confidence has been dampened and the outlook is uncertain. Despite Australia’s high rates of vaccination against COVID, many businesses remain cautious about the outlook for the economy. Many industry players believe the Omicron variant will impact consumer confidence.

The whole industry sector is affected. The challenges of labour, cost increases, supply chain disruptions and wavering consumer confidence hit the caravanning industry across the board. COVID isolation requirements are adding fuel to this fire.

National RV production is limited by supply chain disruption. While the order books are full for most producers, they are hampered by the issues in the global supply chain. Many have been able to avoid the problems these disruptions have caused and have produced record numbers, but more could be achieved without the disruption.

Cyber security attacks are low risk but high impact. Many Australian businesses are keenly aware of the devastating effect of cyber-attacks on their businesses. While rare, they can cause significant damage to a business ­– preventative actions are key.

Environmental and social responsibility is very important. These factors have grown in importance massively in Australia in recent years. Many more businesses than ever before are aligning their values with that of their customers, with being an environmentally and socially responsible company seen to be a serious competitive advantage.


Read the study here, or subscribe to Camping Trade World to read a more in-depth article in our next digital B2B magazine.