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KOA: Campers Crave Immersive Travel Experiences in 2024

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Kampgrounds of America (KOA) recently released its Camping Trips and Travel Experience report, which explores the trends of camping and experiences that have been driving new campers.

The third installment in KOA’s Camping and Outdoor Hospitality Report finds campers wanting to share immersive natural experiences with their friends and family while camping, as well as slowing down to take in the moment.

Emerging Experiences for Campers

  • Campers are seeking a balance of activities. The top desired activities include enjoying an adult beverage by a campfire, fishing, hiking, taking scenic drives/sight-seeing, bird watching, stargazing and visiting historical sites.
  • There is a growing desire to try new experiences. Recent trends show campers are seeking new adventures, with a rise in overlanding and backcountry camping. However, glamping was the leader for the first-time camping experiences in 2023, with 32% of campers trying a glamping trip for the first time.
  • Shoulder and off-peak travel have increased by 21%, while peak season travel has seen a 4% decline. Campers have noted overcrowding or inclement weather as reasons for the increased change in shoulder season travel.
  • Winter camping has piqued interest among campers with roughly one in four active camping households having gone winter camping in 2023/2024 winter season. This is significantly up from 14% in 2021/2022 and 17% in 2022/2023. 86% of RVers said they use their RV for a variety of experiences, from outdoor recreation, to staying with friends, to attending festivals and outdoor events. RV enthusiasts also shared that RV travel affords both spontaneity and a greater sense of safety and security.

“As outdoor enthusiasts continue to seek diverse and elevated experiences, our latest reports shed light on the evolving landscape of camping,” said Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of KOA. “For the past decade, KOA has utilized findings from our research to modernize and evolve within the camping landscape, allowing us to be the leaders in outdoor hospitality. This targeted report on travel experiences will ensure our industry continues to meet and exceed expectations of our guests to create safe, fun and fulfilling experiences for years to come.”

10 Years of Trends in Camping Accommodations 

  • Since 2014, RV ownership has also doubled, with 77% of RVers traveling in an RV they personally own. An estimated 1.7 million households rented an RV in 2023, a rate that’s projected to increase to 1.9 million in the coming year.
  • For the first time since the survey’s inception in 2014, there was a drop in the number of households tent camping.
  • Blended travel is on the rise, as 92% of all campers combined their trips with other types of travel or accommodations. This included hotel or resort stays, staying at a hunting or fishing camp, or lodges.

Desired Travel Experiences for 2024

  • Campers desire to slow down and simply enjoy the experience in 2024, followed by travel experience that allows them to recharge.
  • 48% of campers are looking to spend more time with family and friends, making this the most important consideration for travel.
  • The top types of outdoor trips include staying at an outdoor resort designed for glamping and/or staying at a campground that includes lots of services and amenities.

To view the full 2024 Camping Trips and Travel Experience Report, click here.

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