With show season well underway, we are very pleased to report that people are attending RV retail shows in great numbers. One of our provincial RVDAs even reported a 25% increase in attendance over last year. The good news is that consumers are also making investments in their RV lifestyle experience!
Sales are strong and this is a clear indication that Camping and RVing continue to be a favourable way to spend quality leisure time.
This February we have officially unveiled our Canadian RV Industry Economic Impact Analysis. This is a great tool to for all of us to have. Our findings have highlighted that in 2011, the total economic activity associated with the Canadian recreation vehicle industry reached $14.5 billion. Canadians spent $2.9 billion at RV dealers in 2011, $1.4 billion on storage, insurance and accessories, and they spent $7.0 billion on goods and services as they travelled across Canada, of which $1.2 billion was spent at campgrounds and RV parks. This is great information to share with government officials at all levels and will certainly assist us in our advocacy efforts.
Speaking of messaging to government, you will recently have been emailed an advocacy survey. Your feedback is very important for helping us formulate the correct messages for our April Lobby Day in Ottawa. Some of the key messages that we have been working on include recommending to the Finance Committee that the duties on aftermarket RV parts and add-ons be reduced to zero to address the changes in the 2012 Federal Budget which increased the value of goods travelers can bring back into Canada free of taxes and duties; and, for the federal government to continue its strong support and promotion of the skilled trades.
Please also check your inboxes for an email inviting you to participate in the 2012 RVDA National RV Payroll Survey. The survey collects vital information on RV dealership employment statistics, compensation packages and human resource needs. We collect this information annually so that we can provide you with a comprehensive guide of what is happening in our industry both nationally and in your province. By completing the survey, you will not only gain access to an invaluable compensation assessment tool for our industry but you will also assist us in confidently quoting accurate statistics about our industry. All data is kept anonymous. If we all work together, we can make great strides forward.
I would like to remind you that as a member of the RVDA of Canada through your provincial or regional RVDA, you have access to a number of benefit programs, which are designed to assist businesses involved in the RV industry. For example, we have a discount program with Acklands-Grainger, Canada’s largest distributor of industrial, safety and fastener products. Acklands-Grainger provides a broad array of products in very competitive prices in maintenance and repair & operations (MRO) categories. Contact our national office for further details.
I wish you all an upbeat spring season!
Ian Moore, Chairman of the Board
RVDA of Canada