Start / News / Tip / Trends and challenges for the season 2024 and for the future of camping – PART 1

Trends and challenges for the season 2024 and for the future of camping – PART 1

5 min read

As we gear up for the summer camping season of 2024, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve on the latest trends and challenges shaping the camping industry. From evolving traveller preferences to emerging environmental concerns, understanding these dynamics is crucial for campsites to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

Uwe Frers

CEO PiNCAMP | The camping company of ADAC, ANWB and TCS

In the last ten years, the number of new registrations of camping vehicles in Germany has more than doubled. But the number of campers has also grown strongly in important source markets like the Netherlands and Switzerland. Corona has given this positive development an additional boost. The record number of overnight stays in the camping segment in many European countries in 2023 shows us that growth is far from having reached its limits, even after coronavirus. Along with this growth, we see trends and challenges that will move our industry in the coming years. Sustainability and digitalisation will have a major impact on the operation of campsites. However, the steadily increasing age of guests and the associated need to consider the accessibility will also have a strong influence on our industry.

Trends driving the camping industry

According to feedback gathered from a diverse group of camping unions and campsite managers, the following trends have been identified as the most significant for the upcoming 2024 season:

Trend 1: Sustainable & eco-friendly campsites

Big emphasis is put on energy efficiency, waste management, water conservation, and community engagement. A broader shift towards more sustainable and responsible tourism practices within the camping industry is noticed. More and more campsites are obtaining Eco-certifications.

Adriano Palman

Managing Director | Croation Camping Union

… The already well-trodden paths of camp development will remain as they are, while the emphasis is definitely on sustainability and quality.

Cristiano Bozzetti

Sales and Marketing Manager | CrippaConcept

… A shift from linear to circular economy models, emphasizing the balance between economic growth, environmental stewardship, and social well-being. Through ESG initiatives and collaboration on projects like ONE-EARTH 2030, we’re pioneering eco-friendly accommodation and advocating for consumer responsibility.

Trend 2: Local experience-focused campings

Cultural immersion and experiential travel offer campers the opportunity to connect with destinations on a deeper level, fostering cultural exchange, personal growth, and lifelong memories.

Laura Toso Andreu

Manager | Girona Campsite Association

… There is a growing demand for experiential camping, which includes unique accommodations and nature-focused activities such as gardening, discovering local flora and fauna, exploring areas of natural interest, and participating in local cooking workshops.

Cristiano Bozzetti

Sales and Marketing Manager | CrippaConcept

This strategy of ‘Think Global, Act Local’ enables us to tackle complex design tasks creatively, ensuring our offerings meet diverse consumer demands.

Trend 3: Digitalisation

Technology is transforming the camping industry by improving operational efficiency, enhancing guest satisfaction, and enabling campgrounds to adapt to changing consumer preferences and technological advancements.

Just a few of many benefits that digitalisation can offer to your business:

  • online bookability / real-time availability updates
  • enhancing the user experience
  • reducing the risk of overbooking or double bookings
  • interactive campground maps
  • secure payment gateways
  • smart meters, sensors, security systems
  • communication with guests online before, during, and after their stay

Trend 4: Accessibility

The “baby boomers” are a particularly strong, affluent target group in most source markets. They are getting older, but usually remain active and are looking for modern and age-appropriate camping holidays and services.

By prioritizing accessibility, camping businesses can create inclusive environments that cater to the needs of all campers, including people with mobility challenges as well as seniors, enhancing their overall camping experience and promoting outdoor recreation.

Trend 5: Working nomads / workation

Important amenities & facilities: reliable Wi-Fi, co-working spaces, and comfortable accommodations. The rise of workation represents a shift in the way people approach travel and work, offering individuals the opportunity to blend productivity with adventure, local culture and lifestyle. There are even mentions of an emerging trend – use of campervans as mobile office spaces.

Trend 6: More differentiation of the campsites

Josipa Cvelić Bonifačić

PhD, Assistant Professor at Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management Opatija

… We are witnessing a growing ‘separation’ of campsites to ones that are developing into resorts (e.g. glamping in Croatia), to those who mostly adapt to campers (camper stop and similar) and ‘back to nature’ campsites (pop up camps and others in naturally special settings).

Trend 7: Design

Glamping is a trend that keeps on growing – campsites can differentiate their offer by investing in unusual and extravagant glamping accommodation. Glamping is more than pure luxury. Glamping accommodations also offer a lifestyle of freedom, nature and individuality and is an opportunity to fulfil the rising expectations of future guests.

Design plays a decisive role in this. Whether guest camping vehicles or rental accommodation: The camping or glamping accommodations of the future must be comfortable and sustainable and offer regional charm. Camping accommodations must also appeal to guests who want to combine work, holiday and pleasure. Digital networking and Wi-Fi with high bandwidth are essential. In addition, accommodation should increasingly allow guests with limited mobility to enjoy a carefree stay.

Josipa Cvelić Bonifačić

PhD, Assistant Professor at Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management Opatija

We are witnessing more luxurious campsites and high aesthetics, design and service. Within this trend of luxury decoration, special products are developed such as romantic luxury in nature or all forms of retreat (transformative tourism / body&soul).

Cristiano Bozzetti

Sales and Marketing Manager | CrippaConcept, sees great challenges and opportunities

In today’s dynamic travel world, we see the importance of balancing the authentic charm of classic camping with the emerging trends in luxury open-air hospitality. Recognizing the diversity in camper preferences, we aim to provide mobile homes with ‘affordable luxury,’ catering to those seeking elegance and class without compromising the quality intrinsic to both traditional and modern camping experiences.

Read more in PART 2 soon…