Campervans have always been hot property in New Zealand, and they are the vehicle of choice for a lot of the tourists who decide to explore the beautiful countryside. A survey by market researchers Covec has found this week the campervan industry is worth half a billion dollars (that’s around a quarter of a billion GBP) to the New Zealand economy and these figures exclude the Rugby World Cup; a big draw for tourists in campervans.
The moment you start hiring is usually the moment you start spending; tourists will buy things like campervan insurance with their rental contract which can immediately start flowing. The rental fee itself can contribute and the cut of profit that rental firms make above their costs is either spent elsewhere or, often, reinvested in purchasing more motorhome stock, ensuring better capacity for the following year.
When on the road, tourists spend time in campsites and this contributes considerably to the figure. Equally, when living in a campervan, you need to keep living, and the cost of food, meals out and organised excursions makes up the rest of the tourist income. A quite remarkable figure showed that, on average, campervan tourists in New Zealand spend $195 a night – that’s just under £100.
The economic force of the campervan is often underestimated, but campervan users do tend to spend, and when they do, they spend locally. We see exactly this effect in the UK, where areas like Devon and Cornwall make considerable money from the tourist trade and a lot of local shops and amenities see themselves through the winter due to money brought in by the tourist trade in the summer.
These numbers from New Zealand show the potential that there is for bringing in the bucks with campervans, and it’s good news that the market is keeping itself afloat. This will only be a comfort to manufacturers and wholesalers over the next few years.