ACSI-inspectors on the road for the 60th time

In 1964, teacher and enthusiastic camper Ed van Reine started collecting information about European campsites. It was not a job for one person, so he found some colleagues to help. That’s how the first inspection team arose. This year, the inspection team will be going out on the road for the 60th time! ACSI CEO Ramon van Reine talks about this unique working method.

‘The first inspectors – called selectors at the time – were predominantly teachers, who had time to visit campsites due to the long summer holidays. Even now, a significant number of our inspectors work in education,’ says Van Reine.

While the first team consisted of a small group of Ed van Reine’s friends and colleagues, there were 200 inspectors by the late 1980s. In the meantime, the team was also enriched with Flemish inspectors; they are more competent in French than the Dutch. By now, the ACSI inspection team has 380 inspectors and the aim is to increase that number to 400.


‘ACSI is the only campsite specialist in Europe that inspects 10,000 campsites every year,’ Van Reine stresses. ‘That is genuinely unique and provides a complete and reliable picture of the campsites. The inspectors are trained at meetings at the ACSI office and online to ensure they inspect the campsites with a broad view and professional eye.

Additionally, they check more than 250 facilities. This means the information from ACSI is always more valuable than online reviews. The ACSI inspectors look beyond their own experiences, while an online review is often a personal perception. The inspections are therefore very valuable, and will remain so in the future.’ 

ACSI-inspectors are involved with the campsite

What can I improve? What is the best way to draw attention to my campsite? Many campsite operators ask the ACSI inspectors for advice. Sometimes, they even discuss building plans. Van Reine says, ‘The inspectors have a great sense of ‘we-ness’ with the campsites in their inspection area. They are genuinely involved and want to present the campsites as best as possible. We teach the inspectors to put themselves in the shoes of the both the campsite owner and the camper. That enables them to give valuable advice. Furthermore, ACSI reaches so many campers with the guides and online that we are a reliable partner.’

Inspectors provide input

For ACSI, the inspectors are an indispensable source of information about the European camping sector. ‘They tell us how campsites across Europe are doing, from Spain to Finland and from Greece to Ireland,’ Van Reine states. Moreover, many inspectors do more than just visit campsites. ‘The inspectors are involved in the development of new products. They test them and provide input. They also attend trade fairs on behalf of ACSI and are involved in press moments. So, they really are part of the ACSI team.’

A warm welcome

‘Many inspectors tell us that their visits are greatly appreciated,’ says Van Reine. The warm welcome at the campsites is a great motivation for inspectors. Of course, there are always those times when a  campsite owner is having a bad day or the visit comes just at the wrong time. ‘Understandable,’ Van Reine comments, who stresses to still look at the positives. ‘It’s good to realise that the inspector makes the effort to visit for a free listing in the campsite guide. All approved campsites are listed there and that enables you to benefit from a wide reach in Europe.’

Joys and sorrows

‘After working together for 20 or sometimes even 30 years, you really build a bond and friendship with the inspectors,’ Van Reine explains, who has been at the helm of ACSI for 42 years now. ‘There’s also a sad side to it. Sometimes, you have to say goodbye to inspectors who have passed away. Or someone loses their partner. We support them to continue with the inspection if that’s what they want. These inspectors also feel a great deal of support from campsites during such a sad period. We are all in this together in this wonderful sector and are actually one big European family.’

Some facts about the ACSI inspection team:

  • The youngest inspector is 25 and the oldest inspector is 86. The average age of an ACSI inspector is 68.3 years.
  • 274 inspectors live in the Netherlands, 98 and Belgium and 15 in other countries.
  • Suinie Kampherbeek is the inspector who has been with ACSI the longest. This year, he is going out for the 43rd time.
  • In 2024, 57 new inspectors will hit the road for ACSI.
  • There are 380 active inspectors this year. This is the highest number ever. ACSI wants to grow to 400 inspectors.
  • On average, an inspector visits 22 campsites per inspection area.
  • Inspectors often send the inspection details digitally to ACSI on the same day.