The motorhome sector has been one of the survivors of a summer marked by the coronavirus, managing to set record figures in the summer months with which it will save the year. “What has happened with the confinement is that all the demand has been concentrated in the summer months,” explains the president of the Caravaning Industry and Commerce Association (Aseicar), José Manuel Jurado.
According to the data of this employer, only in the months of July and August, and counting motorhomes, caravans and campers together, 2,924 new vehicles were registered. This data represents a growth of 44.8% compared to the numbers registered in 2019, in which 2,020 registrations were registered.
If the June data are taken into account, registrations grow to 4,417 registrations, almost 1,200 more than a year earlier.
Faced with an anomalous summer due to the covid-19 pandemic, Jurado gives the keys to the summer success of motorhomes: security and freedom. The two strengths that have made demand grow in these months. According to Jurado, many families have chosen this way to spend their vacations because it has allowed them “to establish the necessary security measures.”
“In the end, in a motorhome you can limit the safety distance and social contact, in addition to using your own dishes, sheets, etc.”, they assure from Aseicar.
In a sector that depends to a significant extent on the presence of foreign tourists from countries where this way of traveling is deeply rooted, those who have saved the summer have been new national customers.
Given the almost total absence of foreigners, this summer the sector had 40% of new national clients who had never had contact with the sector before.
As for the demand, as it had been happening in previous years, all the vehicles that were available for rent have been reserved, and even in some communities such as the Basque Country and Catalonia the fleet has been increased.
Jurado believes that this type of first-time tourist has come to stay, since “once you discover this way of traveling, it is difficult to get off their hobby. “Freedom and nature without haste and schedules, isn’t that the dream vacation for everyone?” Asks the president of Aseicar. All this despite the fact that the places authorized to spend the night in Spain are, according to the sector, “clearly insufficient”.
Today, in Spain there are 1,100 areas with 8,000 places for motorhomes, while in other countries such as France they have more than 6,000 areas for these vehicles. A separate case is the situation in the campsites, which offer 80,000 pitches for motorhomes, which represents 70% of their customers.
According to the Spanish Campings Federation (FEEC), which speaks of a summer occupancy of 65% (compared to 80% in 2019), this summer they have recorded “novel data such as the overnight stay of” thousands of motorhomes.
A bad first semester
Despite the positive data from the summer season, the first semester of the year closed with 1,800 fewer newly registered vehicles than in 2019. Without going any further, May, the last month in which the state of alarm was fully in force , suffered a year-on-year decrease of 62.9%, from 1,231 registrations to 457.
If we look at the total data up to August 31, almost 1,000 motorhomes and campers have been registered less than in 2019.
But although the economic horizon is one of uncertainty, the sector hopes to continue growing as it has been doing for the last three years and hopes to go “every year more”.
“Next summer, if everything returns to normal, we hope to have 40% of rookies this year, plus 40% of rookies in 2021, plus foreigners who return to our country, etc.”, predicts Jurado.