UK’s Camping & Caravanning industry proving resilient
Over 31,000 expected to attend The Caravan & Motorhome Show,
17-20 January, EventCity, Manchester
(Thurs 10 January 2013) As the peak holiday booking month continues and recession hit times seem no nearer ending, one sector of the UK travel industry is proving resilient. In just over a week’s time, over 31,000 Brits are expected to attend the four day Caravan and Motorhome Show, looking to spend around £20,000 on the latest caravan model, upwards of £30,000 on a brand new motorhome or to snap up a deal in order to become one of the 500,000 Brits who own their own touring caravan.
According to the National Caravan Council (NCC), the caravan and motorhome industry remains one of the country’s great manufacturing success stories and is estimated to contribute up to £6 billion to the UK economy via retail sales and tourism, with UK manufacturers producing 96% of touring caravans and 70% of motorhomes currently sold in the UK. The UK touring caravan, motorhome, caravan holiday home and park home industries provide employment for up to120,000 workers.
Showing the popularity of caravanning, according to the NCC, in Britain today there are:
· 500,000 touring caravans
· Over 260,000 caravan holiday homes
· 164,000 motorhomes
· More than 2,000 licensed holiday/touring parks in the UK.
As well as the boom in usage and despite 2012’s challenging weather, camping and caravanning holidays remain popular with UK residents, opting to enjoy this style of holiday at home and abroad. For 2013 The Camping & Caravanning Club has seen a 14% increase in advance bookings to date, compared to 2012. Both of the UK’s main camping and caravan clubs attribute the wide appeal down to its ability to provide a great value budget holiday option – when averaging both tent and caravan pitch prices, the Camping and Caravanning Clubs’ average cost per night for a members’ family is around £20-25, with the price of a Caravan Club hard standing caravan pitch, for a family of four, averaging around just £27 in peak summer season.
While some industry bodies quote the continued popularity of camping and caravanning as being a case of Brits tightening their belts and opting for budget staycations, others quote a desire for shared experience, a low carbon footprint or freedom and flexibility.
Sam North, Clarion Show Director for The Caravan & Motorhome Show commented, “The phenomenal success of the 2012 show saw record breaking numbers both attending the show and staggering sales for our exhibitors, and advance ticket sales indicate a similarly bouyant show in 2013. While we believe UK consumers are being more careful in how they spend their leisure budget, all evidence indicates they are still willing to spend in areas where they are being offered true value for money and owning a caravan or motorhome definately delivers that. With over 40 of our exhibitors participating for the first time this year, the show continues to offer new products and ideas for visitors to enjoy, alongside a great range of goods from established brands”.
The Caravan & Motorhome Show 2013 will be opened at 10am on Thursday 17 January by Caravan Club supporter Marina Sirtis, the British-American actress best known for her role as Councillor Deanna Troi in the tv and film series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Proving caravanning is truly ‘out of this world’, Marina is set to open the most successful show in its history, following record numbers of over 31,489 visitors in 2012, as the latest caravans, motorhomes and accessories from over 200 exhibitors are showcased. Other celebrities joining Marina at the show include tv legend John Craven, who will be speaking on the World Entertainment and Cookery stage on Saturday 19 January, and wildlife and camping enthusiast Bill Oddie, speaking on Sunday 20 January.
A great day out for families and caravan enthusiasts alike, visitors looking to check out the latest caravan and motorhome models will not be disappointed with a huge choice from the leading brands including Swift, Bailey, Elddis, Lunar, Coachman and VW, displayed by the region’s premier dealeships including Glossop Caravans, Campbells Caravans and Richard Baldwin. There’s also a Farmer’s Market, KidZone and Expert’s Theatre, plus a host of parks and campsites offering special discounts. UK attractions and tourist boards present will include Visit Guernsey, Visit Hull & East Yorkshire and Cadbury’s World, as well as a selection of travel companies offering ideas and expert advice on holidaying in France, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and beyond. Finally, it’s a great place to shop for accessories, with a host for sale including bike racks, sat-navs and outdoor furniture.
Both The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club will be present, offering expert advice for experienced enthusiasts and new-comers alike. The Caravan Club will be offering free expert tuition on ‘Motorhome Manoeuvring’, helping visitors brush up on their skills, and ‘Towcar try before you buy’ where you can get hands-on with the winners of the prestigious Caravan Club Towcar of the Year.
Advance day tickets cost just £7.50, saving £1.50 compared to on the day prices, and kids go free (aged 16 and under). Tickets can be booked online at www.caravanshows.com or on the ticket hotline number 0844 873 7349, by quoting PRR1. Located next to the Trafford Centre, EventCity is the second largest exhibition space outside London and is easily accessible by car, with over 3,000 free parking spaces. Visitors to the show will also enjoy free entry to the co-located The Times Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show, offering inspirational ideas and expert advice on everything from short breaks in the UK to exotic escapes to every corner of the world.