At the end of August, the time has come: the world’s largest event for mobile leisure opens its doors. This time, the CARAVAN SALON is waiting with more exhibitors than ever before! Project Director Caravaning & Outdoor Stefan Koschke talks about the highlights in the 16 exhibition halls in our interview.
In Germany, motorhome tourism is booming. This is confirmed by the German Economic Institute for Tourism in the study “Economic Factor Campsite and Motorhome Tourism in Germany 2020/2021”. As the organizer of the world’s largest exhibition for motorhomes, caravans and equipment – the CARAVAN SALON – we are also observing the growing popularity of mobile forms of vacation. Thus, at the 61st edition of the leading trade fair for the caravaning industry, we are registering record figures for exhibitor numbers and exhibition space. For us, this is a double reason for joy.
For the first time, more than 700 exhibitors will turn Düsseldorf into a showcase for their industry from August 27 to September 4, 2022 (Preview Day for media and trade visitors on August 26), representing its diversity. No other platform currently offers caravaning and camping enthusiasts such extensive comparison options and, what’s more, insights into tourist destinations, alternative overnight accommodation and pitches. This makes CARAVAN SALON the place-to-be for everyone who wants to experience vehicles and equipment live – and in more halls than ever before!
Highlights of CARAVAN SALON 2022
Stefan Koschke, Project Director Caravaning & Outdoor, tells us what exactly awaits motorhome and outdoor fans.
Editor: Mr. Koschke, you are giving a strong signal because this year’s CARAVAN SALON will showcase the entire world of caravaning in more halls than ever before. Which highlights, trends and innovations should visitors not miss?
Stefan Koschke (SK): A special highlight this year is the large selection of base vehicles or vans on which a motorhome can be built and which will be shown by the manufacturers. In addition to the market leader Fiat Ducato, suppliers such as Ford, IVECO, MAN, Mercedes, Renault, Volkswagen, Citroen and Peugeot will also be represented.
Furthermore, a trend of the last few years continues: Campervans or compact motorhomes now make up almost half of the market and so we have a lot of launches here as well as new manufacturers. Small campervans without sanitary facilities are currently in particularly high demand, as they can be used very flexibly in everyday life. This makes them ideal companions for trips to the countryside and city breaks.
But no matter where personal preferences lie, new campers in particular want the technical equipment they already know from their cars, for example, and we are also seeing a general demand for more luxury.
A diverse range for a varied form of vacation
After all, there are also many people who upgrade their vehicles themselves – keyword #vanlife …
SK: That’s right, this is a huge trend on social media, which we are addressing at CARAVAN SALON. For all those who are not born craftsmen, we have created a contact station in the open-air area between Hall 5 and 9 with the special theme “Adventure DIY”, where experts reveal tips and tricks and advise on the first steps. The right equipment is available in accessories halls 13, 14 and 3.
In line with this, we are finding that many newcomers in particular want to travel as individually as possible and would prefer to stop off in the middle of nature. However, this is not so easily possible in many countries. But there are providers who arrange alternative sites that are very close to nature, for example on farms or with winegrowers. Caravaning is so diverse that an individual vacation that completely matches your own ideas no longer has to be a dream. And that’s exactly what we’ll be showing at CARAVAN SALON.
What role do electromobility and sustainability play among the suppliers?
SK: It is exciting that the electric drive is increasingly finding its way into the systems of small motorhomes. In general, new forms of drive are also finding their place at the trade fair, although in most cases they are still in the trial and test phase due to the special features of a motorhome. And of course sustainability plays a very important role in the caravaning scene, for example in the case of upholstery materials, the production of which is based on recycled or recyclable materials. But also, of course, in camping and pitching.
The “StarterWelt”: Independent advice without sales pitches
You’ve just mentioned newcomers: According to the ADAC, millennials or young families in particular are becoming an important target group. Are you noticing increasing interest from caravaning beginners?
SK: This is a development that we have observed strongly in recent years. More than 40 percent of our visitors in the past two years were here for the first time. In fact, there are a lot of young families and millennials, but overall, across almost all age groups, we’re seeing that many who previously preferred other forms of vacation want to try caravaning.
In other words, anyone who fancies a vacation with a recreational vehicle should definitely come to CARAVAN SALON. But might new visitors not quickly feel overwhelmed due to the great variety?
SK: That is exactly why we have created the “StarterWelt”, an important contact point for all those who do not yet have any experience with mobile travel. This time in a prominent location, directly at the North Entrance in Hall 7, we offer initial and independent advice without sales pitches. Here, visitors can sound out what options the caravaning industry has to offer for their vacation ideas. For a young family, for example, who wants to spend their vacation by the sea, with a swimming pool on site and children’s play facilities, it probably makes more sense to opt for a caravan than a motorhome. Someone who wants to be on the road a lot, for example, through narrow streets in mountain villages, needs something small and compact – perhaps even with four-wheel drive – rather than a large vehicle.
Many people are certainly not aware that such considerations are necessary in advance …
SK: That’s why we focus on individual, personal exchange in the “StarterWelt”. In addition, there are also lectures. In this way, we are already teasing out a topic such as DIY, which is particularly interesting for younger people and millennials. But we’ll go into more detail in the corresponding special section.
Physical discovery combined with live streams
CARAVAN SALON thrives on a colorful mix of trade fair, congress and event. This interaction is also one of the most important USPs of physical trade fairs. What event formats does this year’s CARAVAN SALON offer its participants?
SK: In addition to the formats already mentioned, we have, for example, our tourism stage “Travel & Nature CONNECTED” in Hall 3, where everything revolves around how mobile travel, hiking and outdoor experiences can be perfectly harmonized.
We transport all mentioned aspects not only through our lecture program on site, but also via a livestream into the net.
… so that you can go back to the products relaxed and with a clear head. Thank you very much for the exciting insights into this well thought-out concept, Mr. Koschke.
As you can see, visitors can expect a varied program at the CARAVAN SALON. If you want to be there, too, you should get your tickets now – there will be no box office!
PS: If you are coming by caravan, you can book one of the approximately 3,500 parking spaces of the CARAVAN CENTER at the spacious exhibition parking lot P1 to get a taste of camping during the exhibition. Please remember that this year, too, this is only possible online in advance.