Considered the largest single RV show in the world, Caravan Salon opened to the public Saturday (Aug. 27) at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre in Düsseldorf, Germany. Upwards of 160,000 RV enthusiasts are expected to attend the show, which runs through Sept. 4 and covers nearly 2 million square feet of exhibit space.
This year’s event also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the show. In 1962, 34,500 visitors attended the first Caravan Salon, where 61 exhibitors from eight countries presented caravans and accessories on 15,000 square meters of exhibition space. Last year, Caravan Salon Düsseldorf attracted 171,000 caravanning enthusiasts who viewed caravans (travel trailers), motorhomes, tents, mobile homes, accessories and travel destinations by 580 exhibitors from 26 countries. In its 50-year history, nearly 6 million visitors have attended Caravan Salon.
This year, the program includes 571 exhibitors from 25 countries, exhibiting approximately 1,800 vehicles.
However, according to Joachim Schäfer, executive vice president and managing director of Messe Düsseldorf, it is not its size alone which makes Caravan Salon Europe’s premier RV show.
“Right from the start Caravan Salon was conceived as a new products and innovations event,” he said. “This role has been further consolidated since Caravan Salon Düsseldorf was held at the end of August, and is therefore, in international terms, the first date for showing the new generation of vehicles. This is also reflected in the dramatic increase in international visitors — at last year’s trade fair we registered 23,000 from all over the world.”
That view was shared by Hans-Karl Sternberg, director general, German Caravanning Industry Association (CIVD – Caravaning Industrie Verband), which has been organizing the trade fair since 1966.
“In the last 50 years, Caravan Salon has advanced to the most important event for the European caravanning industry. No other caravanning trade fair offers a similarly high level — the diversity of its product ranges is unsurpassed and the infrastructure at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre is optimum.”
During the second weekend of the show (Sept. 2-4), the hiking and trekking trade fair TourNatur will again set up at the exhibition center. Held concurrently with Caravan Salon since 2003, TourNatur is Germany’s only public trade fair for hiking and trekking. Covering two halls at the center — one houses more than 5,000 hiking destinations, while the other is home to the latest hiking and trekking gear — TourNatur attracts approximately 40,000 visitors annually.
In celebration of the show’s 50th anniversary, this year’s Caravan Salon also includes a caravan design competition where visitors can upload holiday photos online or bring them to a specified location at the center. The main prize is a high-quality caravan combination worth 38,000 Euro ($55,000 U.S. dollars).