New drive tourism campaign to boost regional tourism

CANBERRA (Tourism Australia) - Regional Australia is set to benefit from the Australian Caravan Safari Trails, a major new tourism drive initiative launched by Tourism Australia Chairman Tim Fischer today in Sydney.

Speaking at the launch, Tim Fischer said that the initiative provides Australians and international visitors with the opportunity to get out and experience more of regional, rural and remote Australia.

Tourism Australia is proud to have provided $250,000 to the Caravan, RV and Accommodation Industry of Australia to help establish the infrastructure to develop an annual caravan and self-drive safari,” Mr Fischer said.

“The caravan and camping industry is the fastest growing tourism sector in Australia, increasing at an annual rate of around 15 per cent over the past six years. This important initiative will help this trend continue.

“The Caravan Safari Trails project will play a vital role in boosting tourism to regional Australia, contributing to the long-term economic sustainability of local communities and generating much needed jobs.

“What better way to showcase regional Australia than to establish a network of caravan safari trails and self-drive routes throughout this great country?

“The safari concept offers domestic and international enthusiasts unique and exciting opportunities that they would not experience if they were touring independently – such as group security, guidance and camaraderie,” Mr Fischer concluded.

Three month-long Australian Caravan Safari Trails that will visit five Australian States, are being planned for 2006.

Tourism Research Australia recently released a report titled A Profile of Travellers who used Caravan or Camping Accommodation in 2003-04, which shows that there are over 334,000 caravans and campervans in use in Australia. In addition, caravan and campers in Australia spent $6.7billion in 2003-04, contributing 76.3 million visitor nights.

The report also shows that international visitors who used caravan or camping accommodation spent 40 per cent of their nights in regional Australia compared to 18 per cent for those not using caravan or camping accommodation.

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