Acquisition of holiday parks

The striking trend of purchasing campgrounds and subsequently transforming them into cottage parks has caught the eye of both the media and politics. Renters of annual pitches are at risk of losing their sites, causing significant emotional distress. Simultaneously, residents are concerned about the landscape being densely developed. ETFI delved into these developments and explored the current knowledge surrounding them.


The motive for this research can be found in two motions that were adopted in the House of Representatives. These motions called for an investigation into the acquisition of holiday parks and their consequences for tenants, the impact on the environment, and the measures that governments can take to address these issues.

Problem solution

How many holiday parks are involved in this, and what drives their acquisition? What is the impact on the tenants of annual pitches and on the quality of the living environment? And what means does the government have to maintain control over this situation? The search for answers to these pressing questions has been initiated by the Ministries of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK). CELTH investigated this at their request in collaboration with UPT Erasmus and NRIT Media.

The project team consisted of researchers from:

In addition to being part of the project team, researchers from NHL Stenden were specifically responsible for the sub-study on spatial control instruments that can be used to steer the development of holiday parks and their potential relationship with acquisitions. Due to the high level of complexity and political pressure in this project, no students were involved.


In the broad consortium, tasks have been carefully divided. CELTH focused on the scope and impacts together with the UPT of Erasmus University and NRIT Media. Researchers from ETFI focused on the available toolkit.


The project team provided the following findings:

  • Over the past two decades, the number of annual pitches has decreased by 5%. An additional decline of approximately 5,000 annual pitches (4.2%) is expected in the next five years. There is a significant acceleration, but this is certainly not solely attributed to the acquisition of parks.
  • The transformation is driven by succession challenges within family businesses on one hand and the appealing profit model for developers (high returns) on the other hand.
  • Tenants often lack awareness of the (financial) risks they face and struggle to find alternative pitches in case of termination. Expanding lease rights for the recreational market is disproportionate, but there are good alternative approaches to enhance tenant rights.
  • Transformed parks have the potential for greater sustainability, but they also experience more intensive use, resulting in varying impacts on nature and landscape. Spatial instruments offer effective possibilities to counteract undesirable developments. The key lies in understanding and leveraging these tools.

You can find the (Dutch) research report here.

This research project ran from June 2022 till December 2022

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