Camping and Leisure Travel Sectors Continue to Trend Upward During Early 2023

The Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) Monthly Research Report – March 2023 Edition predicts that the majority of 2022 campers will venture out again this year, forecasting a healthy year for the activity. A strong spring, including nearly one million additional households who plan to camp this March and April, bolsters impressive growth in January and February. The beginning of the year included an additional 2.9 million households, further indicating marked interest in camping and outdoor hospitality in 2023.

According to the report, 74% of households who camped in 2022 say they will get out and camp this year. The majority are prioritizing summer trips, especially in July and August. Over a third of campers have booked camping trips in July (35%) and August (33%). Also noteworthy, 27% of campers have booked all or some of their trips for the year.

Looking more immediately, 26.1 million households plan to camp in March or April. Comparatively, 25.2 million households enjoyed a camping trip during the same period in 2022. The most popular destinations for spring break leisure travel include Florida or the Southeast (18%), California (11%) and Arizona or the Southwest (11%).

“Camping has solidified its place as an important travel option,” said Whitney Scott, senior vice president of strategy at Kampgrounds of America, Inc. “This isn’t just another mode of travel. For many, it is their primary way to explore and experience the world around them. We’re seeing more bookings made earlier to ensure campers don’t miss out on their favorite campgrounds and sites.”

The report once again confirmed that camping is viewed as an affordable way to travel. Nearly half of all campers stated that camping is more affordable than other modes of travel. Similarly, more than a third of campers said they would continue to camp over other vacation options even if the economy worsens in 2023. Some RV owners (31%) indicated they would camp more if the economy declines.

“We’ve seen camping remain resilient during times of uncertainty, and that fact continues to ring true,” Scott said. “While other segments of the leisure travel industry may falter during economic downturns, camping offers a budget-friendly way to travel. Moreover, survey results tell us that camping is an important part of people’s lifestyles they aren’t willing to compromise on.”

The March report also examines who does the decision-making when it comes to camping. Overwhelmingly, women who are the head of household make the decisions regarding where to camp and what to do. In fact, 61% are making key camping decisions.

To view the full findings of the KOA Monthly Research Report – March 2023 Edition, past and future editions, and review the research methodology, visit the KOA Press Room.