The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted to a great extent the travel industry. People nowadays – due to the implemented restrictions and in an effort to protect themselves and their families of being affected by the virus – travel domestically with their cars, at places that are not crowded. Taking into consideration the above, was observed a significant increase in the number of people who bought or rented camper vans and RVs during 2020. USA and Europe were the two main regions where this phenomenon was observed. Experts say that this trend will remain in 2021, showing more growth as travelers search for new ways to please themselves, focusing at the same time on their safety and hygiene.
It is without doubt that Covid-19 pushed people to camper vans and RVs. More specifically, for millennials renting an RV for their vacation is number one option when thinking about travelling. Closely follow, families with small kids and lastly younger generations. Furthermore, in 2020 many people rented for the first time in their life an RV trying to get a completely different experience of travelling as they were afraid of using other forms of transportation.
Official figures show that concerning USA, New York and Illinois saw a significant increase in RV rentals. Also, bookings have doubled in cities like Houston, Phoenix and San Bernardino, California. In addition, in Europe and more specifically in cities like Austria, Denmark and Finland there is an increase at the number of owners of leisure vehicles between 2019 and 2020.
For example, in Austria the registrations of new leisure vehicles increased almost 30% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to European Caravan Federation. In Denmark the increase between 2019 and 2020 was 19,7% and in Finland the registrations of new leisure vehicles increased 15,7% in 2020 compared to 2019. A significant increased was observed in Germany (23,8%). However, according to data from the European Caravan Federation the registrations of new leisure vehicles between 2019 and 2020 didn’t increase that much in other European countries such as in Italy (+2,4%), in Netherlands (+4,5%), in Sweden (+3,3%) and in Switzerland (+4,8%).
The European cities that lead the way concerning the total number of leisure vehicles in 2019 are Germany and France with 1.287.951 and 1.064.800 leisure vehicles respectively. Next comes the United Kingdom with a total number of 780.000 leisure vehicles in 2019. Closely follows the Netherlands with a total number of 556.480 leisure vehicles in 2019. Sweden and Spain had 389.922 and 300.000 leisure vehicles respectively in 2019. The total number of leisure vehicles is not that high in other European cities such as Italy, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Finland and Denmark. The above data comes from the European Caravan Federation.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning the findings of a recent survey conducted by STR on behalf of RVshare with the participation of 1.000 travelers. According to the survey, 73% of millennial respondents answered that they are likely to rent an RV next year, followed by Generation X at 59% and Baby Boomers at 47%. Moreover, 57% of respondents and 68% of millennials indicated that Covid-19 has made travel by RV more appealing than ever. However, respondents expressed their hesitation to book far in advance. According to their answers, 63% said they will not be planning vacations for next year due to uncertainty about the status of travel guidelines.
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