As holidays taken in motorhomes and campervans reaches a new level of popularity in the UK, mobilehome companies on the other side of the world are struggling to survive.
It appears that while the British love affair with mobile homes gets stronger, negative effects are being felt across the seas in New Zealand. The result of UK holidaymakers taking motorhome insurance out for a mobile holiday in our green and pleasant land has drastically cut the number of tourists taking campervan holidays in New Zealand. As a result three of the biggest motorhome rental companies are being forced to merge under the umbrella of a new company.
KEA Campers, United Campervans and Tourism Holdings will merge under the umbrella name of THL and will face a battle to survive as visitor numbers to the islands have dropped by over 10%. The new company intends to shed around 15 to 25 jobs in a bid to whittle down the wage bill and the combined number of 2500 motorhomes held between the three companies will be lowered to 1800. First signs on the stock market seem to show traders believe the merger will work with shares up by 11 cents to 68 cents yesterday.
THL Chief Executive Grant Webster is confident of the future and confirmed that all the brands of motorhomes they use; Maui, Britz, Mighty, Kea, United, Alpha and Econo would be retained until 2014 at least and said the key to success would be by promoting New Zealand overseas. There is no doubt that columns of empty campervans can be seen in car parks close to New Zealand’s major airports and investors looking for a good deal on a motorhome will be conscious of the glut of vans about to come on the market.