Record attendance of 25,000 at caravan show

The caravan industry continues to ride the crest of a wave with record attendance at one of the UK’s biggest events

Britain may well be in the grip of a recession but try telling that to the caravan industry. 2009 has been its annus mirabilis with soaring numbers of holidaymakers taking up the ‘staycation’ and choosing the trailer.

And the trend continued this weekend at The Caravan Extravaganza at The Lawns in Cottingham where 25,000 people are believed to have been in attendance.

The figure was a staggering 10,000 more than the previous year and broke the record for the highest ever attendance by 2,000.

The organisers were the Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire Caravan Manufacturers Association (HERCMA) who exhibited 300 models from 5-6 September. touring variety, motorhomes, and static caravans.

The event offered buyers a chance to see some of the 2010 models for the first time along with the latest accessories for the modern traveller. 110 different models of touring caravans were on display alongside motorhomes and some static models.

Also on display were some fully-fledged homes from home – static caravans featuring dishwashers, hot tubs and central heating. Many of the static models available showed price tags north of £200,000.

David Ritchie is the organiser of the Caravan Extravaganza, and he spoke to Caravan Times about the success of the weekend. “Last year the Saturday was exceptionally wet and windy and muddy and so people were less inclined to get involved. This weekend business was booming, especially among the tourer manufacturers. Many of them recorded better than expected sales, and in some cases their best sales ever!”

When questioned about the rise in sales of new caravans during the deep recession he pointed to the issue of stock (as reported in Caravan Times here). ‘I think people want to go caravanning in this country regardless of what’s going on. It’s very difficult to buy used caravans at the present time becuase they are mostly sold out at dealerships. So people are then prepared to make that investment and buy new ones’.

David Ritchie also believes that an an upturn in financial conditions has contributed to the sales boom. ‘Credit has freed up in the last couple of months, whereas this time last year it was much harder that normal to borrow money to buy a caravan. And manufacturers were finding it hard to borrow money from the banks to fund the building of them. That all seems to have eased up, and you even have new firms starting up on the back of this.’

‘The whole industry is looking a lot brighter’ he chuckled as he looked ahead to his next event, the Southern Caravan Trade Show. Held in Beaulieu, a town famous for its motor museum, it takes place from 24-27 September. Click here for more details.