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Source: Exhibition News

Ocean has cancelled its Boat and Caravan Show at The NEC in Birmingham, citing a lack of support from caravan manufacturers and their dealer community. The exhibition has been running for more than 50 years and was due to return from 21 to 26 February 2012. Ocean has also cancelled the Outdoor Leisure Show, which debuted in 2011 alongside the Boat and Caravan Show.

Ocean’s dramatic step follows the National Caravan Council’s (NCC) decision to begin organising its own events again and launch a new and competitive Motorhome, Caravan and Camping Show at Excel London from 14 to 19 February 2012.

NCC’s Events division ran its first Motorhome and Caravan Show at The NEC last month after assuming control from Clarion Events. The association made the decision to re-enter the exhibition organising market after several of its key members opted to stop supporting third-party events. The NCC’s first Motorhome and Caravan Show reported a record 22,000 visitor increase year-on-year.

In a statement, Ocean CEO Trevor Barratt expressed his disappointment in having to cancel the company’s longstanding exhibition. Last year’s Boat and Caravan Show attracted 87,000 visitors. Although Ocean initially endeavoured to continue with its own show against NCC’s London launch, the lack of support from caravan manufacturers and their dealers now made this unviable.

After having consulted the market and caravan dealers, Ocean said it was convinced that a national show was needed to support the leisure sector. Itpointed out the concept was fully endorsed by the Camping and Caravanning Club and leading exhibitors from all parts of the leisure sector including a number of caravan dealers.

Despite their enthusiasm, these dealers latterly felt unable to participate in the show, which undermined one of the main pillars of the show and renders it no longer viable, Ocean stated. This is despite widespread support from other exhibitor groups including the marine, holiday homes and lodges, tourism, accessories and outdoor leisure markets, Barratt said.

“Loyal exhibitors, including a number of caravan dealers and the show’s many visitors, will feel sorry that due to a lack of support from one element of the industry, the 2012 show has been cancelled after more than 50 years,” Barratt said.

Christopher Macgowan
twitter: motorhomenews