Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA) latest research forecasts a substantial increase in fall and winter camping by consumers in 2023.
KOA’s September Monthly Research Report said 85% of consumers who camp are planning fall trips for events or experiences. More than a third (38%) said they definitely will camp this winter, more than double the 17% who said they would in 2022.
An additional 27% of consumers said they probably will camp this winter, a total of nearly two-thirds of all consumers who camp extending their camping season into winter.
Whitney Scott, KOA senior vice president of strategy, said: “The period between September and February presents a continued growth opportunity for camping and outdoor hospitality. While this initially stemmed from travelers looking for sparser crowds, we are seeing guests connecting with the unique sites and experiences that can only be found in fall and winter.”
Nearly two-thirds of new consumers who camp (63%) said they are planning their first winter outing. Backcountry camping is the most preferred winter experience, according to 34% of all consumers who camp. Consumers also professed interest in hunting trips with camping (33%), RV travel (32%) and/or camping at a ski resort (32%).
KOA said 2024 bookings show consumers’ interest in camping continuing strongly into next year.
“Campers are not just telling us they are optimistic. They are showing us with increased bookings,” Scott said. “Our research tells us that nearly half of campers will travel and spend more as their economic outlook improves. With our advanced reservations up nearly 10% compared to last year, camping and outdoor hospitality has an incredibly healthy outlook.”