Uwe Frers – ADAC Camping

Camping Business interviews Uwe Frers, CEO of ADAC Camping, a division of Germany’s biggest membership organisation, ADAC.Responsible for publishing a digital magazine and a website (which recently changed its name from ADAC Camping World to PiNCAMP) with over 5,500 campsites in Europe available to book, Camping Business asked Uwe Frers about the current camping industry, and its future.
Camping Business: How long have you been CEO of ADAC Camping, and what are your previous career highlights?Uwe Frers: I started at ADAC Camping in November 2017, which means I have been the CEO for over two years. I have been involved in online businesses for 23 years. I started my career at a German media group and I have also been the assistant to the General Manager of the Handelsblatt Group in Dusseldorf where I created its first online business. In 2000, which is now 20 years ago, I went to my first start-up in the financial industry, and now I am at PiNCAMP, which is the fourth new venture I have created. My dream and focus is creating ideas and getting teams together to do something new and see it grow.Camping Business: The report you presented at CMT 2020 said the demand for camping is increasing but there are not enough pitches. Can you explain this in more detail?Uwe Frers: There are two parts to this: the manufacturers and the consumers. We can see rising numbers of consumers stepping in to the camping market every year. In Germany, more than 80,000 leisure vehicles were sold last year, which is another double digit increase compared to the year before. These people are interested in creating great camping experiences, but are also looking for campsites and we can see a stagnation in the rise in the number of pitches available on campsites in Germany and the rest of Europe.The number of campsites in Europe is decreasing which means there are less pitches available. Sometimes new campsites are created but these, and the existing campsites, are tending to invest more in mobile homes instead of camping pitches. The result is that there are more and more camping-orientated consumers looking for campsites, but there are less and less pitches available for them, so the market is really confusing. We now have to find a solution. We launched PiNCAMP one year ago because we know that 20 years ago campers were able to decide where to stay once they arrived somewhere, but there’s no chance of that today and booking ahead is often essential. If you are a family wanting to stay somewhere for two weeks in the main season you have to book several months in advance. It’s pretty much the same for couples too at peak times; rather than going from campsite to campsite when they want to like they used to, they also need to pre-book. Therefore, the strategy for PiNCAMP is to have a platform with all the rates and availability available online so users can pre-check which campsites are available.

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