The Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) Monthly Research Report – February 2023 Edition continues to predict a strong camping season. In January alone, active camping households increased by more than 2 million year over year – an increase of 43%. Combined with 26% of campers having booked some or all of their camping trips and 86% who are deliberating or have chosen their 2023 destinations, the latest edition of the monthly report points to most campers eagerly anticipating new adventures this year.
According to the report, most campers are well into the planning or booking phases, with only 16% having yet to plan any camping trips. As campers plan, new experiences are fueling their upcoming travels. Nearly 4-in-10 campers want to try something truly unique that they have never done before.
Campers are also interested in increasing their travel. In the February survey, 36% indicate they want to venture farther from home and explore new areas on camping trips this year. Looking to spring, 15 million households plan to camp during the season. Spring camping plans for U.S. camping households include 31% who intend to camp for spring break and 19% who would like to spend the Easter holiday camping.
“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,” said Whitney Scott, senior vice president of strategy at Kampgrounds of America, Inc. “We’re seeing this increased desire for new adventures bringing campers out year-round.”
Also examined in the report was how external impacts, including paid time off (PTO), affect camping. Overall, 7-in-10 U.S.-based employed campers say that issues with PTO are impacting their travel planning. Half (51%) say they are saving PTO in case of an emergency, potential layoffs, COVID use, or to remain in good standing at their jobs. One-third of campers shared that they plan to use all or a portion of their tax refund for camping, showing the strength of camping intent.
“We need to understand and acknowledge that external factors are having psychological impacts on consumers, which, in turn, affects leisure travel,” Scott said. “The good news is that camping is an easy way to get away without a large commitment and our data points to its resiliency during downturns.”
Additional findings in the February report examine 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. It is also notable that popular TV appears to affect travel decisions. As many as 4-in-10 campers admit that shows like “Yellowstone” and “White Lotus” impact their travel behavior.
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 KOA.com.
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