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This article was published in Tourism Indicators, Australia, December 2001 (ABS Cat. No. 8634.0).
Outside the capital cities, New South Wales has the largest proportion of caravan parks (graph F2.2).
CARAVAN PARKS WITH 40 OR MORE POWERED SITES
Regular readers of Tourist Accommodation, Australia (Cat. no. 8635.0) will recall that from 1997 onwards, for one year in every three, the Survey of Tourist Accommodation (STA) expands to include caravan parks with 40 or more powered sites. A wide range of data are collected and published, including establishment and capacity counts, occupancy rates, employment, takings from accommodation (including the Goods and Services Tax from 1 July 2000), number of sites occupied by long term guests and number of sites permanently reserved. Data are available by each State and Territory and Australia and for both short term caravan parks (where the majority of paying guests occupy sites for periods of less than two months) and long term caravan parks.
The latest available statistics relate to the December quarter 2000. STA data can be compared with data previously collected for the December quarter 1997.
Graph F2.3 shows the huge relative growth in cabins and flats between the December quarter 1997 and the December quarter 2000. The number of cabins and flats increased in every State and Territory. In most States, this was the only site type to increase its aggregate capacity. Tasmania was the only State to record increases in all site types. Total capacity increased in the Northern Territory (up 5%) and Tasmania (2%) but fell in all other States and the Australian Capital Territory.
Small area data
Tourism is an essential part of the local economy for many regions. Caravan park data, including occupancy rates and takings from accommodation, are available for selected Statistical Local Areas and Tourism Regions (defined by relevant State and Territory Tourist Commissions or equivalent organisations). These statistics are published in Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data Standard Data Service products for each State and the Northern Territory (Cat. no. 8635.n.40.001). Due to user funding, data for the Northern Territory are available each quarter on this expanded basis.
Graph F2.4 shows that there was growth in employment in caravan parks for all of the published Tourism Regions in the Northern Territory in the December quarter 2001 compared to the December quarter 2000, except for the Tablelands. Total employment in the Northern Territory rose 15%, from 329 in the December quarter 2000 to 377 in the December quarter 2001. The number of people employed in caravan parks in the Darwin Tourism Region increased 31%, to 76. Employment in caravan parks in the Katherine Tourism Region rose 20%, to 97.
One of the most valuable sources of statistics relating to caravan parks is the BTR, which publishes quarterly and annual results on domestic and international visitation at caravan parks, collected in the National Visitor Survey (NVS) and International Visitor Survey (IVS).
The BTR publication Travel By Australians: Quarterly Results of the National Visitor Survey, presents data on overnight visitors and visitor nights by State and Territory and Australia for the type of accommodation used, including Caravan park or commercial camping ground, and Caravan or camping on private property. These data relate to Australian residents aged 15 years and over.
Graph F2.5 shows the proportion of visitor nights by accommodation type used. The graph shows that caravan parks or commercial camping grounds are used for 10% of visitor nights. The Northern Territory had the largest proportion of use of this type of accommodation (14%). The proportion of visitor nights spent in caravans or camping on private property was lower (4%) with the Northern Territory showing the largest proportion of use of this type of accommodation (9%).
Data are also available on international visitors staying at caravan parks. The BTR publication International Visitors in Australia: Quarterly Results of the International Visitor Survey presents data on the number of visitor nights by country of residence and main purpose of journey. These statistics include type of accommodation used, such as Campervan (self-propelled motor vehicles that contain an area primarily used for accommodation), or Caravan (non-powered vehicles that are towed behind another vehicle and primarily used for accommodation), cabin or tent, and relate to all visitors aged 15 years and over.
The latest available data relate to the year ended 30 June 2000. More recent data are not yet available because of delays in receiving overseas arrival and departure statistics from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA).
Graph F2.6 shows the nights spent by international visitors in a caravan, cabin or tent in June 2000. Visitors from the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States of America were the main users of this type of accommodation, accounting for 29%, 10% and 9% of international visitor nights spent in this accommodation, respectively. Campervans were also a popular choice of accommodation for visitors from these countries, with Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America accounting for 31%, 16% and 5% of international visitor nights spent in campervans, respectively.
A good source of annual data on caravan and campervan registrations by State and Territory and Australia is the publication Motor Vehicle Census, Australia (Cat. no. 9309.0).
Data available include the number of caravans on register by census years and year of manufacture along with the number of campervans on register by census years, per 1,000 resident population, by estimated average age, fuel type, make of vehicle and year of manufacture. Similar statistics have been published periodically since the first Motor Vehicle Census (MVC) in 1971. The most recent MVC was conducted on 31 March 2001.
Table F2.7 shows registered caravans, by year of manufacture. Victorian registrations accounted for just over one-third of all caravans on register on 31 March 2001.
There are a number of official sources providing information on the caravan industry that can be used for information and planning. In short, detailed quarterly statistics on caravan parks with 40 or more powered sites are available for 1997 and 2000. These statistics can be supplemented by Small Area Data products for selected Statistical Local Areas and Tourism Regions. Detailed data for the Northern Territory are available each quarter. In addition, annual caravan park and establishment counts are available, along with quarterly and annual data on visitor nights from the BTR, and the annual Motor Vehicle Census provides information on the number of caravan registrations.
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