SOURCE: CARAVAN TIMES
Written by Tom Leaning.
Consistent national media coverage reflected the interest caravans, camping and motorhomes have around the country.
The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2017 finished on 26 February with over 94,000 visitors through its doors: 7,023 more than 2016. The weekend peaked with 25,349 visiting the show on Saturday and over 45,000 visitors attending across the two days of the weekend.
The show’s media coverage reflected the nation’s interest in caravans, camping and motorhomes, with Radio 2’s Chris Evans championing the event during last week’s breakfast show, and ITV’s This Morning presenting a range of products on London’s South Bank during its live broadcast.
Despite midweek gales disrupting roads and public transport in the Midlands, exhibitors still reported strong sales figures from the event. Director of Sales and Marketing for Auto-Trail, Scott Stephens reported that “show sales have highlighted how many customers are entering into motorhoming which is a great sign for the industry on the whole.” The announcement of a re-brand by The Caravan Club to The Caravan and Motorhome Club – which was broadcast through a Facebook Live RSS Stream by CaravanTimes – also reflected the growth in motorhome ownership.
The caravan industry also confirmed a positive result. Unveiling a one-off Joules-designed touring caravan, Lunar’s UK Sales Director, Lee Roberts said that he saw “good footfall throughout the show, complemented by a great buying audience, making this February’s show the best yet.” The Coachman Caravan company reported an increase of 22 per cent in retail sales compared to the previous year. Elliot Hibbs, Managing Director said “2017 has been positive for the industry as a whole and we have enjoyed an increase in demand for our product range.”
Swift showed its S-Pod 4 holiday lodge for the first time and reported strong interest. Nick Page, Group Commercial Director commented that “this has been our most successful February show for years with retail sales increasing by 26 per cent on touring caravans and 34 per cent on motorhomes.”
Launches included the Sonic Supreme 810SC by Adria. Managing Director, Slavica Sterk said: “The show has strengthened Adria’s position in the market,” suggesting that while products are not traditionally launched at the February show, overall public response surpassed expectations.
Omar Park and Leisure Homes unveiled the Wessex Hideaway lodge and were very pleased at the general interest across its lodges. Peter Berwick, the Group Sales and Design Director said that the show is “an opportunity to showcase top end models across the Wessex and Omar brands and gives us the chance to get valuable feedback from customers.”
Camping equipment brand Vango created a great buzz in Hall 5 thanks to the AirBeam Challenge, letting members of the public race against the clock to inflate a full sized tent. Vango saw record sales again at the show, with the Kela II DriveAway Awning and Inspire 800XXL eight-berth tent leading the way. Ivan Davies, Account Manager said that “the show really launches our year.”
“The February show’s attendance endorses the optimistic outlook for our industry, which continues to grow,” said John Lally, CEO – NCC Events Ltd. “We are also pleased to see that the demographic of those attending the show continues to diversify, with engagement from those new to the industry.”
A whole host of celebrities took to the Discovery Theatre stage throughout the show. Appearances included Ben Fogle, Barney Harwood, Kate Humble, Julia Bradbury and Sam Quek. Live cookery demonstrations from Monica Rivron, Selasi Gbormittah, Welsh chefs Mike Bates and Colin Gray also graced the stage.
Displays included the Lego® caravan, which featured in a Facebook Live RSS stream organised by Guinness World Records, and the highly popular Dog Agility arena. Additional attractions for visiting families included trampolines in the Bounce Zone, bushcraft workshops, climbing wall, artificial caving and a virtual reality of Europe’s longest zip wire in the North Wales LIVE area, and a Woodland Assault Course in partnership with The Woodland Trust.
The Motorhome and Caravan Show is at the NEC from 17 to 22 October 2017 and The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show returns 20 to 25 February 2018.