The Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) Monthly Research Report – August 2023 Edition reports that more campers intend to camp over Labor Day than compared to 2022.
Approximately three-fourths of campers have already made plans for the holiday weekend. Further indicating a likely boost to late summer and fall camping, nearly 64% of campers are delaying trips until after Labor Day.
“While fall camping has always been a great time to camp, we saw its popularity really surge during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Whitney Scott, senior vice president of strategy at Kampgrounds of America, Inc.
“We’re not only seeing that this cooler, colorful season continues to attract more guests; campers are making a concerted choice to camp later in the year to avoid weather patterns and enjoy less crowded facilities. They aren’t looking at other travel options, rather they are adjusting to keep camping.”
Thus far in 2023, weather conditions have prompted 67% of campers to change their travel plans. The top three reasons for adjusting trips this year include the heat (50%), cold (43%), or air quality (39%). Looking forward to 2024, campers share that weather will impact their planning, including 46% who will book camping trips closer to their travel dates.
“We need to be very cognizant of how weather and natural phenomena can affect outdoor hospitality,” Scott affirmed. “Yes, weather can change travel patterns and plans. But these same patterns and events can also be a big advantage. When nature puts on a show, camping can be one of the best ways to experience it.”
This is reflected in campers’ anticipation of the 2024 solar eclipse. Over half (51%) of campers will definitely or probably travel to see the eclipse, with nearly a third (32%) being sure of their travel.
All in, almost half of campers are already booking their 2024 trips compared to only 11% of leisure travelers. Impressively, 30% of campers have already booked all of their travels for next year, an additional 30% have booked most of their trips.
The August edition of the KOA Monthly Research Report also found that campers exhibit a more positive economic outlook than their leisure travel counterparts.
Only 20% of campers find the economy worse than last year (compared to 40% of leisure travelers), while 60% see improvement. Campers share that an improved economy will allow them to spend more on food and entertainment, take more vacations, and take more camping trips.