Domestic Camping Economy Continues to Grow

Camper Staff — 17 October 2019
The 13 million domestic camping trips Australians made last financial year have driven a record-breaking $7 billion into our regions.

The latest research from Tourism Research Australia has revealed the strong performance of the domestic caravan and camping visitor economy throughout the previous financial year.

Most notably, spending by caravan and camping visitors increased by 17 per cent, to exceed 7.9 billion dollars, with 90 per cent of this expenditure going to regional Australia.

The research also showed we undertook 8 per cent more trips than in previous years, making more than 13 million domestic trips for the first time ever. Nights spent on said trips went up to 55 million, a record-breaking high representing a 5 per cent annual increase.

SA and NT are recording the most growth of all states for overnight trips, growing 23 and 22 per cent respectively.

The young/midlife with no kids demographic now leads the way, overtaking the family demographic as the most regular campers — #vanlife! Still very solid were the older non-working demographic who were responsible for 17 million of all nights spent, or 31 per cent.

More generally, in terms of all breeds of tourism beyond just camping, Aussies aged 30 to 54 spent $809 per person on an average trip, versus $666 for older and $471 for younger travellers.

How could these below-30s manage to buy avocado toast in remote roadhouses and restrict themselves to such small expenditure? The fact they are staying with friends and relatives more often (49 per cent of the time versus 36 per cent for others) may have something to do with it.

All figures should be interpreted with a healthy dose of skepticism, as TRA’s methodology changes may be inflating them somewhat. Now they are gathering data via only mobile phone interviews, not 50 per cent mobile phone and 50 per cent landline.


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