Messe Essen draws a strong final balance for Reise + Camping 2023

Leisure fair enjoys unbroken popularity

Reise + Camping is back. After a three-year break due to the pandemic, around 85,000 visitors helped North Rhine-Westphalia's largest holiday trade fair to make an impressive comeback. From February 22nd to 26th, young and old flocked to Messe Essen to find out about new camping trends and attractive travel destinations. Especially at the weekend, all the halls were as busy as in the best pre-Corona times. Around 750 exhibitors and destinations presented everything for the best time of the year at Reise + Camping and Fahrrad Essen, which was held in parallel from 23rd February. In addition, many former exhibitors used the fair to register for 2024.

"We can be more than satisfied with this great result. Despite the aftermath of the pandemic and supply bottlenecks in the camping industry, we were able to continue with Reise + Camping almost seamlessly at the level from before the pandemic. I am very happy about this impressive result and would like to thank all exhibitors and visitors," explains Oliver P. Kuhrt, Managing Director of Messe Essen. Dieter Albert, President of the German Camping Club, also draws a positive conclusion: "For us, Reise + Camping is an indispensable date, here the fair visitors can expect the most beautiful camping sites in Europe. Especially in North Rhine-Westphalia the interest in mobile travel is very high. We are very satisfied with our participation in the fair and are already looking forward to next year."

Camping accessories and vehicles lead the popularity ranking

Almost half of the visitors not only obtained information at the trade fair, but also used it to place orders or make purchases. The exhibitors of camping accessories, vehicles and the international campsites in particular proved to be crowd pullers. The strongest increase in visitor interest compared to 2020 was recorded, among others, by suppliers of vehicle accessories and campsites in Germany. All in all, around 92 percent of visitors were completely satisfied or satisfied with their visit, and 90 percent plan to visit again.

In addition to the joy of seeing the exhibitors and visitors again, the Reise + Camping was characterized by numerous products and innovations. The vehicle industry presented current vehicles and caravans in almost every imaginable size and layout. In addition, there were innovative mobile homes and unusual accessories such as an inflatable parasol stand and a flutter sunshade whose fabric creates a deceptively real palm tree feeling. Comfort and sustainability were the defining trends across the range - from mobile homes with a retractable attic (including a workplace) to tents made of environmentally friendly materials and eco-certified campsites.

Partner region Sønderjylland enchants with Danish Hygge

It was really cozy and homey in Hall 8, where Denmark's Sønderjylland presented itself as the partner region of Reise + Camping. The friendly Scandinavians provided, among other things, Danish gin and wine as well as the specially traveled oyster king Jesper Voss for the typical hygge feeling in the middle of the Ruhr area. Gitte Hoeg Andersen, PR and marketing coordinator of Destination Sønderjylland, summarizes: "We were pleased with the great interest at the fair and we are going back to Denmark with many new contacts, a lot of media reports about our region and without our brochures, as they were all distributed on the last day. Conclusion: a huge success!" As another partner, the city of Prizren also presented itself and promoted a visit to southern Kosovo.

The German Camping Club (DCC) used Reise + Camping as an eye-catching stage for several award ceremonies. On the first day of the fair, the German Camping Award was handed over to hobby founder Harald Striewski, on whose behalf Managing Director Holger Schulz accepted the award from Essen's Lord Mayor Thomas Kufen. In addition, the DCC honored particularly comfortably equipped campsites and pitches in Europe with the coveted Europe Award.

Market situation for bicycles easing

Parallel to Reise + Camping, another trade fair provided reunion joy: At Fahrrad Essen in Hall 5, exhibitors presented new bicycles, accessories and tourist offers from February 23rd to 26th. The most popular models on offer included e-bikes and pedelecs, trekking bikes and cargo bikes. Several parcours areas invited the visitors to extensively test their dream bike, including a dedicated circuit for e-bikes. At the same time, Fahrrad Essen made it clear: After the tense market situation during the pandemic, the supply bottlenecks are largely over and prices are falling again.

Experts also expect the market in the camping sector to have relaxed somewhat by the next Reise + Camping (February 28th to March 3rd, 2024). One day later, Fahrrad Essen will start as usual and complete the proven triad of travel, camping and cycling. Interested exhibitors can find the application documents at www.reise-camping.de and www.fahrrad-essen.de, the closing date for applications is August 31st, 2023.