Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) has released its February 2023 Monthly Research Report, which provides an exciting outlook for the outdoor hospitality industry.
The report indicates that January camping households increased by 43% year over year, and 86% of campers have chosen or are deliberating their 2023 camping destinations.
With 26% of campers having already booked some or all of their camping trips, the report suggests that most campers are well into the planning or booking phases.
Additionally, nearly 4-in-10 campers want to try something truly unique on their camping trips, indicating a desire for new experiences.
The report also highlights an increased interest in travel, with 36% of campers planning to venture farther from home and explore new areas on their camping trips this year.
Spring camping plans for U.S. camping households include 31% intending to camp for spring break and 19% planning to spend the Easter holiday camping.
However, the report also indicates that external factors, such as paid time off (PTO), are impacting camping plans.
Seven in 10 U.S.-based employed campers state that issues with PTO are affecting their travel planning, with half saving PTO in case of an emergency, potential layoffs, COVID use, or to remain in good standing at their jobs.
Despite these challenges, the report suggests that camping remains an attractive and resilient option for travelers.
It is an easy way to get away without a large commitment, making it a viable option for those with limited PTO.
Additionally, one-third of campers shared that they plan to use all or a portion of their tax refund for camping, indicating a strong intent to camp this year.
The report also examines camping travel trends, including U.S. and Canadian border travel. While some Americans need more information before finalizing their plans, 54% indicate they may cross the border for travel this year.
Canadians are more enthusiastic, with 77% saying the same. Interestingly, popular TV shows, such as “Yellowstone” and “White Lotus,” appear to impact travel behavior for as many as 4-in-10 campers.
Overall, the February 2023 KOA Monthly Research Report points to a strong camping season for 2023, with most campers eagerly anticipating new adventures this year.
As Whitney Scott, Senior Vice President of Strategy at KOA, noted, “It can be easy to think of camping as a summer activity, but, in reality, more and more campers are eager to explore no matter the time of year. We’re seeing this increased desire for new adventures bringing campers out year-round.”
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