In response to high gas prices and media hype about an emerging “staycations” trend keeping Americans home this summer, the Go RVing Coalition and Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) public relations department are combining efforts to promote the “affordability and long-term value of RV travel and ownership.”
Through several press releases, RVIA’s public relations team has communicated to the nation’s media that RVs are the most cost-effective way for a family to vacation, even when fuel prices go up. This was the major finding of the vacation cost comparison study conducted by PKF Consulting for RVIA earlier this year.
A national sample of approximately 500 RV owners concurred in the association’s latest Campfire Canvass survey on summer RV travel; more than 80% said they save by vacationing in an RV.
“Our message to the media and the public is that economical RV camping vacations have become even more popular this summer, with campground reservations up 23% year to date, and rentals expected to end the year 18% higher than last,” said RVIA Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Gary LaBella. “RV camping is the ideal family vacation choice in these times, and it’s a great time to buy or rent an RV for years of travel savings and enjoyment.”
RVIA said the news media has responded to the “counterintuitive story” as the theme has spawned several newspaper stories, including coverage in the Kansas City Star along with papers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Arizona. The story also appeared on the FOX Business website.
Meanwhile, Go RVing is communicating directly to consumers that RV vacations are the most economical, and that now is a great time to buy.
The home page of GoRVing.com features expanded information about the economics of RVing, under the new tag line, “Go Affordably. Go RVing.” Through June, over 1.5 million people had visited the site this year.
Go RVing’s new travel blog, which is attracting more visitors than any web page other than the home page and free video order form, recently included a personal accounting of author Brad Herzog’s savings on travel with his family this summer. One consumer responded, “Might I add: You save money by not cooling an entire house, all the appliances in an RV are designed for energy efficiency, the average American uses 100 gallons per day of water – our 175 gal tank lasted the two of us a week.”
Herzog is making these points forcefully in TV and newspaper interviews nationwide on his current RVIA spokesperson tour.
RVIA said dealers and campgrounds are being given new ammunition to tie into RVIA and Go RVing’s value campaign in the form of new headlines being posted on the local “ad builder” for Go RVing tie-in program participants. The online image library for local advertising and marketing use is also being updated to emphasize smaller, fuel-efficient product types.