Studies: Potential of caravanning in Germany

Best future prospects: According to the latest GfK study, more than 14 million Germans can imagine a holiday in a motor caravan or caravan.

Studies include the company's own market research - for example end customer surveys at trade fairs and analyzes of the structural situation in the caravanning industry - as well as coordination and implementation with external research institutes. In addition to current research and future topics, the aim is to investigate the economic significance of caravanning as a branch of industry in all its facets.

New study by GfK finds that 14 million Germans are excited at the prospect of leisure-vehicle holidaying

A new study by Germany’s largest market research organization, GfK, highlights the enormous market potential of leisure-vehicle holidaying. In the representative survey, nearly a quarter of the respondents (22 percent) stated that they can imagine going on holiday at some point during the next five years in a caravan or motor caravan. If this figure is extrapolated to the aggregate German (online) population, it works out to some 14.2 million German citizens. The study also shows that leisure-vehicle holidaying appeals in particular to people between the age of 23 and 37, and to individuals with above-average incomes.

A growing number of Germans are falling under the spell of caravanning – a trend reflected by the fact that sales of new caravans and motor caravans have been rising for a number of years now. A new study issued by GfK, the largest German market research organization, reveals how great the growth potential is likely to be for leisure-vehicle holidaying in the coming years. According to GfK, some 14.2 million Germans over the age of 18 can imagine going on holiday in a leisure vehicle at some point in the next five years – a figure that represents nearly 25 percent of German adults. What’s more, the study also found that in the coming year alone, 5.3 million Germans are considering going on holiday in a caravan or motor caravan.

Millennials are particularly attracted to leisure-vehicle holidaying

According to the GfK study, millennials are particularly interested in setting out, during their holiday, in a caravan or motor caravan. Thus according to the study, 23 percent of Germans who are considering the possibility of undertaking a leisure-vehicle holiday at some point in the next five years are between the ages of 25 and 34 – and the vast majority of these individuals are under the age of 45. “The old chestnut to the effect that caravans and motor caravans are only for the elderly or for retirees has long since been overtaken by events. As even a cursory glance at any well trafficked social media platform will tell you, the younger generation finds the prospect of going on holiday in a leisure vehicle downright exciting,” says Daniel Onggowinarso, Managing Director of the industry association CIVD.

Majority of Germans interested in leisure-vehicle holidaying are relatively well off

Another interesting finding of the GfK study is the correlation between income level and interest in leisure-vehicle holidaying. According to the study, 38 percent of individuals who are considering the possibility of embarking on a caravanning holiday have a net monthly household income amounting to more than three thousand euros. The study also found that 25 percent of households who find the prospect of leisure-vehicle holidaying appealing have a monthly income ranging from two to three thousand euros. According to a recent study by the German think tank Deutsches Wirtschaftswissenschaftliches Institut für Fremdenverkehr (dwif), leisure-vehicle holidayers have above-average purchasing power, which they very much enjoy making use of. Likewise noteworthy is the fact that in 2018 alone, the consumption engaged in by individuals who opted for this form of holidaying generated fourteen billion euros in revenue for the German economy during the time spent on the open road. As for the GfK study, it revealed some interesting gender differences with 55 percent of the respondents who expressed an interest in leisure-vehicle holidaying being female.

Appeal of caravanning lies in independence, flexibility and closeness to nature

When caravanning fans were asked to explain this inclination, the responses were resoundingly clear. Some 72 percent indicated that leisure-vehicle holidaying meets their need to carve out their own itinerary and be independent. 71 percent of the respondents said that they wished to be close to nature, and 70 percent opined that caravanning would enable them to be flexible and spontaneous while on holiday.

Substantial market potential for the leisure-vehicle purchasing and rental sectors

More than two-thirds of the GfK study respondents who find the prospect of leisure-vehicle holidaying appealing own neither a caravan nor a motor caravan. However, nearly half of these respondents (42 percent) are considering the possibility of purchasing a leisure vehicle at some point in the future. 34 percent of these respondents are between the ages of 23 and 37, making them the largest group that may be purchasing a leisure vehicle in the future. Moreover, according to the GfK study, some 4.7 million Germans are considering the possibility of renting a caravan or motor caravan at some point in the next three years. In this regard as well, millennials were the largest group, accounting for 38 percent of the respondents who were inclined this way. “The market potential demonstrated by our study, in terms of both leisure vehicle sales and rentals, offers a great chance for the caravanning industry to grow further in the coming years,” noted GfK consumer-trend expert Dr. Isis Mennig.

Germany, France and The Netherlands: most popular caravanning destinations

The GfK study also determined the most popular caravanning destinations in Europe. Leading the pack is Germany, with 85 percent of the study respondents indicating that they would prefer to remain within the confines of their homeland during their caravanning holiday. 58 percent of the caravanning fans expressed a preference for France as a destination, while 58, 57 and 56 percent indicated that during their leisure-vehicle holiday, they would like to head, respectively, for The Netherlands, Denmark and Italy. “One of the hallmarks of caravanning is that it enables those who engage in it to carve out their own personal itinerary and be flexible when it comes to deciding on their destination or destinations,” Mr. Onggowinarso noted.

Potential of caravanning in Germany? A recent study by the "Association for consumer research" (GfK) proves the enormous potential and future prospects of caravanning as a holiday form in Germany. DOWNLOAD
Most recently, the study “Economic Factor Camping and Motor Caravan Tourism in Germany” (Wirtschaftsfaktor Camping- und Reisemobiltourismus in Deutschland – dwif) in cooperation with the German Economic Institute for Tourism (Deutsches Wirtschaftswissenschaftliches Institut für Fremdenverkehr e.V.) was conducted and published. The results of the extensive study can be viewed below.
Economic factor caravaning tourism 2018 A dwif study on camping site and motor caravan tourism as ecomomic factor in 2018 (only available in German) DOWNLOAD
Economic factor caravaning tourism 2017 A dwif study on camping site and motor caravan tourism as ecomomic factor in 2016/2017 (only available in German) DOWNLOAD
Export dictionary

With an annual goods value of 1.6 billion euros (2017) leisure vehicles, exports are one of the most important sales guarantees for the German caravanning industry. The market study entitled “Export Countries Dictionary”, headed by the Export Resort, deals with the sales and economic situation as well as important technical and legal framework conditions of relevant caravanning export markets. Referring to the publication requires CIVD membership.

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
Department of Statistics & Economics A core task of the Statistics and Economics Department is the comprehensive collection and analysis of European and German market data. Find out more
European Market Caravanning is the trend throughout Europe and new registrations of leisure vehicles are rising. Find out more
Monthly Registrations This overview shows the new registrations of motor caravans and caravans in Germany. Find out more