The war in Iraq ended and the RV market withstood another shock to the system and continues to perform better than other sectors of the travel and tourism industry, according to Dave Humphreys, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
But Humphreys, during a luncheon speech today (June 9) during the RVIA’s annual Committee Week gathering in Washington, D.C., cautioned the RV industry against becoming complacent.
“It’s very difficult to keep our industry’s success in perspective,” Humphreys said. “Last year we were all marveling the success we had after 9/11. The best description I could come up with was: We really did dodge a bullet, and that bullet hit our competition, and that would probably be a long-term issue.
“Well, now we’re here a year later and USA Today is describing our industry as the shining star of the tourism industry,” Humphreys continued. “Our strength is continuing and the tourism industry’s problems are far from over. It seems to me that is something that we need to think about and remember.
“Certainly the Go RVing ad campaign and the Committee on Excellence (consumer satisfaction survey) work is the envy of our competition,” he said. “The president of Carnival Cruise lines wants us to write a chapter in his book on how to market the travel and tourism industry, because he thinks this is the best thing he’s ever heard of.”
On Friday (June 6), Humphreys spoke to the heads of international boat show organizations and leisure marine trade associations from Asia, Australia, Europe, Canada and the U.S., and, Humphreys said, “They are absolutely mystified by what we’ve been able, as an industry, to accomplish, because they feel they deliver a lot of the same things that we deliver. And yet their numbers are no where close to what this industry has done.
“So, I think the challenge for us is to not only understand that perspective and remember it, but to stay hungry because we have an opportunity to gobble up market share and to keep it for a long time,” Humphreys saidd.