Study: Economic power of caravanning tourism

The dwif analysed the economic importance of caravanning and presents guidance on potential as well as case studies for motor caravan sites.

The German Institute of Economic Research for Tourism (dwif) has confirmed the great importance of camping and motor caravan tourism for the German economy. In addition, the potential of and demand for motor caravan tourism in the individual regions was investigated. Successful practical examples, case studies and a potential guide show how regions can profit from the increasing popularity of this form of holiday.
Last year, holidaymakers with motor caravans and caravans brought 14.1 billion euros in turnover to the domestic economy. This result was achieved despite the Corona pandemic, which made it necessary for tourism to come to a virtual standstill, especially in the first half of the year. Thus, caravanning tourism contributed to securing tens of thousands of jobs in one of the most severe economic crises in the history of the Federal Republic. Caravanning travellers with above-average purchasing power and a high propensity to consume spend around 50 euros per person and holiday day – more than 4.5 billion euros thus remain directly in the destinations.

Spotlight on motor caravan tourism

In total, German motor caravan sites recorded 10 million overnight stays in 2020. This means that the market share of overnight stays on pitches in the total number of tourist overnight stays in Germany increased by over 50 percent. The dwif has also examined the German travel areas with regard to the demand for motor caravan pitches and determined the regional potential for motor caravan tourism from this. The spectrum ranges from travel areas with less than €2 million in turnover in 2020, which are more pronounced in the eastern German states (with the exception of the coastal regions of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in particular), to those travel areas that will reach an order of magnitude of more than €10 million in turnover in 2020. This is the case in the five travel regions mentioned below, which are distributed across western Germany from Schleswig-Holstein to Allgäu:

Source: dwif 2021, data: dwif and Destatis, map: GfK
The following areas have the highest share of motor caravan overnight stays in the total number of all tourist overnight stays: Unterelbe-Unterweser (23.4 percent), Haßberge (22.6 percent), Mittelweser (18.0 percent), Fränkisches Seenland (16.2 percent), Werra-Meissner Land (14.9 percent), Fränkisches Weinland (13.1 percent), Mosel/Saar (13.0 percent), Thüringer Rhön (12.7 percent).
Source: dwif 2021, data: dwif and Destatis, map: GfK
The fact that many of these areas are less developed in terms of tourism shows that areas that do not belong to the classic holiday destinations can also profit from motor caravan tourism.
Guidelines and assistance for private and municipal decision-makers

As a concrete aid, the study includes a dedicated potential guide for determining the need and potential of motor caravan sites. Interested parties can also find further points of contact and advice on all important questions concerning the construction and operation of parking spaces, including the CIVD’s planning aid. In three case studies, the researchers have also shown examples of conceivable concepts for the site-specific construction of pitches in three very different regions – Uckermark, Starnberger-Seenlandschaft and Ostfriesland. Furthermore, the scientific work highlights successful examples from practice in detail.


Economic Factor Caravanning Tourism 20/21 Latest dwif study incl. guidance on potential and case studies (only available in German) DOWNLOAD
Caravanning in Europe A study by the German Economic Institute for Tourism provides well-founded insights into the European camping and caravanning industry. Find out more
Focus Topic Motor Caravan Pitches The number of overnight stays of motor caravans on pitches is rising continuously - and opens up opportunities for potential pitch operators. Find out more
About the Association The Caravanning Industry Association (CIVD) has represented the interests of the industrial branch of the caravanning industry since 1962. Find out more