Spring Camping Households Forecast to Increase

A picture of a woman in a pink shirt leaning out the window of a Type B camper van with spring flowers in the background

The Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) Monthly Research Report – March 2023 Edition predicts that most 2022 campers will venture out again this year, forecasting a healthy year for the activity.

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

A strong spring, including nearly 1 million additional households who plan to camp this March and April, bolsters impressive growth in January and February, KOA said. The year began with an additional 2.9 million households camping, indicating 2023 interest in camping and outdoor hospitality.

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%). The report said 27% of campers have booked all or some trips for the year.

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

Camping is viewed as an affordable way to travel, the report said. Almost half of all campers said camping was more affordable than other travel modes. 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 have 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 examined who makes camping decisions. Overwhelmingly, women who are the household heads make the decisions regarding where to camp and what to do. In fact, 61% are making key camping decisions.

Click here to view the KOA Monthly Research Report – March 2023 Edition.


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