Kampgrounds of America (KOA) recently released its Monthly Research Report for January 2023, offering insights into camping in the last year, as well as predictions for this year.
Despite spikes in gas prices and inflation, campers were still eager to travel in 2022. In fact, camping thrived. 1.5 million more households camped in 2022 than in 2021. KOA attributes this boost in camping to COVID-19, and 46% of the households that started camping during the pandemic continued to camp in 2022, stating that camping offered an affordable and reliable vacation option.
Overall, about 41% of all campers in 2022 had started camping in 2020. Of that group, one quarter were newbies in 2022. Conclusion: camping is SO hot right now. It’s so hot that as of the end of January 2023, almost half of all campers will have booked their sites or will be in the planning stages of booking their sites for their 2023 trips. This trend is indicative of the growing popularity of camping as a leisure activity, as well as the increasing demand for outdoor recreation opportunities.
“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.”
Leisure isn’t the only reason folks camped in 2022, though. According to KOA, 6 in 10 campers used camping to improve their mental health, with 54% of all campers saying that camping was less anxiety-inducing than other forms of travel.
KOA’s report is a pat on the back for the camping industry. Despite ongoing economic challenges, Americans are still eager to travel and explore the great outdoors. And most of them plan to continue doing so: almost three quarters of all campers from 2022 plan to continue camping in the future. It’s simply that awesome (but you knew that already).
Check out the full report here.