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Camping trends in Germany: Travellers’ preferences and habits – ADAC Study Part 2

3 min read

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


The ADAC survey analysing the camper target group provides informative insights into the preferences and travel habits of German campers. For 55% of camping holidaymakers, Germany is the preferred destination, with Bavaria and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern being particularly popular. Italy is the most popular destination within Europe.

The appeal of the coast and sea is considerable, with 48% of campers preferring to spend their leisure time right there. Another 20% prefer rivers or lakes. The decision between owning or renting a camper van depends on various factors. A third of campers prefer their own vehicle, just under one in four rents a motorhome. One in ten uses a rental vehicle for which a fee is charged.

The peak season for camping holidays is between May and September. 53% of campers experience their camping adventure in July and August. As camping is often seen as a communal experience, 75% of respondents enjoy their holiday with their partner or family. Only 6% prefer the adventure alone.

In terms of length of stay, 44% of campers say they spend a maximum of seven nights in one place. One third of the respondents prefer a stay of 8 to 14 nights. In terms of budget, the target group spends an average of €849 per adult or young person (even €972 for ADAC members) and €404 per child under 14.


Popular activities on camping holidays: A wide range of leisure activities

Certain activities play an important role in connection with camping holidays. About 70% of the respondents use their camping holidays to indulge in swimming or to explore nature while hiking. More than half of the respondents perceive cultural and urban excursions as well as cycling tours as relevant activities during camping holidays.

Of the cycling trips, classic bikes without motorised assistance account for 35%, while just under 20% opt for e-bikes. Almost a third of campers are enthusiastic about water sports activities such as stand-up paddling, kayaking or diving and snorkelling. Boating is also very popular, with motorised boats being mentioned most often at 13%. About 20% of campers choose to rent or charter a boat, while only 5% own their own boat.

These results show the variety of leisure activities during a camping holiday that can be enjoyed by campers. Camping enthusiasts thus have a wide range of activities to choose from to make their holidays varied and fulfilling.


Online behaviour of campers: Information sourcing and booking patterns

Campers’ information gathering and booking decisions reveal a multi-faceted picture that highlights the importance of online sources:

For over 60% of the campers surveyed, online information as well as recommendations from acquaintances and friends are essential sources of information. These are used intensively, especially during the planning phase of a camping holiday.
Above all, the websites of campsites and holiday resorts are the focus of interest. Around 60% of respondents use these online sources frequently, especially in the phase of preparing for the trip and increasingly also during the camping holiday. Specialised camping portals on the internet are visited by just under half of the campers, especially for trip preparation.

Social media also contribute to information gathering: More than a third of campers use social media platforms, especially in the planning phase and occasionally during the camping holiday. WhatsApp (28%), Instagram (27%), YouTube (27%), online forums (24%) and Facebook (23%) play an important role.

There are different preferences when it comes to booking methods: 36% of respondents book directly at the campsite. About every fifth camper uses booking portals on the internet, while 17% decide spontaneously on site and travel without prior reservation.


Focus on target groups and online bookability

Targeting and seamless online bookability are essential for camping companies. With the increasing trend towards online booking and digital decision making, targeting the needs of travellers is becoming more and more crucial. The camping industry faces the challenge of adapting to this development in order to offer memorable experiences and convenient booking options.

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You can find the full ADAC study here (German).