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KOA
Kampgrounds of America

KOA Study: 6 Million New Campers Since 2014


Kampgrounds of America recently released its 2018 North American Camping Report, finding that more than 6 million new North American households have adopted the camping lifestyle since 2014.

The independent study found that the number of campers who camp three times or more each year has increased by 64 percent.

In the U.S., there was an increase of 2.6 million new camper households in 2017. Further, representation among all ethnicities is beginning to appear more like the overall population. Building on 2017 report findings, campers at all experience levels and among all ethnicities continue to express the desire to camp more and are equally likely to say that they intend to increase their camping trips in 2018: 45 percent of all campers indicated they will increase camping trips in 2018, an increase of 3 percent from last year’s report, while 39 percent of new campers in 2017 will increase camping trips in 2018.

According to campers who say that access to cell or WiFi service has a great deal of impact on the length of their trips, they are able to take almost a full week extra of time camping.

“Camping is a highly social activity, and with that, we are seeing campers turning to their social circles or other camping influencers for information and resources, including borrowing or renting RVs and gear,” said Toby O’Rourke, president of KOA. “With reduced barriers and the desire of campers to connect with nature and each other, it is no surprise that camping is fast becoming a fundamental component of an outdoor lifestyle.”

Key findings and trends based on the results of the 2018 North American Camping Report include:

  • Overall camping incidence remains stable with 61 percent of U.S. households (77 million) having someone who camps at least occasionally, a minor increase over last year.
  • 45 percent of all campers indicated they will increase camping trips in 2018, while 39 percent of new campers in 2017 will increase camping trips in 2018.
    94 percent of teens state they are enthusiastic about camping, compared to 77 percent of adults who say that teens are enthusiastic.
  • The representation of Hispanic and African American/Black new campers is in line with U.S. Census figures, while new Asian American campers are represented at three times that of U.S. Census figures (new Asian American campers represented 17 percent of new campers in 2017, against 5 percent from Census data). 
  • African American/Black campers are most likely to report an increase in camping, while Asian Americans are most likely to say that their camping will remain consistent year over year.
  • Six out of every 10 Millennial households tried some type of camping or lodging in 2017, but the experimenting is being driven by Hispanics (71 percent) and African Americans (78 percent) trying out new ways of camping.
  • Access to technology while camping is helping to eliminate barriers to camping
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