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Opportunities and challenges of specialising in a target group – Episode 1: Nudist camping

5 min read

Every campsite has its own charm and target groups. The surrounding landscape, location, campsite characteristics, service facilities, climate and, last but not least, the team and philosophy of the campsite operator also influence which guests feel comfortable on the campsite.

Many holidaymakers have special interests in their leisure activities and have corresponding demands on their campsite. Campsites that appeal to these guests with a clear focus, special offers and services have a good chance of being favoured for bookings.

Another advantage: guests who appreciate a special camping and holiday style and are able to realise this at the campsite often thank the campsite with recommendations. This happens offline in conversations with other guests from the target group or online in reviews, on social media, on camping and holiday portals or in special forums for the target group.

However, specialising in one target group also poses challenges for the campsite: This is because it can mean that other target groups do not (or no longer) feel addressed. This is especially true for target groups with particularly clear characteristics such as naturist campers.

For this reason, we are starting our series on special target groups with the campsites that are fully or partially dedicated to naturist holidays.

Nudist camping – a niche market, but strong

Nudist culture can polarise. There are real fans, and there are people who don’t feel comfortable taking their clothes off or meeting naturists in their clothes.

According to a YouGov survey of 2,053 German adults in 2021, around 40% of respondents associate nudity with discomfort, shame and embarrassment or inhibitions. However, openness, naturalness and self-confidence are also associated with nudity for many: These aspects were each mentioned by around 30% of respondents. Almost a quarter, 24%, mentioned the aspect of liberation. The absence of staging and escape from everyday life still play a role for 17% each.

In the same study, Germans were also asked where they had already let their hair down. Here, the answer sauna and wellness (area) dominated with 37%. A total of 44% have been naked at the beach or bathing lake. As many as 5% stated that they had ever camped naked. PiNCAMP lists 254 campsites out of around 14,500 campsites in Europe that describe themselves as naturist campsites or have a naturist area.

Complete naturist campsite, mixed form or naturism only on the beach?

More than a third, namely 93 of the 254 campsites suitable for naturists that are listed on PiNCAMP are complete naturist campsites. Naturism, with its values of freedom and tolerance, is particularly popular in France. Respect for all other guests and a camping holiday in harmony with the body, nature and the environment are highly valued. Sun, beach, healthy air, high-quality wellness offers and sustainable campsite management play a major role.

Of the 93 naturist-only campsites, France is currently the most popular with 36 campsites, followed by Germany with 11 and Croatia with 9 naturist-only campsites. Examples of campsites that are completely geared towards naturist holidaymakers include the Domaine Naturiste de Bélézy in the south of France, the naturist campsite on Lake Rätzsee in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the Naturist Camping Ulika in Istria.

Campsites with non-nudist and nudist areas or naturist beaches

A further 63 of the 254 campsites (25 %) have a non-nudist and a naturist area, such as Camp Mlaska in Dalmatia or the 5-star campsite Le Sérignan Plage in the south of France. Le Sérignan Plage appeals to non-nudists and nudists via two websites: Le Sérignan Plage and Le Sérignan Plage Naturiste.

The majority of the campsites listed as suitable for naturists on PiNCAMP, 94 out of 254 campsites, do not offer naturism on the campsite – but they do on the beach. For example, Ostseecamping Familie Heide in Schleswig-Holstein refers to the naturist beach on the site map on the web. At most of these campsites, however, nudism obviously plays a minor role: the nudist beach is only mentioned in passing or often not at all, so that it is not possible to recognise any strong appeal to the nudist target group at these campsites.

Naturist campsites in Germany – strongly represented in the east and north

In Germany, the high proportion of campsites suitable for naturists in the eastern German states is striking. Naturist camping was already very popular in the former GDR, partly because of the feeling of freedom. Many guests and campsite operators in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia seem to have retained this attitude to life. The PiNCAMP list of the top 12 naturist campsites in Germany is dominated by campsites in eastern Germany and Schleswig-Holstein.

Guests interested in naturism often search specifically for suitable campsites

A naturist campsite can market itself specifically and effectively. This can be done, for example, by using high-quality texts and “keywords” for naturist camping on your own website in order to be found in the search engines. Entries on the naturist theme pages of the major camping portals as well as serious, target group-orientated communication on Instagram & Co. also make it possible to address potential naturist camping guests. Those who do not want to become completely naturist campsites can set up naturist areas or – easier to implement – communicate specifically about naturist beaches and other offers.

Potential and target group: medium

Realisability: complex (the entire site or a site area as well as the surrounding area such as the beach should be suitable for nudism)

Opportunities: Naturists can only fulfil their desire to enjoy their holidays predominantly unclothed in places or areas that consistently offer naturism. A naturist beach and other leisure facilities must also be at least partially naturist orientated. Campsites that offer all this in good quality can be rewarded with great interest as well as high repeat and recommendation rates.

Challenges: Anyone who favours naturist camping is addressing a medium-sized but very specific target group. Other groups of guests who are not fans of naturism will not book a naturist campsite. Campsites that want to operate a naturist area and a non-nudist area in parallel may have to invest a lot in order to implement this “separation” satisfactorily for both groups of guests.


Specialisation, target group-specific services and communication are important in order to stand out from the competition and inspire guests. On the other hand, focussing too strongly on one target group can lead to other guest groups not (or no longer) feeling addressed and not booking. This applies in particular to target groups whose appeal can exclude other target groups – such as naturist and non-nudist campers.

Campsite operators who want to appeal to naturists must carefully weigh up the opportunities and risks. This is all the more important because reorganising or redesigning the campsite for naturist holidaymakers is costly. The campsite design, beach or surroundings as well as the marketing must appeal to naturist guests. If this succeeds, campsites in this niche can be very successful.