The following article was written by RVDA President Eleonore Hamm.
The RVDA of Canada Board held its last meeting in July. Key agenda items included reviewing our strategic objectives, approving our next budget and a presentation on the Repair Event Cycle Time project (RECT) which focuses on parts identification, parts stocking, warranty processes to help reduce the cycle time and improve customer satisfaction. We also looked at a few new members benefit programs which will be made available soon.
In the Canadian RV market, sales surged strongly in the first half of the year despite the strict restrictions in place in many parts of the country. Although RV sales moderated near the end of last year, sales in the first half of the year came in at 30,376 units, up an impressive 53% from the same period last year. This represents a significant improvement from the abyss the market was in last spring. Sales were mainly driven by pent-up demand and improvement in overall economic conditions from last year. While the strong market performance is positive news and provides some optimism for the rest of the year, the current inventory shortages remain concerning.
Advocacy and Government relations continue to be an important aspect of the RVDA of Canada’s work and this includes our annual pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.
The implementation of the RVDA of Canada’s recommendations will contribute significantly to the RV industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and ensure the continued success of the RV and camping industry in Canada. To ensure the long-term sustainability of the RV sector and to facilitate recovery, we recommend that the federal government introduces a robust recovery package to jumpstart the RV and camping industry through incentive programs to encourage RV purchase and investment in camping infrastructure. This stimulus program should include continuous support for struggling businesses at least until summer 2022, and support for skilled workers as well as investment in public campground facilities.
This year’s recommendations were as follows:
Recommendation 1: As the vaccination campaign ramps up across the country, the federal government needs to provide continuous support to struggling businesses and workers until the summer of 2022 to ensure long-term business continuity.
Recommendation 2: Economists agree that recovery post-crisis will slow and choppy, therefore the government should make investments now to facilitate economic recovery in the next couple of years. The recovery measures need to include incentives for RV purchase and RVing post-crisis as well as investment in RV and camping infrastructure across Canada.
Recommendation 3: Due to the geographic constraints of the existing programs, the Government of Canada should create an Apprenticeship Travel Grant that could be used by those who are required to travel to undertake an apprenticeship training program. This Grant should be targeted towards those enrolled in programs that are not offered in their city, town or province.
Recommendation 4: This Grant should be a taxable cash grant of $2,000-$4,000 per person per year to provide support for such items as travel costs, lodging, and care arrangements for families
Recommendation 5: As RVing is a large component of tourism, both internationally and domestically, investment in camping and RVing infrastructure will play a crucial role in the overall contributions of the tourism industry to future economic development and prosperity post-COVID-19. Upgrades in infrastructure are essential if we want to be able to ensure the future of this industry and make it more accessible to all Canadians.
Convention Registration is Now Open
Registration is open for the 2021 RVDA Convention in Las Vegas. This year’s convention/expo is slated for November 8-12 and will be an in-person event bringing together dealers, manufacturers, and RV industry business partners for the premier dealer education and networking event of the year.
Best-selling author and leadership coach Nathan Jamail will deliver the keynote presentation “Coaching Your Teams to Excellence” during Tuesday’s opening general session.
Confirmed speakers include Michael Rees-A World of Training, Shawn Moran-Brown & Brown Insurance, and three new speakers: Annie Wheeler-Rusch and Kathi Greear, both from Wheeler Advertising, and Tanya Miller-Secret Weapon Media Agency. In addition to the tracked workshops, a two-hour mini-rental school will be held Tuesday afternoon.
To maximize in-person participation, the 2021 RV Dealers Virtual Convention/Expo will open November 22, after the live event concludes. The event will offer recorded content submitted by many of the live event speakers. The 20 to 30-minute videos will recap what speakers presented at the convention. Access to the virtual event is included with the fee for the live event.
We have extended the advance deadline discount to September 30th.