The peak body for the Tasmanian caravanning industry is the latest to urge the Federal Government to extend the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme by providing free travel for cars and caravans to support struggling local operators.
Caravanning Tasmania recognises the importance of attracting interstate visitors which would normally be starting to fill local caravan parks ahead of the peak summer season. With the aggressive push by other state marketing agencies to attract Victorians, Tasmania is missing out on the price sensitive market with fares on the Spirit of Tasmania a strong impediment as Australians look to domestic holiday options as they come out of lockdown.
The Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme has been in operation since 1996, providing a rebate to equalise the cost of sea travel on the National Highway network, and allowing for visitors to Tasmania the flexibility of travelling around the island using their own transport. This means they travel further, stay longer and spend more, assisting many regional communities throughout the state.
Caravanning Tasmania President Bronwyn Wild noted that many operators were still struggling to recover out of COVID and had not experienced the bounce seen in other caravanning markets.
“Caravanning and camping is one of the safest COVID activities around with the ability for families to get out of their house, while controlling their own environment, whether that be in stand-alone roofed accommodation, or through the use of your own car and caravan.”
“Despite this, summer bookings remain soft across the state, and some urgent intervention needs to occur to give the necessary stimulus for interstate visitation to return.”
“If something doesn’t happen soon, Christmas caravanning travel will be lost to other states, resulting in millions of lost spending for the Tasmanian economy,” Ms Wild said.