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Extend the peak season by two weeks – with guests from southern Germany

5 min read

In Germany, almost all schoolchildren have a six-week summer holiday. Each of the 16 federal states has its own holiday schedule. There are some special features that campsites can take advantage of. The two southern German states are particularly interesting for extending the peak season: Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have later summer holidays than almost all other states in Germany – until mid-September. This offers campsites great opportunities to optimise their occupancy rates by adapting their services, prices and marketing accordingly.

Extend the season, increase capacity utilisation – with southern German families

Another advantage: this is the case every year. The southern German federal states do not participate in the German “rotation” of holiday dates from year to year. Federal states in the north, west and east of Germany have summer holidays on a different date almost every year – “sometimes early, sometimes in the middle, sometimes late”. However, they are almost never as late as those in southern Germany: In Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the dates are similar every year, for example 2024 until 7/9 September, 2025 until 13/15 September and 2026 until 12/14 September.

Why it is worthwhile for many campsites to focus on the first half of September

The target group of families from Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg is large and affluent. Almost 25 million people live in the two federal states combined. There are around 3.6 million families with children. The gross domestic product per capita and incomes are above the German average. The affinity to holiday destinations in Italy, Croatia, southern France, Hungary, Austria or Switzerland is high; the travel distances are short. Campsites in Spain, central and western France, the Benelux countries, Germany and Scandinavia are also looking forward to welcoming guests from southern Germany.

The late summer holidays have many advantages for guests from southern Germany:

  • It’s not as crowded in late summer as it is in July and August
  • The temperatures in Italy, Croatia, southern France etc. are often pleasant, even for swimming. It is often not quite as hot as in July or August
  • Last but not least: the prices are usually a little lower

In addition, many southern German families know and appreciate going on summer holidays from the end of August to the beginning or middle of September. Some parents are “annoyed” when they have to take leave from their employer in the first half of the holidays. They are all the more pleased if they can take time off in the second half of the summer holidays. Some large southern German companies even organise company holidays.

The fourth and fifth week of the six-week summer holidays are often booked – usually the last week of August and the first week of September. It is also easy for Bavarian and Baden-Württemberg families to “wait” for this late summer holiday. After all, they have often already enjoyed two weeks of Whitsun holidays in May or June. This is also a southern German speciality.

Campsites can target guests from southern Germany with little effort in order to optimise occupancy and turnover. This effectively extends the season, which often used to end in mid to late August. Many campsites on the Mediterranean or on the Upper Italian lakes have already had good experiences with extending the season.

It’s so easy to extend the season – three practical tips:

  • Keep pools, catering, kids’ club and service facilities open
    The particular advantage of this is that there is hardly any “idle time” for staff and facilities. The southern Germans come when guests from other countries or other parts of Germany leave.Because many campsites have long since extended their services and offers to the off-season, guests’ expectations are also high. If the pool complex, youth club and children’s club were closed and the restaurant, shop or service facilities were not open or only open to a very limited extent, holidaymakers from southern Germany might turn away.
  • Adjust prices to manage demand
    It is usually sufficient to set prices for late August and early/mid-September only slightly below those of the high season. This makes this “late high season” attractive for southern German families and clearly differentiates it from the actual high season in the price table. With eye-catching offers for these weeks, such as “14 days travel, 10 days pay”, you will also attract attention and demand.We recommend lowering the prices a little further in the very last week of the southern German holiday season (in 2024 this is the week from 2-7 September, in 2025 from 6-13 September). This will further extend the season. Bavarian and Baden-Württemberg families will be motivated to stay until the end of their holidays. This pricing policy is also unlikely to result in any gaps in capacity utilisation. This is because demand is usually high enough before the end of August.
  • Optimise communication and marketing
    In online marketing in particular, it is easy to target Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg residents. Whether with Google advertising, social media, banner adverts or collaborations with bloggers: Use the opportunities to direct your online marketing specifically at the large target group of southern German families. This will reduce wastage and increase the efficiency of your advertising budget. You can also create corresponding landing pages/subpages on your website and direct southern German guests to them.A kind of geo-targeting is even possible offline: if you do press work, for example, you can target large southern German media. If you are present at trade fairs, you can inspire holidaymakers from these federal states at large trade fairs in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. The largest camping and holiday trade fair in southern Germany is CMT. It attracts over 200,000 consumers to Stuttgart almost every year. CMT takes place at the beginning of January – an ideal time because many families with schoolchildren plan and book their holidays early.
  • Make your pitch bookable
    Check availability in your campsite software. Open your availability for portals such as PiNCAMP. Because users from Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg are also strongly represented on PiNCAMP: Over 30% of German web users who search for or book their camping holiday on PiNCAMP come from southern Germany. That’s over 2 million users.

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Your feedback is welcome

What experiences have you had with southern German families with schoolchildren? What campaigns and ideas have you had success with? We look forward to your feedback!