Boat and Caravan Show 2012 cancelled after industry pulls support

The Boat and Caravan Show recently celebrated its 50th anniversary
The Boat and Caravan Show recently celebrated its 50th anniversary

Wednesday, 02, Nov 2011 05:00

by Marcus Dubois

The organisers of the oldest show in the industry have been forced to cancel Boat and Caravan 2012, citing a lack of support from caravan manufacturers and dealers.

Ocean Media were due to host the popular show between 21-26 February 2012 at the NEC in Birmingham. The firm has also been forced to cancel the Outdoor Leisure Show, which made its debut earlier this year alongside the established Boat and Caravan brand.

The sudden move follows a year in which industry body the National Caravan Council launched its own events, beginning with last month's Motorhome and Caravan Show in Birmingham.

Following a failure to secure the Boat and Caravan tenancy at the NEC next year, NCC Events then scheduled a new February show in London for 2012 - an event which ultimately contributed to the end of Boat and Caravan.

A lack of support

In a statement earlier today, Ocean Media explained the decision to cancel the show "has been taken because of a lack of support from the caravan manufacturers and their dealers, despite having strong support from all other parts of the show".

The exhibition organisers described having "consulted in particular [with] caravan dealers" to establish that a national show was needed to support the leisure sector." In the run up to next February, Ocean had received endorsement from the Camping and Caravanning Club and a number of caravan dealers.

Yet despite this, the dealers eventually felt unable to participate in the show, which Ocean believes "undermined one of the main pillars of the show" and "rendered it no longer viable".

The end of a 50-year-old brand

With a heritage stretching back over half a century, Boat and Caravan could safely lay claim to being the longest running caravan show in the UK. Having attracted over 87,000 paying visitors to a successful show last February, the cancellation now leaves NCC Events' February show at London Excel as the only major caravan event for that month.

Ocean Media CEO Trevor Barratt expressed regret at the loss of the show, stating that: "Loyal exhibitors, including a number of caravan dealers and the shows many visitors will feel sorry that due to a lack of support from one element of the industry, the 2012 show has cancelled after more than 50 years."

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