The trend is distinct: Swedes like camping. A few days ago, industry organisation SCR Svensk Camping reported new record numbers.
Last year, Sweden’s camping grounds recorded some 15 million guest nights. That is an increase by one million over the last two years. The increase has been biggest in the regions of Gotland, Västmanland and Jönköping. SCR’s CEO Lars Isacson sees continuously high potential to grow, not the least among international guests: “We have noticed increase interest from visitors from the Netherlands in particular and I believe there is a huge potential from that market. They want to live close to the Swedish nature.” Mr Isacson believes that on top of the nature, it is the high standard, good service and choice of activities that attract international guests.
Most of them stay in caravans, but the number of nights for mobile homes has increased by 45% since 2010. There is a steady interest from customers in all age groups. Those who chose a mobile home are not the ones that used to sleep in tents before. “No, you can say that a third are previous boat owners, another third has sold their summer house and the other third have always been mobile home owners” says Tomas Haglund who is Chairman of the Swedish Caravan organisation. There is an increased demand for convenience and security and the vehicles have become larger. That also increased the requirements for camping grounds in terms of space and surface. Tomas Haglund states that it is important to be able to host the guest that are showing up and that both the number of caravans and mobile homes are increasing as well.
A company that is adapting to these changing needs of campers is Sweden’s leading camping operator Nordic Camping. At the moment, Nordic Camping is investing some SEK 4,5m in the project “Campsite Stockholm”. It is located south of Stockholm and will offer space for 23 smaller vehicles and 25 larger ones. The price for a standard lot is SEK 180/day, which includes drainage of sewage and garbage. Fresh water, and internet connection are also included. “Campsite Stockholm” is expected to open in time for Swedish midsummer, at the end of June.
As we reported a few days ago, Nordic Camping is one of the very few publicly listed options remaining to benefit from the increasing camping market around Europe. Only a few weeks ago, French camping operator Homair has been taken private by its majority shareholder Carlyle, who seems to be interested to consolidate the European camping market.