Report: More Diversity Among Recreation Newcomers

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Diversity is up among the million households in North America that started camping last year, according to a report supported by Kampgrounds of America.  

Of the new campers, 18 percent are African-American, 11 percent are Hispanic, and 44 percent are Millennials, according to the 2016 North American Camping Report.

The research findings suggest that not only is there an increase in African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American representation overall, but among new campers for 2015, representation closely matches overall population (read: census) figures, indicating that this new generation of campers is truly multicultural.

What’s more, the research suggests that there is a “flattening” effect among Millennials, where many of the differences observed between ethnic groups are much less pronounced among these younger campers.

Relaxation and stress relief are the top reasons people camp, according to nearly 3,000 survey respondents across the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, 20 percent of campers say that camping allows them to spend more time vacationing each year, and access to technology may be promoting greater mobility among campers.

While email usage while camping is down overall, campers who check their email while camping spend on average three additional days camping, reinforcing the notion that technology is allowing people to camp more without the anxiety of being disconnected.

“More people are camping across North America than in the past few years, and we’re seeing how we define experiences in the outdoors evolve in a modern and meaningful way,” said KOA COO Toby O’Rourke. “The uptick among millennial and multicultural campers could represent a shift in how camping is perceived and levels of participation. With interest and intent to camp more up across the board for 2016, the outlook for the upcoming season, as well as the long-term viability of camping, remain strong.”


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