LONDON, England — The Camping and Caravanning Club is celebrating record membership with nearly 600,000 individuals, or 281,674 households now being members of the world’s oldest Club of its kind.
Founded with just six members as the Association of British Cycle Campers in 1901, The Camping and Caravanning Club was the ‘first in the field’ and the club today continues to be an industry leader.
Robert Louden MBE, director general of The Camping and Caravanning Club, said, “In a time when some member organizations are experiencing a downturn in their membership numbers, we are extremely proud to announce our highest ever membership.”
“This achievement signals the continued growth in popularity of camping in all its forms and also the excellent service we provide to our members.”
Camping and caravanning has moved on a long way over the years. Gone are the days of dreaded trips to the basic facilities and heavy, complex tents. Modern caravans and motorhomes are luxurious in their design and include on-board bathrooms and contemporary kitchens while many tents don’t even have poles – some large family tents can be pumped up in seconds. The club has developed a membership offering that stays true to its roots in a modern age and the record membership reflects the popularity of this lifestyle.
The club’s first permanent campsite opened at Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in 1913. Today the club boasts 108 club sites, more than 1,600 certificated sites, an overseas travel service and industry-leading membership services.
The club hit its previous membership peak in August 2011, shortly after the global recession when more Brits switched to camping and caravanning as an affordable and sociable ‘staycation’ holiday option. Membership then tailed off between 2012 and 2014, due to diverse factors.
Darren Whittington, the club’s membership services director, said, “Unfortunately poor weather and high petrol prices impacted on member recruitment between 2012 and 2014. But as pioneers in our field we took this time to reassess our offering and make changes to ensure we could meet the needs of the modern member. This included improving our digital offering.”
Today, 25 percent of club members opt for online membership and use the club’s dedicated campsite app, SiteSeeker, to find the perfect campsite for their next camping adventure. The club’s official publication Camping and Caravanning, which has been free to club members since 1907, has also been available online since 2014 and is currently the second highest circulating digital title in the UK after the Economist, according to ABC.
Julia Bradbury, club president, television presenter and outdoor enthusiast, said, “As a mum of three and an ambassador of the outdoors, I’m delighted to be part of this milestone in Club history. In an age when time is so precious, camping and caravanning is a brilliant way to spend quality time with family and friends. I believe this, along with the great benefits the Club has to offer, is why campers choose to join the Camping and Caravanning Club”.
Membership of the club starts from £37 a year, and gives a household of up to two adults and four children access to a range of benefits. These benefits include discounted pitch fees on all 108 UK club sites, access to more than 1,600 member-only certificated sites, preferential rates on insurance through club care, the club’s 5 nominated insurance provider, plus discounts on ferries and camping abroad through the club’s travel service.
For more information, please visit www.myccc.co.uk/membership.
SOURCE: Camping and Caravanning Club press release