Petrification of campgrounds comes at a cost



Today the first herring of a new camping season was struck in a festive way at Camping Zeeburg in Amsterdam. With this playful action, Stichting Open Camping Dag celebrates that camping is possible again and calls attention to the decreasing number of camping spots in the Netherlands. Campgrounds are increasingly being bought up by parties that trade grass for vacation homes.

Camping Zeeburg is a special place to celebrate the opening of the camping season. Owner Toon Weijenborg had no succession and did not want to sell his park to a real estate investor. 'I set up a foundation that took over the shares of my company. With this we will ensure that Camping Zeeburg remains what it is, maintaining its open and sustainable character. said Weijenborg.

National hobby

Camping is one of our national pastimes. Many people see it as part of our cultural heritage; according to CBS, some 4 million Dutch people regularly go camping. The most recent figures from the Camping and Caravan Industry show that the number of camping equipment sold is still on the rise. In addition, Dutch campsites for popular periods are full early on. At the same time, camping sites are disappearing as property owners invest in the recreational sector. Sites are taken over and rental accommodations are then placed here; these yield more. Real camping is thus threatened. This is a development that is also taking place in other European countries.

Budget vacations under pressure

Walter Jonker of platform for recreation entrepreneurs: 'In Dutch residential recreation, the focus is currently mainly on the top segment. That's where most of the developments are taking place. The budget segment is under strong pressure. This is partly due to campsites being converted to more luxurious vacation parks, the accumulation of burden and regulation, (e.g. tourist tax) and finding business succession for a company with little future perspective. On the demand side, on the other hand, there is a great need for simple and budget-friendly accommodations. Farm campsites (such as those run by SVR and Vekabo) and natural camping sites booked records in recent years, and motorhome owners nowadays have to reserve their spots well in advance.'

More than 450 participating companies

Open Camping Day Foundation celebrates the opening of the camping season on Saturday, April 6. Over 450 campsites and camping stores will open their doors this day and organize fun activities. Thus, campers can look around the campsite without any obligation and already make preparations for their vacation. The foundation is supported by the entire camping industry. The main goal of the foundation is to show how much fun it is to camp.

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