Caravan industry hopes funding will help recovery

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Grey nomads and caravan parks
Some regional caravan parks are seeing grey nomads return.

The Federal Government has announced a massive package of funding to help boost tourism in regional Australia.

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) wasted no time in welcoming the $250 million regional Australia package, which has earmarked $150 million specifically for tourism and infrastructure projects to assist regional tourism.

The organisation’s CEO, Stuart Lamont, said many of the attractions and experiences in regional Australia were 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,” he said. “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.”

Mr Lamont said that the funding offered some level of optimism for operators still reeling from huge losses from touring markets.

“With many of Australia’s tourism icons located in the regions, and international travel off the cards for some time yet, the 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,” he said. “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 the caravan and camping industry was poised to play a leading role in the recovery of regional tourism as adventurers looking to travel further and for longer as they explored their own backyard.

The CIAA says visitor expenditure by caravanning and camping tourists already contributes over $10 billion annually with a significant amount of this dispersed across regional and rural Australia, supporting local jobs and contractors.

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia says it looks forward to engaging with the Federal Government regarding the eligibility and appropriation of the new money.

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