CMT: Caravaning, Motor, Touristik Environmental debate good for the camping enthusiasts
From a global perspective, emissions from motorhomes and trolleys with a caravan in tow means minimal compared to other types of holiday. A visit to one of Europe's largest tourism fairs, CMT in Stuttgart, confirms that you can continue this holiday form with good conscience.
Four months after Europe's largest caravan trade fair closed its doors in Düsseldorf last fall, the industry is in place with the New Year's first trade fair as early as January 11. Then is the time for the annual CMT trade show in Stuttgart, where the latest news is shown while production of 2020 models is in full swing and the industry in a few months enters the busiest season. The German market is the main focus of this fair, but the brands, models and the many representatives we meet are international to a high degree.
However, CMT is much more than tents, caravans, motorhomes and everything you need for equipment between heaven and earth. It is just as much a holiday and travel trade fair, and after a few days at this fair in Stuttgart you are left with a handful of impressions related to travel and holiday. Many Norwegians have been concerned about the debate that has taken place on so-called WLTP measurements of cars consumption and emissions, about new classifications of engines depending on how clean they are, and not least tomorrow's motorhomes will be hybrids, clean electric cars, or perhaps equipped with fuel cells. Hydrogen powered. The result was that many Norwegians were "sitting on the fence" last year, and for the first time in many years motorhome sales declined sharply in Norway. The environmental impact of road traffic seems to be one of the Norwegian politicians most concerned about, but what is the environmental impression of the person driving around on holiday in a motorhome or with the caravan on the towbar?
We meet the debate on how each of us - and not least Norway should appear more environmentally friendly than we are - every single day. Demands for the downgrading of the Norwegian oil industry, zero emission targets for the car park and a more sustainable diet are debates we encounter all over the media. As a result, it also stormed around the motorhomes - and regular passenger cars - a year ago. The diesel engines faced a generational shift in terms of how clean they burn the fuel, how well the exhaust gas is cleaned, and not least how little fuel they are allowed to use. Also passenger cars have undergone technology changes and stricter requirements for declaration of consumption and emissions. At the same time, there is increasing pressure on individual car owners to reduce car use.
The visit to CMT, one of Europe's major tourism fairs, where behind the abbreviation conceals the three words Caravaning - Motor - Touristik, puts the Norwegian efforts in a strange perspective. A year ago, we published here in Bobil & Caravan Magasinet a survey that was carried out on behalf of the Norwegian Caravan Industry Association, to see what environmental impacts our holiday form represents. The conclusions were quite clear and, from a larger perspective, we actually believe that Norway is at the forefront when it comes to recognizing how environmentally friendly it is to vacation with a tent, caravan or motorhome. At the same time, manufacturers of caravans and motorhomes are contributing to ever more environmentally friendly production, through sustainable solutions. Factory facilities with hundreds of m2 with solar panels on the roof, own wastewater treatment and use of the most environmentally friendly materials gives a lower carbon footprint during the production process. Good technical solutions also result in a decrease in energy consumption during the use of the motorhome or caravan. A large used market - in Germany 2 used motorhomes are sold annually - and longevity also means that the environmental impact of producing motorhomes and caravans can be distributed over many years. This is important to take in as a motorhome and camping enthusiast.
Tourism is growing
International tourism grew by about 4% in 2019, which means that around 1,45 billion holiday trips were made worldwide. A number that has increased every one of the last ten years. However, words such as "flight comb" and "sustainability" have for the first time become part of the international travel picture, and just as short-lived food has gained its renaissance, we now see that holidays in their own country - often by car or motor home are about to get a renaissance. It is against this backdrop that we visited the exhibition halls, where 1000 different products in the fields of motorhomes and caravans and “caravaning” occupy the three largest - of the total 10 halls in the exhibition area.
Many small manufacturers
The motorcycle industry is growing internationally, and the number of brands is large. Many of the suppliers are small and have a small production that is only sold in Germany. Several of these have a nice craftsmanship, which is also reflected in the price. The major industrialized manufacturers are responsible for the exciting technical solutions, innovations and price competition. During the exhibition days we met representatives of 17 different motorhome and caravan brands, and in the next issue of the magazine we will look at what news and plans each would share with Motorhome and Caravan Magazine.
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