Nearly four in 10 adults ‘go camping or caravanning’

Camping is seen as a way of connecting with nature and escaping from technology. Picture: Caravan, C

Camping is seen as a way of connecting with nature and escaping from technology. Picture: Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show - Credit: Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show supplied

People are increasingly expected to get away from it all and escape technology by taking more camping and caravanning trips.

As the UK heads towards the annual Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show at Birmingham's NEC next month, just under four out of 10 UK adults had experience of camping or caravanning in the past three years.

More than 17 million camping and caravanning trips are estimated to have been taken by UK adults in 2016, more than 15 million of which were in Britain, and include a spectrum of accommodation options from yurts, safari tents and shepherd's huts to tiny two-berth mini and large luxury caravans, sophisticated motorhomes and holiday lodges.

The total trips taken figure is expected to rise to 17.9 million this year and more than 21 million in 2020, and Mintel forecasts Britain's camping and caravanning market will be worth more than £3.2bn by 2020.

Of those camping in a tent in the last three years, 'getting away from it all' is one of the key attractions (42%) as well as 'connecting with nature' (41%). Just 14% overall of those camping would welcome the opportunity to be disconnected from technology with no WiFi or internet, although, surprisingly, 32% of music festival campers claimed they would welcome the lack of connection.

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Among those interested in such leisure holidays, 16% plan to buy a tent, 9% a towed caravan, 12% a motorhome or campervan and 10% a static caravan or mobile home.

Motorhomes are seen as adventurous and fun, comfortable and family-friendly, with secure, spacious, high-quality accommodation. A multi-destination European trip attracted 55%, 34% would aim for a North America tour and 37% would use a motorhome to see a sports event.

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Market drivers for camping, caravanning and motorhomes trips in recent years include lower fuel prices and a desire for families to reconnect with their environment.

A report published by the Wildlife Trust found that children have become increasingly separated from nature, highlighting that fewer than 10% of children play in natural areas, with 78% of parents concerned their children don't spend enough time interacting with nature and wildlife.

The government's Climate Change Risk Assessment report 2012, produced every five years, predicts that future climate change is likely to improve the appeal of the UK as a holiday destination for both UK and overseas visitors with increased summer temperatures and a longer summer season.

The NCC (National Caravan Council), the event arm of which runs the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show, estimates there are currently about 550,000 touring caravans, more than 205,000 motorhomes and 330,000 static caravan holiday homes in the UK, totalling more than one million leisure vehicles.

Birmingham NEC will host the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2017, now in its sixth year, from February 21 to 26, with more than 350 leading leisure brands exhibiting caravans, motorhomes, campervans, trailer tents, folding campers, tents, caravan holiday homes, camping equipment and accessories.

This year's show has plenty of free, have-a-go features including an indoor children's assault course and mobile climbing mountain. A towing and manoeuvring skills area offers expert tuition for those new to caravanning and motorhome holidays as well as those who want to brush up on their techniques. For pet lovers there is the much-loved dog agility arena.

Advance ticket prices are from £7 per person, with children 15 and under free, from

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