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Air Travel Challenges Drive Surge in Camping as Preferred Alternative, Reports KOA

Amid the ongoing challenges faced by air travelers, a notable shift in preferences has been observed, with leisure travelers and campers seeking alternative modes of exploration and relaxation. 

As per a release, the Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) Monthly Research Report for May 2023 sheds light on the growing trend of replacing air travel with camping, as individuals encounter increasing issues with traditional means of transportation. 

With approximately two-thirds of leisure travelers and a significant 7 out of 10 campers experiencing difficulties with air travel, the allure of camping as a viable alternative has reached unprecedented levels. In fact, a remarkable 43% of campers have already canceled their flights in favor of camping.

Unveiling the primary reasons behind this shift, the report highlights the soaring costs associated with air travel, emerging as the foremost complaint among campers, with a staggering 46% expressing their discontent in this regard. 

Additionally, campers have voiced concerns over the exorbitant expenses incurred for hotel accommodations (42%) and food (38%) during air travel. Furthermore, the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has left 34% of campers worried about potential exposure to sick fellow travelers when opting for flights.

Whitney Scott, the senior vice president of strategy at KOA, emphasizes the significance of camping as an increasingly popular solution in response to the prohibitive nature of air travel. 

“Air travel is becoming increasingly prohibitive for a large segment of leisure travelers; camping is emerging as an important solution,” said Scott.

“People are eager to travel and explore in ways that are not only cost-effective but also incite less stress. We’re seeing camping solidify itself as more than a recreational activity – it is a primary mode of travel for an ever-larger population segment.”

The allure of camping lies not only in its cost-effectiveness but also in the reduced stress it offers. Scott asserts that camping has transformed from a mere recreational activity into a primary mode of travel for an expanding segment of the population, as people eagerly seek affordable and less demanding alternatives to satiate their wanderlust.

Unsurprisingly, campers hold a significantly more favorable view of recreational vehicle (RV) travel when compared to air travel. 

An overwhelming majority of campers, 78%, recognize that RVing provides unparalleled travel flexibility, while 71% believe it entails fewer hassles. Moreover, an impressive 70% of campers perceive RVing as a more affordable option than traditional plane travel.

The May report from KOA underscores the sustained popularity of RVing among enthusiasts. 

A striking 7 out of 10 RVers intend to continue their RVing journeys throughout 2023, with nearly half (47%) expressing their intention to embark on more RV trips this year, surpassing other modes of travel by a significant 20-point increase since January. 

Experienced RVers, boasting an average of 33 years reveling in the joys of RVing, continue to form a dedicated cohort within the camping community. However, KOA recognizes the need to support newer and younger RVers, who may harbor uncertainties about their future plans.

The report also pinpoints a few challenges faced by those new to the RVing experience. These hurdles include limited options for campgrounds (42%), considerable distances required to reach campsites (38%), and instances of overcrowding at campgrounds (26%). 

KOA stresses the importance of transforming these challenges into opportunities, aiming to foster impactful changes that will further bolster the success of the camping industry.

In addition to the evolving trends and preferences, KOA’s May Report presents encouraging figures in terms of camping incidence. 

The allure of camping continues to soar in 2023, with April witnessing nearly 1.5 million additional households embracing camping compared to the previous year. As the peak season approaches, a substantial 56% of campers are eager to embark on at least one camping trip within the next 30 days. 

With Memorial Day on the horizon, 44% of campers plan to seize the holiday as an opportunity for an unforgettable camping experience, while a mere 19% of non-campers have similar travel intentions during the Memorial Day period.

As the appeal of camping reaches unprecedented heights, driven by the challenges encountered in air travel, the camping industry is poised to witness a remarkable surge in popularity. 

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May 10, 2024 5:38 pm

Isn’t it cool how camping is becoming super popular these days? Join us RV enthusiasts for a stress-free, budget-friendly adventure! Hit the road, explore new places, and meet awesome fellow campers. It’s all about that freedom and connection. Come along for the ride!


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Air Travel Challenges Drive Surge in Camping as Preferred Alternative, Reports KOA! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/air-travel-challenges-drive-surge-in-camping-as-preferred-alternative-reports-koa/