Innovation That Matters

Nostalgia for hire: Volkswagen campervans

Travel & Tourism

There’s nothing like an old Volkswagen camper van to evoke images of footloose and fancy-free holidays during the Summer of Love. Now, modern-day flower children can relive the experience thanks to Devon-based O’Connors Campers and Bristol’s Seven Degrees West. Both companies operate small fleets of VW campers, including the 1960s splitscreen and the 1970s bay-window style vans, offering a retro taste of freedom for authentic hippies and wannabes alike. O’Connors uses rebuilt vans with new engines and new interiors that maintain the classic charm with which they were originally made. Seven Degrees West, meanwhile, has imported brand new VW campervans from Brazil, combining the classic look with new everything. Prices are around GBP 630 –700 for a summer week. The power of nostalgia is well-known to marketers. The added appeal of an outing in a VW campervan is that it goes beyond evoking memories to actually recreating an experience. O’Connors and Seven Degrees West aren’t the only outfits doing this—Cornwall-based Rent a Dub offers something similar, for example, including a classic VW Beetle for those seeking smaller transportation—and it’s easy to imagine the concept spreading to other countries. There are an estimated 450 million baby boomers worldwide, according to MIT AgeLab; those in the US alone spend almost USD 2 trillion on goods and services each year. Now that’s flower power… 😉 Much more on catering to baby boomers can be found in’s booming business briefing. Websites: Spotted by: Penny Watson and Susanna Haynie



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