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Key Findings in the 2021 KOA Report

ATTENTION RV Park Owners, Operators, and Interested Investors – We’ve uncovered 6 insights from the KOA report that will impact the future of our industry. Don’t miss out on what’s next in RV Parks.

In 2020, there were more than 94.5 million camper households throughout North America. According to the 2021 North American Camping Report, more than 70% of North American campers altered their camping habits in 2020, and RV ownership has continued to rise throughout North America and Canada.

Each year, the North American Camping Report publishes a detailed report outlining the habits of campers throughout North America. This year they took a look at how the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic affected the camping industry, here are some of their key findings.

Diversity Is At An All-Time High

Continuing the trend we’ve seen over the last few years, campers are becoming more diverse than ever before. What’s more is that 60% of first-time campers in 2020 were from non-white groups, the highest rate that’s been recorded.

Influx of First-Time Campers

Although it’s likely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of first-time campers in 2020 was nearly five times greater than what was recorded in 2019. This influx of campers speaks to how many campers felt that camping was a safe, socially-distanced way to travel.

People Are Camping More Often

Compared to years past, campers are reporting a massive increase in the number of times they camp, as well as the length of time they stay. In this digital, remote-learning, remote-working era, many campers found peace, comfort, and production while camping this last year.

More Couples With Children

The best advocates for camping are couples with children. In fact, 63% of these couples indicate that they would recommend camping to others as a way to explore and travel. These couples are also fueling interest in RV experiences. By taking their children camping and giving them an experience they’ve never had before, these couples are cultivating the next generation of campers.

Interest in RV’s Has Skyrocketed

Continuing a growing trend, the use of RVs as a primary way to camp has grown steadily since 2014 and now reflects an all-time high of over 13 million households. Perhaps most notably, though, is that RV ownership has increased 12% since 2019. RV owners also have an increased interest in upgrading their RVs in the coming year. 

COVID’s Continued Impact

About two-thirds of all camper households indicate that the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine will allow them to camp more and take different types of trips. In fact, 39% of campers say the vaccine will allow them to camp more. Overall, the vaccine has had a positive impact on campers’ increased desire to get out more often in the years ahead.

Although the pandemic isn’t necessarily the primary reason for the increase in camping households, it certainly plays a role. 45% of those considering camping state that they are more likely to go camping this year because it is safer than staying at a hotel or indoor travel. But safety isn’t the only motivation for campers. Almost 40% of those considering a camping trip indicate that “missing nature” is their top reason for camping.

Whether it’s searching for the perfect scenic spot, truly being one-on-one with nature, or being together with family, campers seem to be more eager than ever to get out and explore.

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