‘Camping in Australia could be a river of gold!’

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Regional infrastructure investment
WIth better infrastructure, even more greys nomads might venture into regional Australia

If caravanning and camping in this country is to go to the next level, then there needs to be a huge investment in regional infrastructure. And so says the chair of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, Grant Wilckens.

Writing in the Adelaide Advertiser, Mr Wilckens said the great Aussie camping trip could be a river of gold but many visitors were deterred by the dangerous roads, dodgy Wi-Fi and poor mobile phone coverage.

“If we are to turbocharge regional tourism, as a sector we need to focus on removing customer ‘pain points’,” he said. “Having to contend with heavy truck traffic on local roads is a real turn-off for people towing a caravan or driving an RV — particularly if they are not experienced.”

Mr Wilckens says investing in infrastructure and doing things like widening verges would help to make trips safer and more appealing. And he communications is another area that needs attention.

“When 7000 tourists descend on Robe in South Australia over summer, for example, the telecommunications networks melt down … imagine what this does to the customer experience,” said Mr Wilckens. “It’s great to have a plan for regional tourism, but the next state budget needs to include initiatives to improve roads, telecommunications and access to affordable power and water in regional areas.”

And the Caravan Industry Association of Australia says the potential rewards are immense. The caravan and camping industry is worth $20 billion per annum to the Australian economy and had record growth last year with national overnight domestic caravan and camping trips reaching $11.8 million.

“It might not be as sexy as cutting the ribbon on a city sporting oval or throwing money at advanced manufacturing but some investment in regional infrastructure would go a long way,” Mr Wilckens said in the Advertiser. “We’re grateful for plans to help regional tourism fly like an eagle, but without public investment in infrastructure we’ll simply be scratching around like turkeys.”

* Do you think regional infrastructure needs a massive investment? Comment below.

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7 Responses to ‘Camping in Australia could be a river of gold!’

  1. Anything that helps to get people into country towns is worth it

  2. Yes absolutely correct, We need to invest in regional areas to not only support the region but to ensure that the same regions receive growth.
    The RV industry is an integral part of the future of regional Australia.
    I am proud that we play our part in supporting the regions we travel around.
    Let’s find a way to have some of these huge immigrant numbers become part of regional Australia.
    But it appears anything that is to hard and in need of a lot of effort is put on the back burners by the Canberra folks.

  3. It certainly would be better not to have to spend so much to get a more robust van just to get to desirable locations. That means more money available to spend in these remoter areas – a benefit for those communities.

  4. Don’t overdo it!
    Lots of us actually WANT to get away from mobile phones, roads clogged with signs and markings designed to cater for the lowest common intelligence, etc.
    You know, that place we all love and revere as “The Bush” – where bitumen comes as a surprise (not always pleasant), and seeing another vehicle means you stop and have a chat about the road conditions, creek crossings, etc. Not just roar past at 100 km/hr, with barely a nod to the other motorist, because you’re just another one in the thundering herd they’ve passed already today.
    Keep the infrastructure spending to the major regional centres, and to such things as will benefit everyone (like the RFDS, for example) and for the rest of us, just leave us a bit of bush to enjoy some peace and quiet in, please!.

    • Absolutely agree So many people not really stopping to immerse themselves in “the bush”- just want it to be like home. Why travel ??

  5. What have they only just worked that out, No Wonder were going backwards.Done properly there is no end to who would benefit. Cheers Stevo.

  6. Widening verges is an interesting one. Having travelled for many years, driving trucks and towing, I have been wondering what has happened to all the areas where you could pull off the road? Now you’re battling and often just pray you don’t get a flat tyre or something where you need to pull up. 30 years ago, there was always somewhere to pull up. What have they done with all of those?

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