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.”
The 17th annual Canada Night Dinner will be held Dec. 2 as part of the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., according to a press release.
The dinner, an exclusive events for Canadian industry members, is slated for 5:30 p.m with a cocktail reception. Shortly after cocktails, Camping Canada’s RV Lifestyle Magazine and Dealer News will present the 2013 Walter Paseska Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award.
This year’s nominees include: Ian Moore of Big Boy’s Toys, Kyle Redmond of Bucars RV Centre, Terry Rumpel of Glenwood RV Centre and Herb Cowen of Pike Lake Golf Centre.
The guest speaker for the evening is Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons, a former all-star running back, Grey Cup winning coach, president and CEO, and now the vice-chair for the Toronto Argonauts. RVDA of Canada said Clemons is known for inspiring audiences by demonstrating what it means to beat the odds and encouraging listeners to use teamwork to achieve their goals.
Register by Nov. 25 for $65 per person ($85 at the door). Dinner will begin at 7 p.m.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada is releasing a groundbreaking study, showcasing the economic impact of the Canadian recreation vehicle industry, according to a press release.
The study, conducted by Harris/Decima, demonstrated that in 2011 the total economic activity associated with the Canadian recreation vehicle industry reached $14.5 billion.
“This is a significant finding, demonstrating that not only is RVing in Canada an exceptional way to travel, offering accessibility, convenience and ease of use, but it also has a considerable impact on the Canadian economy,” said Ian Moore, RVDA of Canada chairman. “Through both direct and indirect means, this impact is multi-faceted, and includes the manufacturing of RVs, purchasing and servicing of RVs at RV dealerships, expenditures made to maintain and store RVs, and the personal spending of RV users as they travel across Canada.”
In order to determine the level of economic activity supported by the RV industry in Canada, the impacts of RVs were broken down through four distinct domains, including:
RV Retail Sales and Service
• In total, the retail sales and services associated with Canada’s more than 400 recreation vehicle dealers generated $1.5 billion in net economic activity (GDP) throughout Canada, and supported nearly 19,300 jobs that paid $775 million in wages and salaries (labor income).
• The total value of recreation vehicles manufactured in Canada in 2011 was $265 million with $156 million being purchased by Canadians and $109 million being exported to other countries. In turn, a total of $210 million in goods and services were imported to Canada as part of the economic activity associated with RV manufacturing.
• The manufacture of $265 million in recreation vehicles generated $512 million in gross output in Canada in 2011 and supported nearly 2,400 jobs that paid a total of $103 million in wages and salaries.
Non‐Travel Related RV Expenditures
• Non‐travel related recreation vehicle expenditures totaled $1.4 billion (excluding repairs) and generated $1.3 billion in net economic activity (GDP) throughout Canada through the support of more than 12,200 jobs that paid $727 million in wages and salaries.
Tourism Related RV Expenditures
• It was estimated that RV travelers spent a total of over $7 billion on goods and services as they traveled across Canada.
• Travel related expenditures associated with recreation vehicles generated nearly $5.0 billion in net economic activity (GDP) across Canada and supported $2.9 billion in wages and salaries (Labour Income) through 64,900 jobs.
• The total economic activity associated with recreation vehicle tourism expenditures was $9.8 billion in 2011.
In sum, direct spending associated with recreation vehicles reached $11.5 billion. These expenditures generated $8 billion in net economic activity (GDP) and 98,800 jobs. Moreover, the Canadian RV industry was a significant driver of tax revenues, with total taxes supported by the industry totaling $3.3 billion in taxes on products, taxes on production, and income taxes.
“The RV industry continues to be a fast growing and favorable lifestyle for Canadian families,” continued Moore. “RVing really is for everyone; people of all ages, all family types, and all budgets enjoy the benefits of traveling in a recreational vehicle, and we are seeing that a record number of Canadian families are discovering the fun and flexible travel that the RV lifestyle provides.”
He added, “The RVDA of Canada looks 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.”
To view the full report, please visit www.rvda.ca.
The Toronto RV Show and Extravaganza, sponsored by the Ontario RV Dealers Association (ORVDA) is kicking off the Canadian RV show season, running Jan. 17-20 at the Toronto Congress Centre.
“RV shows are the perfect place to explore the RV lifestyle,” said Chris Mahony, Go RVing Canada’s executive director. “Whether you are a family looking for a new vacation option, or an RV enthusiast looking for the latest gadgets, an RV show has everything under one roof for a day of exploration. The Toronto RV Show has over 500 units on display which is great for comparing models and understanding what best suits your lifestyle.”
RVing is a popular form of recreation with 14% of Canadian households citing RV ownership. RVing has also seen a shift in the demographic of owners, with the majority now under the age of 55.
“Canadians love to spend time outdoors and RVing offers the flexibility and fun to enjoy nature at your leisure,” continued Mahony. “More people than ever before are exploring the RV lifestyle because it’s so easy to take off at a moment’s notice. Busy career couples or families with children, anyone can turn a regular weekend into an RV getaway.”
For additional show information, visit http://www.rvshowtoronto.ca/ and for information about the RV lifestyle, a listing of more RV shows in Canada, and other RV-related information, visit www.GoRVing.ca.
To watch an accompanying video on this story click here.
It seems as though more Albertans are enjoying the great outdoors in recreational vehicles. According to a report by the Global Edmonton, the province is leading the country in RV sales this summer.
Statistics from the RV Dealers Association (RVDA) of Alberta show towable sales are up significantly in Alberta this summer compared to last year.
“We’ve seen probably about an 18% to 20% increase in sales comparatively to last year,” explains Clayton Phillips, a sales manager at Woody’s RV World.
Phillips said while their average customer ranges in age from 35 to 59, he has seen an increase in the number of young people and young families buying RVs over the past few years. “You can get into a new RV in the low teens – $12,000 is where we kind of start – all the way up to $400,000 dollars, depending on what your needs or wants are,” he said.
Despite high gas prices, Phillips said an RV vacation is still anywhere between 25% to 59% less expensive than a typical vacation. Manufacturers are also making recreational vehicles lighter in weight, so they’re not as expensive to pull.
It seems as though it’s not just holiday or camping needs that are drawing Albertans to RVs.
“We’re seeing a growing trend to people that are retired that are going to full-time, live-in use of the recreational vehicle, as well as people that use them for work purposes,” Phillips said. “You know, the oil field consultant that travels around or the guy that does road construction in the summer time, that sort of thing.”
Then, there are the snowbirds who spend their summers in Canada and head south for the winter season. Plus, with features such as indoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchens and televisions, RVers can enjoy the outdoor life without leaving the comfort of your own home.
“Here in Alberta we work hard, we play hard. We’re outdoor enthusiasts and because of the seasonality of our business, when summer hits, people want to get outdoors,” Phillips say.
The forecast for next year doesn’t appear to be slowing down, either.
“It’s all looking positive right now,” Phillips adds.
GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF), has released its outlook for the Canadian recreational vehicle industry.
According to a press release, CDF provides inventory financing that allows dealers to stock, market and sell products from manufacturers. As a result of its longstanding position as a leading financing provider to Canadian manufacturers and distributors and their dealers, CDF “periodically provides market intelligence that may help companies throughout the supply chains to manage their businesses.”
CDF said the outlook for the Canadian RV industry is positive in light of solid overall unit sales, respectable inventory turns and the continuing strength of the national economy.
“There has been a positive increase in orders by Canadian RV dealers,” said Howard Shiebler, president and CEO of CDF in Canada. “Another encouraging and related health barometer for the industry is that the national level of dealer inventory aged over one year is just 16%.”
CDF has released an audiocast, titled “Performance of the RV Industry in Canada,” that features a discussion between CDF’s Shiebler and Garth Bromley, chairman of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada. They discuss the optimistic outlook for the RV industry and factors impacting the market, including the health of the Canadian economy, regulatory issues and RV imports. To listen, visit CDF’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/GECDF.
Go RVing Canada announced the appointment of Chris Faulkner to the Go RVing Canada national board. According to a news release, Faulkner has worked in the RV industry for more than 20 years, starting off as an entrepreneur and moving into RV sales.
“We are really pleased that Chris has joined the Go RVing Canada board,” said Go RVing Canada Executive Director Christopher Mahony. “Chris’ enthusiasm in joining the board and his wisdom in this ever-changing market are qualities we know will benefit the Go RVing Canada community.”
Faulkner began working in the RV trade when he began his own small business performing trailer set-ups. Since that time, he has worked in every facet of the industry from the warehouse to the sales floor. In the last decade, Faulkner began working alongside his father, Roger Faulkner, in their family-run business, General Coach Canada. He has spent time in many different departments with his most recent role as vice president of sales and marketing.
“I really love my job,” said Faulkner. “I get to help people discover this activity which is really about people having fun and enjoying their free time. They are always happy to be exploring the RV lifestyle and it makes me happy to share this lifestyle with them.”
Having worked on many different committees, Faulkner has a well-rounded knowledge of the industry. He sits on the Camping in Ontario Convention committee as well as the Ontario Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (ORVDA) show committee. Faulkner has also been a member of the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association’s (CRVA) board.
“We are privileged to have board members who can provide different perspectives and strengths,” added Mahony. “Chris has so much insight into the market today that we know that the Go RVing Canada community will benefit greatly from his participation.”
Year-over-year Canadian retail sales of towable RVs declined 4% in May but were up 2.9% for the first five months, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI). The Grand Rapids. Mich.-based firm noted that the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario are incomplete for the month.
A sector-by-sector breakdown shows:
• Sales in the travel trailer sector edged down 3.7% in May, but showed a 4.7% gain for the five months.
• Fifth-wheel sales were flat for the month, up 1.7%, and rose 3.8% year-to-date.
• Folding camping trailer registrations dropped 20% in May and 17% for the five months.
• Recreational park trailers declined 36% for the month and 20.4% year-to-date.
Thor Industries Inc. was the overall Canadian towables sales leader through May with a 33.9% market share, followed by Forest River Inc. at 17.6% and Jayco Inc. at No. 3, holding a 17.5% share.
Thor also was also the leader in travel trailer sales for the five months with a 33.1% market share while Jayco was No. 2 with a 19.1% share, followed by Forest River, which captured a 16.4% share.
Thor held a commanding lead in the Canadian fifth-wheel sector through May, capturing a 44.4% market share, with Forest River at No. 2 posting an 18.5% share followed by Jayco at 9.8%. Thor was also No. 1 in park model sales with a 42.5% share followed by Forest River (19.5%) and General Coach (15.9%).
Jayco led folding camping trailer sales for the five months with a 30.1% market share while Forest River posted a 29.2% share and Forest River’s Coachmen RV division held an 18.3% share.
To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).
Go RVing Canada is kicking off the May long weekend by announcing another successful RV show season for the RV industry. According to a press release, thousands of Canadians visited RV shows this year as overall attendance numbers were higher than 2011.
In Alberta, RV show attendance broke records with an impressive 35% attendance increase in Calgary and a 25% increase in Edmonton. Promoters reported a noteworthy shift in the demographic of visitors as well, with more young families discovering the joy of RVing. Ottawa also saw a significant increase of 27% in attendance this year while the Toronto International RV show saw an increase of nearly 30% in attendance and the Hamilton show had a 7% increase.
“With show attendance reports indicating a successful RV show season, we project that this will be a busy summer for RVing across the country,” stated Go RVing Canada National Spokesperson Alana Fontaine. “We are excited for the summer RV season to get underway this May long weekend.
The May long weekend has traditionally been considered an official “kick-off” to summer and with more families discovering the joy of RVing, provincial parks and local campgrounds are expecting many RV visitors this summer. The Ontario government is encouraging families to, “Enjoy the great outdoors” this weekend, citing most provincial parks officially opening their doors.
“RVing is a very affordable vacation option because it is so flexible, not to mention how much fun it is. More families than ever are discovering the joy of RVing and it is sure to be an exciting RV season ahead,” concluded Fontaine.
For more information on the RV lifestyle, please visit www.GoRVing.ca.
Go RVing Canada announced today (March 23) the appointment of Christopher Mahony as the new executive director of Go RVing Canada. According to a press release, Mahony brings in “a strong presence, credibility and adeptness in collaborating with all levels of management, media, stakeholders and the public.”
“Go RVing Canada is thrilled to have Christopher join our team in the role of executive director,” said Jeff Hanemaayer, Go RVing Canada chairman. “Christopher’s broad business, association and communications expertise, along with his enthusiasm for the RV lifestyle, will bring in a whole range of exciting new ideas to the table.”
Mahony joins Go RVing Canada from his most recent executive director role for the International Confectionery Association. The release stated that he is a strong leader in managing and maintaining marketing strategies with ad agencies and PR firms. In addition, he holds 10 plus years of board experience with national associations.
“I am delighted to join Go RVing Canada in my new role,” said Mahony. “I have had a long-growing passion for RVing which began when I first drove across Canada in 2001. I am very much looking forward to continuing to showcase the fun, freedom and flexibility associated with RV travel – and not only that, it is incredibly affordable.”
The Go RVing Canada coalition was formed in 1997, and consists of RV manufacturers, RV dealers and campground operators. For more information, visit www.GoRVing.ca.