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Camping Tourism 2023: What changes in the orientation and preferences of campers does the Focus Caravaning Business Report show?

2 min read

+++ This text has been automatically translated from German +++


The camping sector is going through several developments in 2023 that provide insight into the changing preferences of campers. Although a considerable number of 18.2 million people still succumb to the allure of caravanning, there is a slight decline of 8.5 percent compared to previous years. Financial services are not used optimally by prospective buyers. Inflation influences purchasing decisions and leads to shifts towards smaller motorhomes and caravans. The private rental market is growing, while digital services and online bookings are gaining in importance.

Against this backdrop, the recently published study by gsr Unternehmensberatung and MiiOS GmbH sheds insightful light on the current situation. The study not only sheds light on the challenges facing the camping industry, but also provides valuable insights into campers’ preferred sources of information and travel interests. From these findings, we have compiled the most important points for you:


Caravans & motorhomes: trends in ownership and rental

Camping enthusiasts are embracing freedom and adventure, whether they are caravan owners, motorhome renters, motorhome owners or motorhome renters. Both groups enjoy unique opportunities:

Owners – A home on wheels: Caravan owners use their mobility to spend an average of 55 days a year on the road. Motorhome owners are even on the road 64 days a year.

Renting – Flexibility and variety: Motorhome and caravan renters are on the road for about 20 to 23 days a year. The idea of a mobile home without maintenance costs has a special appeal for many campers.


The challenges of choosing a site

61% of the campers surveyed choose campsites abroad, with 12% citing Italy as their favourite destination. In Germany, 37% of campers choose a campsite, with Bavaria being the most popular state with a 20% share.
However, there can be obstacles when choosing a campsite:

One in four campers does not always get the place they want. The increasing possibility of online booking gives campers the flexibility to look for alternatives. 77% switch to other pitches in the same region, 22% look for new pitches outside the desired region.

Online booking is indispensable

A clear majority of 65% prefer places that can be booked online, which strongly influences booking behaviour. The availability of a solid digital infrastructure also contributes to improving the booking experience for campers. This is evidenced by the fact that 69% of campers search online for alternative campsites when the desired site is already fully booked. Price consciousness is another important aspect, with 47% of campers surveyed being cost conscious and 55% actively comparing prices online.

Adaptability as the key to success

In 2023, German camping tourism experienced a slight decline in visitor numbers, but at the same time clear developments are emerging. The importance of online bookings is increasing, while the camping industry is struggling with the effects of inflation and campers do not always get their preferred pitches. In this situation, adaptability and online bookability remain crucial to success in attracting campers.
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