Representatives from the Canadian RV and camping industry are calling on the Canadian government to invest in tourism policies and infrastructure upgrades to support the industry’s continued growth.
As per a release, the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Camping and RV Council (CCRVC) are pushing for a fair tax regime for campgrounds across the country and an increase in investments in tourism policies and infrastructure upgrades to support private campground owners and RV park operators.
According to Josée Bédard, chair of RVDA, “RVing and camping is part of what makes us Canadian. Most of us had the chance, as children, to explore and visit the most incredible places and scenery this country has to offer. On top of that, our industry has a considerable economic impact that can be felt across the nation and especially in the rural parts of Canada. The manufacturing, purchasing, servicing and use of recreation vehicles contributes billions to the Canadian economy each year.”
The RV and camping industry has a significant economic impact on the Canadian economy. In 2022, the industry, powered by more than 67,200 employees, generated more than CA$3.4 billion for the tourism sector, CA$1.9 billion in tax revenue, and CA$2.7 billion in labor income. Bédard highlighted that there are more than 4,231 campgrounds across Canada, each offering a unique experience for Canadians and international visitors.
However, the industry’s continued growth is not assured as 75% of campsites lack the necessary services for RVs. Private campground owners and RV park operators require infrastructure upgrades to accommodate new camping and RV technologies. The RVing industry contributes billions to the national economy, but it needs the proper infrastructure in existing parks and modernized campground and National Parks infrastructure to satisfy the steady increase in demand.
“Our industry needs reassurance by the government that financial investments will be made to modernize campground and National Parks infrastructure to a level that satisfies the steady increase in demand,” said Ellie Abucay-Giammattolo, Chair of the Canadian Camping and RV Council.”
She also underscored that without clear commitments from this government, CCRVC members would enter a new era for the tourism industry that is focused on clean energy without having the proper electrification, transportation, and connectivity infrastructure necessary to support this transition. This government must continue providing financial support to increase electrical infrastructure by financing and grants to businesses investing in EV infrastructure.
The RV and camping industry also needs more skilled workers and tradespeople, affecting its growth. Technicians play a central role in RVs moving, and less than 50% of them have their Red Seal Designation. An RV service technician is only available in British Columbia and Alberta, and programs quickly reach full enrollment, leaving dozens of qualified students on waiting lists.
To address this issue, the industry calls on the government to implement cost-limited solutions, such as increasing the Labour Mobility Tax Grant’s availability to skilled tradespeople temporarily relocating to pursue their Red Seal certification. This will help business owners find the right people and retain skilled workers, enabling sustained tourism growth.
Private campground owners and RV park operators stand to benefit significantly from increased government investment in tourism policies and infrastructure upgrades. With proper infrastructure and skilled workers, they can provide better services to customers, increase their revenue, and contribute to the Canadian economy’s growth.
The Canadian government must work with the RV and camping industry to find ways to find, train, and retain skilled workers and invest in modernizing campground and provincial parks’ infrastructure to support the industry’s continued growth.
Featured image from the Canadian Camping and RV Council.