As the coronavirus situation deepens once more, it’s been announced by Caravan Industry Victoria (CIV) that Melbourne Leisurefest 2020 has been cancelled.
In a statement issued, August 14, 2020, the CIV cited the introduction by the Victorian Government of Stage 3 lockdown for regional Victoria and Stage 4 for metropolitan Melbourne as the catalyst for this difficult decision. It’s the realisation that these restrictions not being lifted in a reasonable time for Leisurefest to proceed. The event takes place at Sandown Racecourse and is a hugely popular drawcard for visitors and a terrific trade outlet opportunity. Both of these are greatly in need.
A CIV board meeting of August 12 concluded that the event should be cancelled based on a cited: “lack of clear direction from the Victorian Government as to whether they would allow a show like Melbourne Leisurefest to operate”.
CIV Chief Executive Rob Lucas said, “We know this is disappointing, however, we must comply with the current Victorian Government restrictions to keep members, exhibitors and consumers safe. The council was also mindful we were obliged to provide as much advance notice as possible to members and exhibitors.”
It’s another difficult decision to take and one that will have an emotional impact on business already doing it tough under on and off again restrictions to trade as the situation continues to throw curveballs.
Mr Lucas continued, “Exhibitors, members and consumers can rest assured we are, and will continue to, lobbying the Victorian Government to ease restrictions for outdoor caravan and camping shows to allow the Association, members and exhibitors to operate in a COVID-19 safe manner.”
However, despite the uncertainty, things are not entirely gloomy in the outlook for the industry as a whole. With limited and restricted international travel for the foreseeable future, it is anticipated the caravan industry will see significant growth when restrictions ease. This will ensure that businesses in the industry can showcase and sell their products (with COVID-safe plans in place), which is vital for the future of the industry.
We look forward to Leisurefest 2021!