Caravan Industry welcomes new Ministry announcement but pleads for regional tourism not to be forgotten

Caravan Industry Association of Australia

Caravan Industry Association of Australia applauds the strong choice of the Hon. Dan Tehan MP as the incoming Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, and welcomes the opportunity to highlight the important role the caravan and camping sector can play in a tourism recovery.

Stuart Lamont, Caravan Industry Association of Australia CEO said “the caravanning and camping industry like many has been battered in 2020, but is seeing really positive shoots coming out of the domestic sector looking to undertake a great Australian getaway over the upcoming Christmas period. It is important that the tourism industry retains strong leadership, and we look forward to positive engagement with Minister Tehan as we navigate the opportunities in market, supporting the livelihoods of many thousands of small businesses and local jobs, many located in regional communities.”

The caravanning and camping sector remains optimistic around the future, already seeing signs of recovery with Tourism Research Australia recently reporting a record high of 20% of all accommodation nights spent around the country for caravanning and camping in September.

The new Ministry announcement was a little bittersweet however, with on face value the Assistant Minister’s position around regional tourism dropped, and it is hoped this is not a sign of a wavering commitment to tourism throughout the regions which brings much needed capital into local communities. As the number one provider of visitor nights in regional Australia, generating over $10 billion of direct visitor expenditure in 2019, the caravanning and camping industry looks forward to how regional tourism will be appropriately recognised within the new structure.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia would like to thank the outgoing Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham and wish him luck for his role as Minister for Finance.

Minister Birmingham’s leadership and engagement with the tourism sector has been immensely positive since taking over the portfolio in 2018, with 2019 marking an exceptional year for the industry with record breaking international and domestic tourism numbers. Throughout the immense challenges presented in 2020, we have welcomed the strong engagement with Austrade and Tourism Australia which has been consultative and consistent under his direction, and this has assisted the caravanning industry forge the way in what will be a domestic tourism led recovery.

Stuart Lamont praised Minister Birmingham, “As the tourism industry rebounds, businesses and workers across the industry, including the 6,000 businesses and 50,000 employees in the caravanning and camping industry are well placed to capitalise on the domestic opportunities moving forward, in no small part thanks to the leadership of the Minister.”

“Minister Birmingham’s renewed focus of Tourism Australia on stimulating domestic travel in 2020 was a welcome change, including the successful partnership between Caravan Industry Association of Australia and Tourism Australia for the Travel your Road campaign” continued Lamont.

“We also thank Senator Duniam for his access and advice during his role as Assistant Minister for Regional Tourism and wish him all the best in his ongoing portfolio responsibilities”.

“Caravan and camping continues to punch above its weight in regard to delivering benefits to regional communities recovering from a horrendous 2020, and we are looking forward to working with Minister Tehan and his Department to further strengthen this recovery of the sector in what is a critical rebound period,” Mr Lamont concluded.

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