Keep on camping

By Jamie Salter

A new initiative is encouraging campers to support bushfire-affected regions of Australia through local tourism.

In the wake of the bushfire crisis, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia's Keep on Camping campaign is urging travellers to support vulnerable areas on their next trip.

Association chief executive officer Stuart Lamont said local tourism was key.

“Many of the affected areas should be in absolute peak season brimming with tourists, and yet whole regions remain closed with some caravan parks suggesting they may be weeks before re-opening,” Mr Lamont said.

According to Tourism Research Australia, 30 per cent of all trips in regional Australia involve caravanning or camping, making it an integral component of the tourism industry.

“The devastation that we have seen due to bushfires is heartbreaking, and our sincerest appreciation goes out to all communities and those volunteers on the ground who have been battling these conditions to save lives and property in the most trying of circumstances,” Mr Lamont said.

“Once these affected areas re-open, the need for tourist visitation will be vital to assisting these communities and businesses to start the long process of getting back on their feet.”

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia said caravan parks on the south coast of NSW and in Gippsland account for the largest market share of all commercial accommodation nights in the south-east, at 38 per cent and 42 per cent respectively.

The Keep on Camping website will assist travellers with making informed travel decisions, so money can be spent in communities reliant on tourism.

Shopping at local cafes and boutiques, buying groceries and staying in local holiday parks help invest money into these communities.

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