This study evaluates the economic contribution of international freedom campers to New Zealand over the period 1997–2018. Using the International Visitor Survey (IVS) data, we categorise tourism activities undertaken by freedom campers as free, low value and high value and estimate whether over this period the proportion for each category increases or decreases. We also compare the economic value of the activities undertaken by freedom campers with those undertaken by tourists staying in commercial accommodation. The findings show that over the last 21 years, freedom campers have undertaken more free activities compared to those staying in hotels, motels and luxury accommodation. However, their uptake of high expense activities are similar to tourists staying in B&Bs or homestay, and camping/national park. Accordingly, this research note demystifies the perception that freedom campers are cheap tourists with nothing to contribute economically.
There is a cost of US$44 to obtain a copy of the article.
Abstract included in PLA’s Research Connections article in Parks and Leisure Australia Vol 22.4 Summer 2019