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That was the 2022 camping season

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The 2022 camping year has come to an end, and the long-awaited normality has finally returned. This is also reflected in our annual review, in which we examined the travel behaviour of German campers in the 2022 camping season. All bookings and calls to destinations generated via PiNCAMP in the period from January to October 2022 were evaluated. The most important finding: camping is booming as never before. Campers are particularly fond of one European region.

Already in 2021, significantly more people travelled to other European countries. This trend continued in 2022 and even increased. At the end of the year, we closely examined the booking behaviour of PiNCAMP users in the months from January to October 2022. The most important results: Camping is booming and campers are once again increasingly heading to Southern Europe – Italy and Croatia in particular were extremely popular. Another trend: campers prefer destinations that are located by the water.

Camping is booming – and Italy and Croatia are very popular in 2022
The first exciting finding: camping is more popular than ever and boomed more than ever in the 2022 travel season. According to the Federal Statistical Office, camping is now even more in demand than before the pandemic. The number of overnight stays from January to August in Germany alone rose by 13% compared to the pre-Corona year 2019. And: While many campers preferred to stay in Germany in 2021, in 2022 they also preferred to go abroad again.

Italy and Croatia in particular experienced a real booking boom in 2022 – these two countries accounted for around 60% of all bookings made in 2022. Croatia even recorded three times more bookings than Germany. The coasts of the Croatian and Italian Adriatic were particularly popular. Campsites in Istria and Veneto lead the booking statistics at PiNCAMP in 2022. In Italy, the lakes of Lombardy also scored points with camping fans and provided welcome cooling in this hot summer.

Off to the cool waters: waterfront sites particularly popular
In general, campsites with access to water were very popular in 2022, for example on the Adriatic Sea or Lake Garda. However, this is not only true for Southern Europe, but also for Germany. The trend is clear: the most popular camping destinations are by the water. In Germany, for example, campers prefer the coasts of the North Sea and Baltic Sea. Accordingly, Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania accounted for the most bookings for Germany in the 2022 season. But Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate were also high on the list.

Camping in southern Europe is more expensive than at home
However, the holiday experience in the south also has its price. Overall, camping holidays in Italy and Croatia were perceived as comparatively cost-intensive. It is much cheaper to spend your holiday at home. This is in line with our large price comparison for Europe – camping in Germany is very cheap in a European comparison and still offers high quality.

More planning security due to the abolition of travel restrictions
Planning security has increased due to the extensive abolition of corona-related travel restrictions. This is also reflected in booking behaviour. On average, online bookers on PiNCAMP 2022 secured their desired place around 42 days before the start of the trip. Last year, the average advance booking time was 33 days. This shows that the pandemic uncertainty is receding and bookings are again being made with significantly more advance notice.

In the second half of the year, the trend after corona-induced restraint in the last two years went back to short trips and shorter stays of 3-4 days. In late summer and autumn, the advance booking period in Germany shrank from 22 to 7 days, clearly showing that the mild and sunny weather made spontaneous short trips in autumn highly popular. Germany and its immediate neighbouring countries were particularly popular with spontaneous campers.

Spontaneous booking more popular again in summer – especially in Germany
This year, spontaneous bookings were popular for trips within Germany. The average booking lead time for Germany this year is only 22 days instead of 37 days last year. Overall, people continue to book and travel much more spontaneously in the summer months – with an average lead time of only 10 days. However, due to the overall strong increase in interest in camping, campsites are becoming increasingly full. As a result, bookings with sufficient advance notice are becoming increasingly important for a stress-free start to the camping holiday.

Especially the popular camping destinations Italy and Croatia have experienced a real rush again this camping season. Accordingly, capacities were tight. For southern European campsites, the average advance booking time was just under 2 months, slightly longer than the overall average of 42 days. Uwe Frers, managing director of PiNCAMP, advises booking camping holidays online as early as possible in order to secure a pitch or mobile home, especially in the highly sought-after camping countries.