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Date: 16/04/2013
Source: FICC

What does “Camping“ actually mean?
The term comes from the Latin campus = field and signifies a form of tourism whereby holidaymakers sleep in a tent, caravan or motorcaravan.
People who camp in tents opt for the simple life, no frills, close to nature. They do not need luxury in order to relax.
Camping became established at the beginning of the XXth century and has spread far and wide since the early days. Nowadays it is possible to spend the night on campsites just about anywhere in the world and, more often than not, these are located in attractive, scenic spots such as national parks.
Campsites provide sanitary installations and electricity near pitches. You may also find that the campsite lays on a range of recreational activities, and food and other goods that one might need are often available too. Staying on a campsite is usually cheaper than in a hotel. In most European countries wild camping is forbidden or only allowed under very special circumstances.
Source: Österreichischer Campingclub (A)
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The number of motorcaravans is increasing in the Netherlands
According to the statistics provided by BOVAG and the VWE offices, the number of motorcaravans has risen sharply in the Netherlands. Whereas four years ago there were barely 60,000 such vehicles on the road, on 1 January 2013 official records showed that registrations had risen to 81,058, an increase of 36%.
Source: De Caravan (NL)

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Does the French ecotax also apply to motorcaravans over 3.5 tonnes?
There is no need to panic if you intend travelling to France in a motorcaravan of over 3.5 tonnes this summer. There is a new environment tax that comes into force in June 2013 on 15,000kms of main roads and on some motorways in France, but it only applies to trucks and goods vehicles that are over 3.5 tonnes. Vehicles transporting people do not have to pay the new tax so it follows that motorcaravans of over 3.5 tonnes are definitely exempt.

Plans for introducing this TPL* environment tax have been on the table for several years and the tax was originally due to come into force in 2010. After some discussion the French parliament postponed the tax to the beginning of 2011. The government then put the plans on hold until the end of 2012 because of technical problems.
* TPL = Taxe Poids Lourds – Heavy Goods Vehicle tax

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From 6 April to 28 December 2013, Dunkirk/Dunkerque (France) is the “Regional Capital of Culture 2013“ and a large variety of special events are being organised to mark this famous town in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region being honoured with this title.

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Restoration work on the archeological site of Pompei began at the beginning of February 2013. It is expected to cost around €105 million, €41 million of which will be contributed by the European Union.
Source: Kampeertoerist (B)

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The United Nations has declared 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation. The objective is to raise awareness, both on the potential for increased cooperation and on the challenges facing water management in light of the increase in demand for water access, allocation and services.
Source: ISO