Competition in Camping & the Power of a Franchise Partnership

Over the past few years, interest in camping has skyrocketed. Research from the KOA North American Camping Report shows that there are 19 million first-time camper households since 2020, with 56.9 million households who camped at least once in 2021. The growth in the number of campers has also spawned more competition in the campground space. Over just a handful of years, we’ve witnessed a number of new entrants into outdoor hospitality, filling in gaps and challenging traditional campground business models. 

What is the impact of these forces on your business? Driving camper nights to your campground has never been more competitive; meeting (and exceeding) guest expectations has never been more challenging. KOA Franchise Support Services is designed to guide campgrounds in meeting these needs while advancing their business through marketing and staff development. 

In today’s competitive landscape, bringing guests to your campground requires marketing expertise as well as a significant marketing budget. In order to compete, your marketing must reach a spectrum of targeted audiences – from younger campers to those more experienced, across all marketing channels – including websites and social media. As digital marketing becomes more sophisticated and the competition for customers becomes fiercer, it takes dedicated professional resources to develop, deploy and analyze your marketing initiatives to ensure your efforts are successful and profitable. KOA’s experienced marketing team and their agencies are the best in the outdoor hospitality industry, with 20 full-time staff members working with six nationally-recognized agencies across all facets of marketing. In 2022, KOA’s efforts resulted in over 16 billion media impressions, and and the KOA mobile app drove over 2.5 million reservations and $382.7 million in registration revenue to KOA campgrounds. KOA marketing, in short, outperforms the competition, driving camper nights to your business.

Exceeding guest expectations doesn’t happen by accident. It takes careful, thoughtful planning to understand guest needs. And it takes a dedicated, customer-centric team to meet these needs. Attracting, hiring and retaining staff have been especially challenging in recent years. KOA’s focus on workforce development alleviates the stress involved in finding and training qualified applicants. The new Work at KOA program reaches a wider and more diverse candidate pool while creating more opportunities for KOA campgrounds to connect with top candidates. The new website functions as an open-to-the-public KOA campground job search where candidates can apply and communicate with campgrounds looking to hire. KOA is also looking at workforce development with an eye to the future by working with colleges and universities across the country piloting internship programs to expand interest in careers in outdoor hospitality.

Attracting and hiring the right team members, while important milestones to celebrate, are just the start toward building your dream team. Retaining team members is often where the real challenges lie. KOA’s learning and development program provides extensive training content across a wide array of industry-specific topics, including guest interaction, housekeeping, pool maintenance and more. Employees who feel supported stay longer, are more engaged and feel more valued, which impacts guest satisfaction and improves your bottom line.

Being in business in a popular industry is a good thing; but as competition rises, in order to drive camper nights and exceed guest expectations, the right marketing plan and team is imperative, as are staff hiring, training and retention strategies and practices. Tapping into these established and myriad resources are but a few of the vast advantages of being part of the KOA franchise system.


Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) is the world’s largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds with 500+ locations across the U.S. and Canada united under the mission of “connecting people to the outdoors and each other.” The industry leader in outdoor hospitality, KOA’s family of campground brands – KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort – offer sites and amenities designed for every type of camping experience. In addition to unrivaled brand visibility, KOA offers campground owners unparalleled support, marketing, and technology. The company’s proprietary reservation software, K2, delivers campgrounds a completive advantage within the market. Founded in 1962 in Billings, Mont. and celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2022, KOA now serves more than a million camping families each year, who rely on the standards of excellence and unique outdoor adventures for which KOA is known. For more information, visit

To learn more about joining the KOA Family of Campgrounds, contact us:


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