Demand on rise for caravans, tiny houses amid pandemic
Seeking refuge from the daily grind and the novel coronavirus, an increasing many in Turkey have turned to caravans and tiny houses for their vacations as the pandemic, lockdowns and restrictions have made many other, more luxurious, options less within reach.
Holidays have taken a turn for the greener and more solitary as public authorities advise people to stay far from crowds during the pandemic, including in Turkey, where many have taken a newfound liking to caravans, according to a sector professional in the country.
Along with this rise in demand, the number of caravan makers in the country has also surged, said Ural Ocak, sales manager of tiny house and caravan producer Karavancan.
"While land and home prices are high, people can buy tiny houses at very low prices," he said, adding that a 35-square-meter (42 square yards) tiny house could currently be purchased for 60,000 Turkish liras ($7,350).
Ocak highlighted that tiny houses met all the daily needs of potential residents, without such bureaucratic hurdles as reconstruction permits.
Karavancan, which is owned by a Turkish construction firm, started caravan production during the pandemic.
Furkan Güneri, a sales director at Turkish caravan maker Crawler, said the sector ecosystem had been boosted during the virus outbreak.
Caravan sales have increased by 80% during this time, Güneri said, with interest rising among people from every segment of society.
He underlined that there are also many accessory and side product makers in Turkey, though options remain limited in Turkey for now compared with other countries.
For four years now, Crawler has also been producing specially designed off-road high-quality motorhomes and exporting them to 25 countries.
The firm has also developed an electric caravan prototype - E-trailer - which extends electric cars' range by charging their batteries like a power bank with its electric engines.
Ilhan Ersözlü, the head of Turkey's largest fair organizer Tüyap, said caravans and tiny houses are very important tourism alternatives for people, especially amid COVID-19.
Turkey's caravan sector has improved during the outbreak, he said, adding that the industry's exports doubled over this period.
While before the pandemic, the number of people interested in caravans was limited, now demand has risen among a wide range of consumers, including white-collar workers, he underlined.
"All who seek isolation from the crowds have turned to caravan tourism." Touching on Tüyap's ongoing caravan expo in Istanbul, KaravanIst, he said that around 100 firms in the sector are showing their products at the event.
The fair, which will last until April 13, has hosted thousands of people who came to see up-close and compare caravans and tiny houses, he said.