The Caravan Boom Caught the Czech Republic by Surprise

With the approaching holidays comes a wave of caravan tourists. Conservationists and mayors are concerned and looking for ways to manage the new trend. Instead of campsites, which are overcrowded, the caravanners and their vehicles spend the night wherever they can, although this often causes conflicts.

According to the caravanners, they would be happy if they were not forgotten and the state purposefully built caravan parks. There are 7,000 of them in Germany and 20 in the Czech Republic.

“For us, this is a major problem. It’s not illegal, but it’s unbearable. Caravan parks are not campsites and cannot replace them in any way. It is not possible to bivouac on them,” Antonín Tůma from the Protected Landscape Area (PLA) Moravský kras in Blansko told Právo.

“Caravans belong on campsites, not in car parks or on the edges of towns. They have no business on back roads and certainly not in the countryside. We cannot give fines, but we will not tolerate this behaviour,” said Jiří Kmet, head of the Pálava Protected Landscape Area administration.

And he is not alone. Apparently, municipalities in the Podyjí region will restrict the parking of caravans. “Blocking parking lots in parks for several days is obviously the wrong way to go. It makes sense to restrict parking temporarily,” said Klára Hájek Velinská, founder of the Czech Caravan Camping Association.

“But it is necessary to start building special parking lots for caravans at the same time. Before they are built, it would be best to create a list of car parks where they can stand,” she added.

There are around 60,000 caravans and caravans in the country. Typically, a third to half of their owners spend their holidays abroad, but that has changed with the arrival of the coronavirus. The caravanning boom caught the Czech Republic off guard.

“Instead of bans and threats, the best way is agreement. We will try to explain to caravanners that they should behave as considerately as possible, for example, to leave parking spaces free for others. We will look for compromises,” said Hájek Velinská.
But on the other hand, she expects the state to get moving and start building parking areas for caravans. There will be more and more of them.