The Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) Monthly Research Report – January 2023 Edition offers a provisional look at the prior year in which more people camped than ever.According to the latest research, camping exceeded a record 2021 by 1.5 million households.
Released ahead of Kampgrounds of America Inc.’s annual North American Camping Report, available this spring, the latest edition of the monthly report shared that camping is more vital than ever amidst economic and life stressors.
According to the report, it is estimated that 30% of campers in 2022 joined the activity in 2021 or 2022. While some (13%) share that they began camping as a direct result of COVID-19, most (17%) cite other reasons for choosing to camp for the first time. In 2022, 11% of camping households were new campers. In all, 41% of camping households in 2022 were relatively new to camping as a form of leisure travel, having camped for the first time over the last three years.
“Over the past several years, we have seen dramatic increases in new campers,” said Whitney Scott, senior vice president of strategy at Kampgrounds of America Inc. “People are looking for modes of travel that fit their lifestyle and improve their daily lives. Camping provides that for a growing number of travelers, and we don’t see that slowing down.”
Painting a healthy outlook, most households that camped over the last year indicate they plan to include camping in future travel (74%). Notably, 45% will have booked their camping trips or be in the planning stages for 2023.
Mental health appears to be one reason for the continued popularity of camping. Six-in-ten campers share that camping helps improve their mental health. Additionally, 54% say that camping induces less anxiety than other forms of travel.
Shifting economic factors over the course of 2022 also played a role in how people camped. In fact, 64% of campers camped more or replaced other types of travel with camping during the last year. Similarly, 64% said camping was a more viable travel option during economic uncertainty.
“Camping is proving to be a top choice for travel amidst uncertainty,” Scott said. “People have faced a multitude of stressors in 2022 and camping trips proved to be a solution for many. We’re seeing the perseverance of campers as they make camping a continual priority as a leisure activity.”
The January report also shared the way campers explored in 2022. Most (54%) tented as their primary camping accommodation, while 26% and 17% utilized RVs or accommodations, like cabins, respectively. Campers also tried many things for the first time during the year, including glamping (21%), snowbirding (21%) and staying at a private campground (20%).
To view the full findings of the KOA Monthly Research Report – January 2023 Edition, past and future editions, and review the research methodology, visit the KOA Press Room. To stay in touch with RVBusiness, visit rvbusiness.com.