Road & Rail

Expect a surge in day trips and overnight stays, says CamperMate CEO

Short breaks and road trips could soon be the flavour of the week, according to the head of one of Australia’s leading road travel experience apps.

Former Tourism Australia chief marketing officer Nick Baker is the chief executive of CamperMate, a caravan and camping app used by almost two million travellers in Australia and New Zealand.

Off the back of the release of some good news for the caravan and camping sector post-COVID-19 pandemic, Baker said he is seeing a big uptick in on-the-road traveller interest.

CamperMate has seen a surge in users over May, welcoming compound growth of at least 140 per cent each week, with the app downloaded by 5,000 users last week.

Baker said this is exciting news and a real-life indicator for more positive times ahead for tourism businesses, regional centres and cities ready to welcome people back.

“This is a fraction of what we usually see when tourism is fully firing,” he said.

“But the current triple-digit growth rate in users of the app is very clear to us and demonstrates there are genuine green shoots in the road back for tourism.”

The increase in recent users also indicates travellers are planning to embrace road trips ahead of the Queen’s birthday long weekend in June, and into the July winter breaks for schools, Baker said.

Moreover, it’s an exciting prospect for regional visitor hot spots as well, off the back of the NSW government’s easing of intrastate travel restrictions, measures shared by South Australia where travellers can now visit caravan parks and campgrounds.

Baker said the numbers paint a realistic picture of how and when people will embrace the chance to travel again, based on recent examples immediately after the Australian bushfires.

He said in the few short weeks during February, between when the bushfires came under control and the onset of COVID-19, CamperMate data showed many Australians were quickly driving back into and through regional areas.

Travellers also over-prolonged their stay in many places against trend – a sign Baker anticipates could be repeated based on the anticipated pent up demand for local travel in a COVID-safe economy.

“At CamperMate, we predict this will again become the case as authorities make clear further easings of restrictions and encouragement of initially local and intrastate travel,” he said.

It comes as research from Tourism Research Australia showed more than 500,000 travellers have indicated they would take a camping trip within the next two months, contributing an average of $584 per trip to regional tourism.

According to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA), this has the potential to kick-start the recovery for tourism and inject over $292 million dollars directly into the hands of regional tourism operators who rely on caravanners and campers.


Featured image: iStock/franckreporter

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Travel Agents

Health boss’ international travel prediction highlights need for “renamed and repurposed” JobKeeper: AFTA

Like the way that Pokémon character Jigglypuff turns into Wigglytuff, AFTA is seeking an evolution of JobKeeper.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Australia’s international border closure “one of the last things to change”, says chief medical officer

The man in charge of leading Australia’s COVID-19 response isn’t budging on his international travel forecast. At least that means the champagne has more time to chill.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Biden rushes to extend US travel restrictions after Trump signs order to lift European ban

Just in case the political climate in the US wasn’t terrifying enough, President Donald Trump has decided to lift travel restrictions for people who have recently been in Europe and Brazil.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Man jailed after hiding in US airport for three months unnoticed

Apparently, the man was scared to fly home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is an excuse our editor has used to get out of going to the dentist and jury duty.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

First steel cut for Carnival Celebration

Do you only read Travel Weekly for the steel-cutting ceremony stories? Well, you’d better fetch your reading glasses for this one.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

APT Travel Group extends international trip suspension

Just in case you need further proof that international travel isn’t coming back anytime soon, APT Travel Group has kept its finger on the pause button.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Club Med kicks off 2021 with new brochure, new resorts and loyalty program extensions

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly’s deputy editor kicked off the new year by waking up on her bathroom floor and promptly putting herself to bed for the rest of the day.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with MTA’s Debbie Andrews

This week, we got up close and personal with an MTA senior travel specialist. Well, as close as you can get to someone during a pandemic. So, really, we got 1.5 metres away and semi-personal.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean to sell Azamara brand for more than $260m

While many cruise companies are offloading some of their ships to stay afloat during the pandemic, Royal Caribbean is selling an entire brand.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

New Zealand to welcome back Cook Islanders with one-way travel ‘bubble’

Jacinda Ardern was reportedly spotted sipping a bubble tea as she carved out another travel ‘bubble’ deal with one of New Zealand’s closest neighbours.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tasmania and ACT ease border restrictions

by Huntley Mitchell

Domestic border restrictions are now officially changing more often than the underwear of Travel Weekly’s editor.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

An accommodation giant just acquired a travel publication

And before you go speculating, we can confirm the travel publication that has a new owner is not yours truly.

Share

CommentComments