Perhaps the traditional slow winter camping season won’t be so slow this year — and in years to come.
The October KOA Monthly Research Report projects that 8.2 million households are planning to camp this winter. This is a sizeable increase over the 6.9 million households that winter camped in 2021, a growth of 19% in just one year. The increase in winter camping builds on the overall popularity of camping reported in Kampgrounds of America, Inc.’s (KOA) annual North American Camping Report released in April.
Of October respondents, 37% say they will probably or definitely take a camping trip this winter. All in, 1.3 million more households indicate they plan to winter camp compared to last year. This coincides with one-in-four campers saying they plan to take more trips the remainder of the year when compared to 2021.
“The growth of interest in camping during the colder months points to just how much the industry is growing and changing,” said Whitney Scott, chief marketing officer of Kampgrounds of America. “We are seeing alternative and more experiential activation of camping – it’s no longer a seasonal activity.”
Long-term snowbird camping, conversely, is expected to see a slight drop in participation. This year nearly 2.2 million households plan to snowbird compared to just over 2.4 million who participated in snowbird camping in 2021. Long-term snowbirds represent 7% of the overall camping market.
“Even though it’s small, the predicted decline in snowbird business is something that we’re actively monitoring,” Scott said. “We need to consider the services and amenities we provide long-term guests so we can retain current snowbirds and attract new entrants. It’s an opportunity to refine our offerings to expand this market into non-traditional audiences.”
The October report also projects that 9.7 million households plan to camp during October. Notably, only 14% of campers say they have completed their camping season.
SOURCE: KOA press release