The recreational vehicle sector of tourism is experiencing steady growth, despite the Global Financial Crisis and slump in domestic tourism in Australia. It is thought that the market may contribute up to $315 million per year in Australia. Despite the strength of this sector, very little research exists on the motivations and behaviour of RVers. Our research has found that RVers are far from the stereotypical retired grey nomad: are active users of social media and range from young adults in rental vans through to retirees in motorhomes. RVers are highly connected travellers and often cohesive group of travellers who are active users of social media and technology.
The Recreational Vehicle Use (RV) project began in 2010 and is now being rolled out on a national scale with support from a number of state and national organisations. We are following three lines of enquiry: The first is an exploration of the environmental, social and economic impacts of Free Camping, which is contentious and unresolved issue throughout Australia. Our research has segmented the RVing market in terms of their motivations and preference for free camping. This research will benefit industry groups, businesses and land management agencies in attracting Rvers to commercial campgrounds or free/low costs sites. It will also assist land management agencies and commercial operators with the ongoing management of infrastructure to support RVers.
Our second line of inquiry uses neo-tribal theory to explore the behaviour, motivations and lifestyles of RVers. This work has been published in several international publications and at conferences and continues to give marketing insights into the behaviour of RVers, including the heterogeneity of the market.
Our third line of enquiry explores the use of social media by RVers. RVers range from young people in rented vans through to retirees in Motorhomes. Our research has show they are highly connected with multiple forms of technology and rely heavily on word of mouth.
Interested in any aspect of this research? We are actively seeking Honours students, PHD candidates and industry partners to further our research. For further information please contact Dr Anne Hardy at Anne.Hardy@utas.edu.au.
Authorised by the Head of School, Management
6 September, 2012