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The Mercury Cars Guide : February 6th 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010 Classifieds 62 300 400 carsguide.com.au ---3 driving caravan industry NO VACANCY: Roma caravan parks are full of grey nomads. Big Rig Tourist Park has no vacancies. ''Factor in the budgets for six or 12 months travel and many people saw their dreams disappear.'' But Ryan, who is also managing director of Jayco, a leading player in the recreational van industry, says the worst is over. ''We expect to see a rise in sales of up to 30 per cent this year. ''Retirees are slowly starting to come back as their super funds improve and the share market im- proves. ''But families are the ones driving the market. ''It's not so much getting back to basics, but many parents are wanting to spend more time with their chil- dren,'' he says. Ryan says buyer mood has changed since last August, when there were signs Australia had weathered the economic storm better than other countries. Anecdotally, the association says there are about 60,000 grey nomads around the country. ''In Victoria we have about 25,000 to 30,000 people who leave the State in May and head up north and come back in September,'' Ryan says. Not only are these people holiday- ing locally, but Ryan says the positive impact of caravanners on smaller communities is huge. ''When a couple in a van pull into town for a few days they shop locally and generally put money back into the community. With about 3000 caravan and rec- reational parks around the country, the industry is a key contributor to tourism. Though folk are hitting the road again, Ryan worries that there has been a 10 per cent decline in the number of parks over the past 15 years as owners sell up to developers and move on. ''One concern we've now got is the number of parks closing,'' he says. ''I think the industry needs to address with the government to estab- lish new parks.'' However, he says those caravan parks remaining have moved with the times and grown. ''New van parks are keeping up with the changes and expectations of a new style of visitor,'' Ryan says. Many parks resemble amusement centres with water slides, tennis courts, restaurants, movie rooms and extensive playgrounds, he says. ''It's a great lifestyle.'' When people do spend, the options are many and varied --- from the budget van right up to the $250,000 luxury motorhomes. Ryan says many babyboomers who have weathered the economic downturn still want a motorhome with a 6.0-litre engine and all the mod- cons, from dishwashers to washing machines and electric awings. ''Price is not an issue with some of these people,'' he says. Ryan says these high-spending vacationers usually spend up to six months away. Apart from money's-no-object lux- ury motorhomes, there is a trend to more rugged off-road campers and ''base-station'' caravans. The latter are usually all-caravan up front, but are designed to fit small motorbikes or a tinnie in the back. Though the impact of the global financial crisis has played on many retirees minds, Ryan says it is their mortality that really hits home. ''There are many people who take off when they see many of their friends are dying around them.'' Active grey nomads are also less inclined to see the need to leave a cash legacy for their children. ''I saw a motorhome the other day with a sticker saying 'What inherit- ance?','' Ryan says. ''It's never too late to hit the road.'' More stories on motorhome liv- ingonPg4&6 PERFORMANCE AUTOMOBILES CNR. ARGYLE & BURNETT STREETS www.performanceautomobiles.com.au 6210 7000 A/H: Nick Clark 0419 503 683 drive away! $33,990 A Daimler Brand $5,000* Visit Performance Automobiles to book a test drive today. Importer's rebates. Subaru Forester X IT S TIME 4 ADVENTURE It's time. Purchase a 2009 plated new or demonstrator Mercedes-Benz before February 14 and receive a rebate of * Rebate only available on 2009 compliance plated Mercedes-Benz vehicles ordered and delivered between 2/1/2010 and 14/2/2010 unless sold out prior. www.mbhobart.com.au All 4 The Adventure. incl. $1,500 free accessories. Free accessories include: - Bluetooth - Rear step panel - Cargo tray - Bonnet Protector - Roof Cross Bars - Carpet mat set - Head lamp protectors Forester X Manual on dence co es standard. Every current model Subaru comes with: • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive • Horizontally opposed Boxer engine • VDC electronic stability control • Five-star ANCAP occupant safety rating PERFORMANCE AUTOMOBILES, CNR. ARGYLE & BURNETT STREETS, HOBART 6210 7000 PERFORMANCE AUTOMOBILES CNR. ARGYLE & BURNETT STREETS 6210 7000
January 9th 2010
February 13th 2010