NCC’S MANIFESTO FOR THE FUTURE OF THE UK CARAVAN, MOTORHOME AND PARK HOME INDUSTRIES
As a new government came to power and a new decade began, the NCC (the trade association for the leisure vehicle and park home industries), has published its ‘manifesto’. This headlines what the NCC believes is needed from Government to ensure the continuing health of the touring caravan, motorhome, caravan holiday home and residential park home industries.
The NCC suggests promoting the industry’s goods and services through a Best of British trade class, supported by a dedicated marketing brand for products made in Britain. Around 85% of leisure vehicles (tourers, motorhomes and holiday caravans) and all residential park homes are manufactured in the UK.
In the post-Brexit era, it calls for a low or nil percentage export tariff to protect British products. The introduction of a Government-backed incentive for a caravan and motorhome scrappage scheme is suggested.
The significant contribution made by the caravan and motorhome sector to domestic tourism is often overlooked and frequently underestimated. The sector should be exempt from proposed tourism taxes, which could prove counter-productive by acting as a barrier to development and investment, and a deterrent to visitors.
Internet connectivity should be improved across the UK, as businesses need it and visitors expect it.
There are not enough detailed tourism statistics for the sector – support is needed for additional vital research.
Government must commit to coastal regeneration, as it is pivotal for British seaside towns – and significant numbers of holiday caravans, lie in flood-prone areas.
Measures to offset effects of climate change should not be an undue burden for tourism businesses.
Tax and regulation
In a high-profile lobbying campaign, the NCC is asking that new generation motorhomes be reclassified for the purposes of VED. A motorhome is not a car and should not be taxed as one. More about this issue and the NCC’s campaign can be found at www.fairmotorhometax.org
A fair and transparent system for registering campervan and motorhome conversions should be set in place.
The impact of business rates should be reviewed – these have a significant impact on businesses large and small.
There should be greater recognition of residential park homes (‘mobile homes’) as an alternative, cost-effective and sustainable housing tenure. Planners should have a good understanding of park homes, as they can help to alleviate issues relating to available housing stock and affordable options.
Finally, any additional regulation of the sector should be carefully researched and proportionate.
Training and retention of a skilled workforce
There should be investment in training across the industry (manufacturing, supplying, tourism, hospitality)
Tourism and hospitality should be better promoted as a career choice. The NCC Training Academy should be recognised as the body which maintains safety and responsibility as the lead objective in industry specific training / qualifications.
Post-Brexit immigration reforms have the potential to destabilise workforces. Government should consider the complex requirements of staffing in the tourism industry before committing toa n immigration system that runs the risk of leaving e.g. park operators unable to maintain the required staffing levels to ensure a high-quality product for visitors.
The National Caravan Council (the NCC) is the UK trade association representing the touring caravan, motorhome, caravan holiday home and residential park home industries.
The NCC represents more than 550 companies across 850 different UK outlets, and is the only UK trade association that represents the entire supply chain, including holiday/residential parks, dealerships, manufacturers, workshops, and suppliers of specialist services and products.