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Friday, September 20th, 2019

Campers flock to Tassie’s great outdoors

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by December 16, 2016 General
HELEN KEMPTONMercury

MORE campers and caravanners are coming to Tasmania and they are not all “grey nomads”, with international visitors aged 20-29 making up the largest demographic.

New figures from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia show 28,368 international visitors came to Tasmania with tents or campers in the year to September 2016 — a jump of 57 per cent on the previous year.

Those visitors spent a combined 323,612 nights in the state.

Figures from TT-Line in May this year showed the number of caravan and motorhomes coming across Bass Strait on our passenger ferries was driving growth.

MORE: CARAVANS HELP DRIVE SPIRIT BOOKING RECORD

The twin ferries carried 377,000 passengers in the year to the end of April, up by almost­ 10 per cent on the previous year.

The association said all of Australia’s core markets for international caravan and camping visitors recorded growth.

Visitors from the United States showed the largest growth — up 49 per cent on the previous year — followed by the UK (up 13 per cent) and Germany (up 10 per cent).

Targeted campaigns in Asian markets are also paying off, the association said, with more visitors from China and Singapore electing to camp or sleep in campervans.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia CEO Stuart Lamont said the industry was working to connect with visitors from markets not traditionally linked with independent self-drive travel.

In total, Australia welcomed 346,861 caravan and camping overnight visitors from 23 international markets in the year — up 14 per cent from the previous year.

“This increase is three per cent higher than the broader national tourism trend for international visitors,” Mr Lamont said.

International visitors aged 20 to 29 years continue to represent the largest segment — accounting for 42 per cent of visitors and 53 per cent of all visitor nights.

“This demographic represents an important market for tourism generally as they tend to stay for longer periods of time, spend more while they are here and travel wider into regional areas. And when they like what they experience, they become excellent ambassadors for tourism in Australia with social sharing and peer-to-peer influence,” Mr Lamont said.

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