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.
Go RVing Canada has announced the winners of its “Favorite RV Recipes” Contest, which was launched in early November.
Before finalizing the three prize winners, a “Top 20″ list of the submitted recipes was chosen and evaluated by a panel of judges, Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay, otherwise known as “The Cooking Ladies.”
Both judges are RV enthusiasts, the authors of nine cookbooks and former restaurateurs. They combine their appetite for adventure with meeting new people, seeing new places, sampling new foods and creating recipes.
• Grand prize winner of an RV Weekend Getaway: Valerie Gervais, Ottawa, Ontario, for her healthy and unique Baby Spinach & Raspberry Salad.
• Second prize of a $250 gift card for Williams-Sonoma online: Terri Gilson of Calgary, Alberta, for her quirky Pierogi Potato Salad.
•Third prize of a six piece set of Wusthof Steak Knives: Gail McBride of Edmonton, Alberta, for her tangy Pickled Shrimp.
Each one of the top 20 recipes will be revealed over the next 20 days starting this week on Go RVing Canada’s Facebook page. For more information on the results, visit www.GoRVing.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.
Editor’s Note: The following is a list of the Top 5 RVing trends in Canada during 2012 compiled by Go RVing Canada.
The past year saw growth on many levels for the RV industry. The year kicked off with outstanding RV show attendance figures and moved into the summer with a jump in RV sales. The RV industry has seen a change in ownership trends, overall growth of the industry, a national sales rebound, increased outdoor engagement and an evolution in the economic benefits for the RV traveler. The top 5 RV trends were:
• Majority of RV owners under the age of 55: The RV industry is seeing a significant increase in young families, busy career couples, outdoor enthusiasts as well as retirees embarking on their first RV adventure.
• Towable trailers most popular RVs sold in 2012: There are over one million RVs on Canada’s roads which translates to 14% of households owning an RV. Starting at just $6,000, consumers are taking advantage of the variety of units available. The most popular RVs sold this year were the towable RVs, which include the folding camping trailer and fifth wheel RV.
• While other travel sectors continue to struggle and see declines, RV sales surged 13% this year: By mid-summer, RV sales had increased on a national level by 13% compared to 2011 with Alberta seeing the largest sales increase of 42%. The biggest factor driving this is the affordability of the lifestyle as RV purchase prices are at historic lows. A number of other factors include intense competition in the industry, increased consumer awareness and a strong Canadian dollar.
• More Canadians are spending time outdoors: 90% of RV owners say RVing is the best way to see the country. Many campground operators have begun the process of upgrading their sites to accommodate the increase of RV travelers to their campgrounds. The Alberta government announced mid-summer that they were investing $24 million this year into modernizing several of its campgrounds, as they noted the increase in number of people using RVs versus tents.
• Raw cost savings: In February, Go RVing Canada released results of a cost comparison study conducted by PKF consulting that proved RV vacations can be up to 78% less expensive than all other forms of travel. This statistic has increased by 3% since the last study, conducted in 2009. The associated savings come from a variety of factors including the flexibility of cooking in your RV, as well as the low cost of accommodation.
“RVers share a great passion for the lifestyle and it’s easy to recognize the many benefits associated with it,” said Go RVing Executive Director, Chris Mahony. “What the 2012 RV trends show is that RVing clearly remains a popular vacation choice, especially for those who are looking for an affordable vacation that offers freedom, flexibility, and fun.”
Convinced that current lifestyle ads aren’t generating enough “recall” among Canadian consumers, the leadership of Go RVing Canada has informed the all-industry Go RVing Coalition that it will be developing its own ad creative for the next round of the Go RVing marketing campaign.
After the most recent coalition meeting at the RVDA Con/Expo in Las Vegas, however, Go RVing Canada spokesmen were downplaying the long-term significance of the decision and any negative impacts it might have on the growing cooperation between the two countries in partnering on the market expansion program which amounts to media buys this year of $10.3 million in the U.S. and $2 million in Canada.
The Canadians just think there might be a more effective creative approach for reaching their consumers versus the softer lifestyle imagery projected by the most recent slate of ads created last year by the coalition’s creative sub-committee and its Dallas-based agency, The Richards Group.
“It’s all about recall,” says current Go RVing Canada Chairman Darren Gelowitz of Village RV, Regina, Saskatchewan, who also serves on RVDA of Canada’s board. “In our studies, we found the recall on the ‘Away’ campaign wasn’t as memorable as some of the previous studies. That’s the only reason.”
Consequently, says Gelowitz, Go RVing Canada plans to go into production shortly with its own 2013 creative.
“It will have a slight slant on things,” he added. “’Away’ was a great commercial but it was more about destinations, where ours is going to do a little more tugging on the heartstrings of Canadian families. We really embrace the cooperation we have with Go RVing in the States, and trust that, going down the road, things will turn out good.”
“I see the Go RVing Away campaign in the U.S. as a huge success,” Chris Mahony, executive director of Go RVing Canada, told RVBUSINESS.com. “For us in Canada, it was very well liked. Some of the recall was OK, but when we really delved into our tracking study for our recall number — and we are doing a sample size of around 2,000 people — the recall was the lowest we’ve seen in the last few years.
“It was significant for us because we just pumped up our media budget by 129%,” Mahony explained. “We’ve been tracking these results for about 10 years. Essentially, with those recall numbers where they were, despite the likability of the ads, the board of directors and our (Canadian) agency felt it would be best for Go RVing Canada to potentially look at new creative for 2013.”
Go RVing Canada, in turn, will work for more of an “emotional hook” that better appeals to Canada’s own demographic. “We are going after an alarming societal trend where we see over-programming, over-scheduling and overly busy families,” Mahony commented. “So, we want to start the ad with a very detached, disconnected family and show how they can connect with one another through the RV experience.
“It’s a bit younger approach,” he added, “and we are using some dialogue which we hope will add some comedy into it as well. In speaking with industry members and a lot of consumers, the (current ‘Away’) ad was very well liked. It was a super ad. It’s just that, for our numbers, our demographic, the recall wasn’t quite there. We just didn’t quite get their attention.”
Asked to comment on the Canadian decision, RVIA President Richard Coon, whose association owns the campaign along with RVDA and currently collects and distributes seal fee assessments for both countries under an agreement reached within the past year, issued the following statement:
“We’ve worked hard the last three years or so to ensure that the Canadian entities — the dealer organization and manufacturer organization — are hand in hand with us as we developed the ‘Away’ program. They used one of the ads this past year. And it’s my understanding, even though it was successful and people liked it, that the retention wasn’t where it ought to be in their opinion, so they are thinking perhaps of doing something different next year. We would hope that they keep us advised about what they are going to do as we continue to work together as a team on Go RVing and promotional advertising. We’ll see where it goes.”
Go RVing Canada is launching its new interactive website for Canadian RV travelers at www.GoRVing.ca. According to a press release, the updated website is designed to serve as the primary resource for Canadian consumers, highlighting dealer and campground information, RV tips, special features and social media initiatives.
“The new website is user-friendly and offers better functionality, easier navigation and will feature upgraded tools for Canadian travelers,” said Go RVing Canada Executive Director Chris Mahony. “It’s a quick and easy, one-stop shop for RVers to gather all of the information they need on the lifestyle before hitting the road.”
Features include the upgraded “Find a Campground Near You” tool where users can simply plug in their home or destination postal code and a find a list of campgrounds in the area. The same postal code tool is available to find a local RV dealer who can assist with the purchase or rental of an RV.
The website is broken down into categories where users can easily navigate to a topic or question. First time RVers looking for information on the different types of units available, rental and buying tips and Canadian RV regulations will find everything they need under the header ‘RV 101.’ Highlights for more experienced RVers include travel tips, tourist information, RV show details and popular recipes under the headers Lifestyle, Adventure, Events and Community.
“RV sales across the country saw an increase of 13% during the first quarter of 2012,” added Mahony. “It’s clear, Canadians are eager to get out on the open roads and try out the lifestyle first-hand. We are committed to providing Canadians with a first point of contact for quick and easy access on all things RV at www.GoRVing.ca.”
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.”
In preparation for the upcoming Canada’s Parks Day 2012, Go RVing Canada is providing tips for a fun and affordable family RV adventure, according to a press release.
On July 21, Canadian parks and historic sites from coast-to-coast will host fun and educational events for the whole family. Go RVing Canada is excited to support the many parks and historic sites which Canadians flock to each year.
RV vacations are a flexible and fun way to visit many different Canadian tourism hotspots on a family vacation. RV travel is incredibly flexible because you can bring along all the comforts of home and turn a regular weekend into a getaway at a moment’s notice. Canadian parks often have educational events and family oriented activities available, making the RV getaway a fun-filled outing for everyone.
“Canada’s Parks Day is a great reason to get in your RV and visit your local historic site or park,” said Emily Reid, Go RVing Canada’s national spokesperson. “RVing is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, and with so many beautiful parks across Canada offering RV friendly sites, you can enjoy an RV adventure in any province.”
A typical family RV vacation can be up to 78% less expensive per day than other forms of vacation travel. The savings associated comes from the flexibility of cooking in your RV, as well as the low cost of accommodation. RV campsites range from $25-$45 dollars a night and include hookups for water, electricity and waste to service every RV need.
“Around 90% of owners say that their number one priority is seeing the country,” said Reid. “Why not seize Canada Parks Day as an opportunity to visit a new part of the province and explore the great outdoors in an RV?”
For more information on the RV lifestyle, please visit www.GoRVing.ca.
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.