Report Finds Labor Day Weekend Camping Expected to Rise

A picture of a family in Michigan camping together

Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA) Monthly Research Report for August found Labor Day weekend camping is expected to increase from 2022 levels.

The finding comes after KOA reported July camping households declined in 2023 from 2022 levels.

Whitney Scott, KOA senior vice president of strategy said: “While fall camping has always been a great time to camp, we saw its popularity really surge during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not only seeing that this cooler, colorful season continues to attract more guests; campers are making a concerted choice to camp later in the year to avoid weather patterns and enjoy less crowded facilities.”

KOA said three-quarters of consumers who camp already have plans for the holiday weekend. Nearly 64% of consumers who camp are delaying trips until after Labor Day, which KOA said indicated a boost to late summer and fall camping.

In July, however, KOA reported 25.04 million households camped in 2023. The level is down 9% from the 27.6 million households who camped in July 2022.

Thus far in 2023, weather conditions have prompted 67% of consumers who camp to change their travel plans. Looking forward to 2024, consumers who camp said weather will impact their planning, including 46% who will book camping trips closer to their travel dates.

“We need to be very cognizant of how weather and natural phenomena can affect outdoor hospitality,” Scott said. “Yes, weather can change travel patterns and plans, but these same patterns and events can also be a big advantage.”

The August report found consumers who camp are more positive about the economy than other leisure travelers. Only 20% of consumers who came said the economy is worse than last year, compared with 43% of leisure travelers. Consumers who camp said an improved economy will enable them to spend more on food and entertainment, take more vacations and take more camping trips.

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