Harvest Hosts, a membership program giving RVers access to unique RV camping options, is seeing pent-up demand driving a large uptick in US-based RVers traveling into Canada with the border set to reopen this month. In the last year, Harvest Hosts exceeded 2,500 host locations on its platform across the U.S., Canada and Mexico – nearly doubling the number of Canadian hosts in the last year to more than 221 hosts. Despite the border between the U.S. and Canada being closed, Harvest Hosts continued to grow this region anticipating the high demand for travelers upon reopening.
Requests to stay at Canada-based Harvest Hosts locations are rapidly accelerating, with a 29% increase in requests made in July for future stays at Canadian sites after the border opens on August 9th. This upward trend for Canadian host bookings is likely to continue acceleration as the reopening date approaches. The increased movement in and around the Canada border as lockdown restrictions ease facilitates road travel between American and Canadian RVers – and hosts near both sides of the border are already beginning to feel the impact of the increased tourism.
“The pandemic hit many small businesses hard this past year. In particular, businesses like ours so close to the U.S. and Canadian borders have suffered from the lack of travel between the two countries,” says Thomas Reid of Palatine Hills Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. “In the last year we saw a complete drop-off of U.S. travelers due to the border closure. As travelers from the U.S. represent a significant portion of our visitors, the last year had a major impact on our traffic and bottom line. Being a part of the Harvest Hosts network has given us a new way to bring in customers and build our community. Now, as the border plans to reopen in August, we are seeing early signs of increased U.S. tourism in our region that will be critical to our business.”
In addition to Palatine Hills Estate Winery, Harvest Hosts is seeing the numbers quickly pickup on the Canadian side. “To get a better sense of the impact of the border reopening, we took a look at host bookings on both sides of the border between July and August,” says Joel Holland, CEO of Harvest Hosts. “While the booking data in July skewed very heavily to U.S. hosts, the initial booking numbers for August are showing a significant increase for Canadian hosts, now relatively equal between the U.S. and Canada for hosts near the border. We’re excited to see both sides benefit from the RV community as the border reopens.”
Harvest Hosts members spend an average of $50 buying local goods from the Hosts they visit. This translates into an average of $13,000 in additional revenue per host each year, and upwards of $50,000 for popular locations – a welcome boost for many of Harvest Hosts’ Canadian locations anticipating a surge in cross-border travel. Harvest Hosts members will spend over $40,000,000 with the small businesses they visit in 2021, and the company takes no cut of this revenue.
Harvest Hosts currently works with over 220 small business hosts in Canada, including 33 wineries, 67 farms, 38 museums and attractions, 43 breweries and distilleries, and 40 golf courses. It is always completely free for small businesses to join Harvest Hosts to begin hosting RVers, and more information can be found by visiting: https://harvesthosts.com/hosts/
About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a membership club for RVers offering unique overnight stays at more than 2,500 farms, wineries, breweries, distilleries, golf courses, museums and other scenic small businesses all over North America. The company’s mission is to help people live happier lives through road travel, while supporting wonderful small businesses along the way. To learn more, visit: www.harvesthosts.com