KOA Expects Uptick in Off-Season Camping

More Than 22 Million Plan to Camp During the Holiday Season.

Image Caption: Image Courtesy of RomanBabakin/Getty

Since releasing its annual North America Camping Report in April 2021, Kampgrounds of America has released monthly reports tracking trends for campers throughout the US and Canada. The company recently released its December update, which shared some interesting insights into travel plans for the holiday season and beyond. It also shows that new RVers are impacting industry trends moving forward.

According to KOA’s data, 2021 saw a dramatic increase in the number of households that took at least one camping trip. That number rose from 48.2 million in 2020 to just over 56 million this year—an increase of more than 7.7 million households. Of those, 9.1 million households went camping for the first time, indicating continued growth industry-wide.

These new campers seem eager to continue connecting with the outdoors, even heading into what would traditionally be the off-season. KOA says that 69% of them are planning a winter camping excursion of some kind. Of those, 51% indicate that they’ll camp in an RV, while 31% are interested in a backcountry hut-to-hut camping experience instead. Another 26% will camp while overlanding, and 15% plan to embark on a winter alpine climbing adventure.

“We are seeing that new campers are really enthusiastic about the camping lifestyle and the options and variety it offers,” “Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of Kampgrounds of America, says via a press release announcing the findings. “This isn’t just a trend, camping’s popularity will continue to increase across locations, seasons, and experiences.”

off season camping

Image Courtesy via asiafoto/Getty

In addition to the surprisingly large number of campers planning a winter outing, KOA expects RVers to hit the road for the holidays en masse. The December report says that 22.74 million Americans and Canadians plan to camp between now and the end of the year. Top destinations include California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and New York.

Other interesting tidbits from the KOA December report include 2.9 million households are planning to snowbird for three or more months this winter. The survey also found that fears over rising fuel costs, the price of consumer goods and services, and concerns surrounding COVID are subsiding. Just 3% of RVers indicated that they had canceled a trip due to those issues.

“Not only are people camping, they are less resistant to outside forces when considering trips,” says O’Rourke. “Other sectors of the travel industry are feeling the effects of COVID-19 and inflation in a way that is not impacting camping. People are eager to vacation, and they’re choosing to camp.”

For more information, visit the KOA website.

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