Caravan Industry Association of Australia welcomes the announcement today from the Morrison Government of a $250 million regional Australia package with $150 million specifically for tourism and infrastructure projects to assist regional tourism.
The caravan and camping industry is much loved by Australians, and with the desire for tourists to ‘control their own environment’, the industry is poised to help in the immediate recovery of regional tourism as caravanners and campers travel further and for longer as Australians look to explore our own backyard. Visitor expenditure by caravanning and camping tourists already contribute over $10 billion annually with a significant amount of this dispersed across regional and rural Australia, supporting local jobs and contractors.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia CEO Stuart Lamont said that we had a real opportunity for Australians to rediscover the attractions and experiences which are plentiful in regional Australia, but which are under real threat without Government support.
“The Tourism Industry has been savaged through a winter of COVID off the back of a summer of bushfires. While we have seen recent green shoots in concentrated regions, many tourism industry businesses (and those businesses which rely on tourism) continue to be on their knees. We are in a feast or famine situation at present with some of our most significant tourism regions hardest hit with the challenges of 2020.”
“With many of Australia’s tourism icons located in the regions, and international travel off the cards for some time yet, today’s announcement is a significant boost for domestic tourism, while encourages the development of important tourism infrastructure which will underpin the industry when normal travel returns.”
On World Tourism Day, this announcement supports the theme ‘Tourism and Regional Development’ and is consistent with the Caravan Industry Association of Australia’s calls for shovel ready tourism projects to be supported in regional Australia. These projects will not only introduce or upgrade important long-term assets but will encourage the use of local contractors, local accommodation, and the use of local services during construction. With caravan and camping in 2019 being the number one commercial accommodation provider in regional Australia, today’s announcement provides some level of optimism for operators still reeling from huge losses from touring markets.
“Caravan parks, for several years, have been developing the accommodation experiences available which has brought new markets on board and led to record numbers in 2019. This announcement from the government will help businesses return faster to the lofty heights set in 2019” Mr Lamont said.
“Tourism is such an important social and financial contributor to regional and rural communities, and it will be important to make sure funding from today’s announcement is equitably spread and provided for immediately to get this money flowing through the system”.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia looks forward to engaging with the Federal Government regarding the eligibility and appropriation of this important initiative.