Canadian RV, Camping Groups Lobby for Needs
Representatives from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Camping and RV Council (CCRVC) are on Parliament Hill today (May 1) to urge the federal government to address critical infrastructure needs for the industry.
According to a news release, RVing and camping continue to play vital roles in Canada’s tourism sector. There is a crucial need for this to be recognized by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) as a viable growth area for tourism in Canada.
“The recreation vehicle (RV) industry is indeed a growth industry. From job and revenue creation, to giving people better access to our great outdoors, RVs are a big part of Canadian life,” said Kyle Redmond, RVDA of Canada chairman. “In fact, RV ownership is on the rise, with more than one million RVs on Canada’s roads and some 14% of Canadian households currently owning an RV.”
“Going hand-in-hand with RVing, campgrounds are the primary destination of Canadian RV customers,” added Maryse Catellier, CCRVC President. “Campgrounds offer an opportunity for families to spend time together, create life-long memories and discover the beauty of Canada’s natural landscape. They also stimulate economic activity in small communities across the country.”
In 2011, Canadians spent $1.6 billion by staying at one of the 3,000 independently owned and operated campgrounds in Canada. That same year the total economic activity associated with the Canadian RV industry reached $14.5 billion.
As campground services continue to rise in demand, critical infrastructure needs – such as sizing requirements to accommodate larger RVs and access to appropriate electrical outlets and waste disposal facilities – remain unfunded.
Together, the RV and campground industries play an important role in the health of Canada’s tourism sector and make a significant contribution to Canada’s economy. In order to keep this momentum going, dedicated investment in tourism policies to support the RV and campground industry is urgently needed.
The RVDA of Canada and the CCRVC make the following recommendations to the federal government:
• Provide targeted and dedicated investment in camping/RV infrastructure in Canada’s National Parks.
• Have CTC advertising and messaging include particular reference to RV and camping opportunities to those target markets where RV rentals are being offered in Canada. Promotion should gear towards highlighting a new way to discover Canada.
• Equate public campsite rates with those of independently owned campgrounds and extend the operating seasons of Canada’s historic parks and canal systems to help finance infrastructure improvements.
• Reduce the Canada Small Business Financing Program’s 2% registration fee and eliminate the aggressive repayment schedule to make the program accessible to businesses that operate seasonally.
“Investing in RV and camping infrastructure will play a critical role in the overall contributions of the tourism industry to future economic development and prosperity,” Catellier said.
“Not only is RVing in Canada an exceptional way to travel, but it also has a considerable impact on the Canadian economy,” concluded Redmond. “We look forward to continuing to work with government and key stakeholders to ensure that proactive roles are being taken to develop policies that support all travel and tourism, and recognize RVing as a prosperous tourism activity.”