You’d find them all across Australia in the most unexpected of places. Coober Pedy, the Oodnadatta Track, trundling across the Nullabor.
Blue-rinse Marge and grey-haired Bruce, retired empty-nesters “seeing Australia, mate” in their campervan or caravan.
It used to be that they were something of a subculture, an age-specific niche-market in a nation of adventurers heading to Fiji, Bali, Singapore, London or Los Angeles.
For the next little while we’ll all be Marge and Bruce
But now those options are off the table and it seems we’re all going to be Marge and Bruce. For the next little while, anyway.
Travelling the highways and byways, hanging out at caravan parks and campsites. Because there’s simply nowhere else to go.
There have been a great many losers in this pandemic, but the caravan industry may not be one of them.
Dealership visits and enquiries are on the up, says association
According to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA), interest in buying a recreational vehicle/caravan has recently surged, with strong foot traffic and sales enquiries being reported by dealerships around the country.
The association’s data shows a boom in every state and territory, with some enquiries up by 30%.
The spike in demand across the country is reflective of the need to escape, with keen travellers reconsidering what they might want to do with the funds they had earmarked for a big overseas trip, to instead invest in a recreational vehicle to explore Australia, the association says.
After being cooped up for so long, people want to travel
“Recent weeks have shown a shift in people’s behaviour – having been cooped up for months, Australians are now turning their attention to travelling within their own backyard.” says Stuart Lamont, CEO of the CIAA.
Another survey, by the Caravan Camping Sales classifieds website, found that 67% of Australians are more likely to consider buying a caravan as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the overseas travel ban.
A news report on an upsurge in caravanning in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, published in the Bairnsdale Advertiser, quotes Fran Pinch, of New Age Caravans in Bairnsdale, as saying that, after being cooped up for so long because of COVID-19, people are desperate to get out and about, but are mindful of doing so safely.
C’mon Marge; better finish packing the caravan, it’s time to go exploring…