CARAVAN SALON with a great success story 60th birthday of the world’s leading trade fair for motorhomes, caravans and equipment

Since the first CARAVAN SALON was held in 1962 at Messe Essen, the development of the world’s leading trade fair for mobile leisure, now permanently held in Düsseldorf, has been impressive.
In 1962, 34,500 visitors attended the first CARAVAN SALON, where 61 exhibitors from eight countries presented caravans and accessories on 15,000 square metres exhibition space. The CARAVAN SALON DÜSSELDORF in 2019 attracted over 270,000 caravanning enthusiasts. They were shown caravans and motorhomes, accessories, extension components, tents and travel destinations by 645 exhibitors from 31 countries, who occupied space of around 214,000 square metres in 13 halls and open grounds. These record numbers reflected the great enthusiasm for caravanning in society. Under normal conditions, a continuation of the success story could have been expected in 2020, but the Corona pandemic put the brakes on the world’s leading trade fair for motorhomes and caravans.
But in 2020, the CARAVAN SALON was also a great success, albeit under completely different basic conditions. Last year, it was the trade fair with the highest number of visitors worldwide within the Corona pandemic. A viable hygiene concept in close cooperation with the authorities with a prescribed minimum distance of 1.5 m, the use of face masks and hand sanitizer dispensers was necessary for the fair to take place. In addition, only a limited daily number of visitors could be admitted after prior online registration. Despite these restrictions, the 107,000 visitors ensure very good sales results and satisfied faces among the participating exhibitors. Especially in these extraordinary times, the CARAVAN SALON has underlined its special importance as an indispensable information and sales platform.
“Right from the start CARAVAN SALON was conceived as a new products and innovations event. It now plays this role not only for the premieres of the new generation of vehicles, but also for all important innovations in the supplier and accessories industry. This is also reflected in the sharp increase in the number of trade visitors from all over the world, making this fair the only international event in the industry. The CARAVAN SALON was and is the most important indicator for trends in the caravanning industry,” says Stefan Koschke, Project Director of the CARAVAN SALON.

In 1962 the first CARAVAN SALON, which was initiated by the industry and retail as their own autumn trade fair, lasted five days. The camping exhibition in spring, in which caravans were just one exhibit among many, was no longer sufficient to the growing industry as a platform. In addition, the industry wanted to exhibit and place orders in autumn, so that the vehicles could be delivered right on time for the new season in spring. The initiators of CARAVAN SALON got the inspiration for the new trade fair’s name from an event in London’s Earls Court as the new premiere trade fair was to be international. The organizers were the German Camping Club (DCC – Deutsche Camping-Club) and the Association of German Caravan Retailers and Importers (Verband Deutscher Wohnwagen-Händler und –Importeure).
The response to the new trade fair was so good, that after the second event was held in 1963, which also lasted five days, it was already regarded as the largest European event of its kind. Almost all the standard European caravan models were represented, and in total there were around 250 caravans and mobile homes on display. In 1964 the trade fair’s duration was for the first time extended to 9 days and two weekends. At this, the third trade fair, a considerable number of foreign visitors were already registered.

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