Recreational vehicles emerge as a viable alternative to air travel and hotel stays
While long distance travel has been brought to a standstill for much of 2020, that doesn’t mean people aren’t craving that summer getaway they’ve grown accustomed to.
As vacationers around the world were forced to change travel plans for this summer, they’ve been in search for viable alternatives. The recreational vehicle industry has so far emerged as a big winner, as RVs provide the opportunity to travel while socially distancing, and consumers can experience adventures they otherwise wouldn’t have considered.
Busier than usual
While these summer months are typically the busiest for RV rentals, several big players in the industry have noticed an undeniable surge in business. The change can certainly be attributed to travelers looking for a summer adventure while still feeling safe.
Cruise America, recently sent an email to its dealers, that said, “As many, if not all of you, have experienced, RV rental demand has skyrocketed, and the immediate and continued outlook for 2020 is very strong. The demand for RVs to supplement air and hotel vacations has increased fleet utilization throughout the balance of 2020 and maybe into 2021.”
A big trend rental outlets are seeing is first-time RV renters pouring in. Young families have been a main source in providing new business for RV rental outlets, as parents still want to provide their kids with a summer vacation, while remaining safe. With the vehicles being so self-sufficient, it certainly feels like the safest form of travel in the current climate.
With this newfound business, the industry now has an opportunity to make customers for life, as they’ve attracted customers who otherwise would’ve been on airplanes and hotel rooms.
Keeping up with the demand
With this unexpected surge in business, one of the interesting challenges RV businesses will have will be keeping up with the demand.
One RV rental operator in Colorado recently told the Denver Post that while her business had to be shut down in the spring, Escape Campervans saw a 150% increase in rentals for the summer. While the main newfound clientele has been millennials aged between 24-35, they have also attracted families and retirees.
“Campervan and RV rentals are made to socially distance and naturally made to self-isolate, so it makes a lot of sense for a lot of ages,” Katie Key, President of Escape Campervans said.
Manufacturers are now playing catch up to a certain extent, as factories slowly reopen around the country in midst of a surge in demand. In the meantime, sales and rentals are up across the board in the industry, so these are exciting times indeed.
With everyone searching for an escape from the uncertain times we’re living in, RVs seem to be the knight in shining armor, as an escape into nature can make anyone forget their worries. The next step for the industry will be to ensure they have the right resources to keep up with the demand and ensure that these new customers return when travel is back to normal.
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