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New Study Unveils Canadian Recreation Industry’s Economic Impact

A recent study by The Portage Group Inc. and Parcel Economic Inc., commissioned by the RV Dealers Association of Canada and Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association, has unveiled significant growth in Canada’s recreation industry. 

The 2023 report indicates a notable increase in RV ownership, with approximately 2.1 million Canadian households, or 14%, now owning an RV. This marks a 3% rise since 2019, highlighting a growing trend in outdoor recreational activities.

Eleonore Hamm, president of the RVDA of Canada, emphasized the economic significance of these findings in an exclusive email exchange with Modern Campground. 

“Our updated Economic Impact of the Canadian RV Industry report showcases that in 2022 the RV sector generated an estimated 104,200 jobs and delivered CA$12.0 billion in added value to the Canadian economy from an initial expenditure of CA$14.3 billion,” Hamm stated. 

She underscored the importance of this data for advocacy and representation of Canadian RV dealers in governmental discussions.

“These findings are incredibly important for the association and the industry as a whole. As an association, one of our strategic goals is to advocate for important issues and the interests of Canadian RV dealers. The report gives us the necessary tools to substantiate to [the] government the considerable economic impact of the RV industry,” Hamm added. 

The study breaks down the economic contributions of RV ownership into two main categories: non-travel and travel-related expenditures. 

Non-travel expenses, which include insurance, storage, and accessories, totaled around CA$2.7 billion in 2022. Maintenance costs, a significant part of RV ownership, are accounted for in the retail sales and service subsector expenditures.

RV tourism-related expenditures have emerged as a major economic driver. In 2022, Canadian RV owners embarked on approximately 6.3 million trips, with RV renters adding another 1.3 million trips, bringing the total to 7.7 million RV trips. These excursions resulted in 72.2-million-person trip nights and an estimated CA$10.3 billion in spending, underscoring the substantial economic impact of RV tourism.

The report also sheds light on the camping sector’s economic influence. In 2022, the camping sector generated about 83,600 jobs and contributed CA$9.8 billion in added value to the economy from an initial expenditure of CA$12.2 billion.

The interconnection between RVing and camping is evident, with over three-quarters (77%) of RV trips being to campgrounds. This synergy between the two sectors is a key driver of economic growth. In 2022, the combined impact of the RV industry and camping sector generated an estimated 141,400 jobs and contributed CA$16.2 billion in added value to the Canadian economy from an initial expenditure of CA$19.8 billion.

For the Canadian RV and outdoor recreation industry, these findings offer a roadmap for future growth and development. The data provides critical insights for businesses and policymakers to understand market trends, consumer preferences, and investment opportunities in the sector.

The RVDA of Canada’s report is a valuable resource for stakeholders in the RV and camping sectors. It highlights the need for continued investment and support for these industries, which are vital contributors to the Canadian economy and the outdoor lifestyle of its citizens.

The full report, detailing the economic impact of the Canadian RV and camping sectors, is available for download on the RVDA of Canada’s website

The association has granted Modern Campground permission for the publication of this report, providing a comprehensive overview of the study’s key findings.

This report not only underscores the economic significance of the RV and camping sectors but also reflects the evolving preferences of Canadian households towards outdoor recreation. As the industry continues to grow, it presents numerous opportunities for economic development, job creation, and the enhancement of the Canadian outdoor experience.


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