A recent survey conducted by campground associations in Texas, Florida, Alabama, and New York reveals that campground and RV park operators anticipate higher occupancy levels in 2023 compared to last year.
The survey, which collected responses from approximately 400 campground and RV park operators, found that the increased demand for campsites is not confined to a single state or region.
This consistent feedback from operators throughout the country underscores the nationwide trend of rising interest in camping experiences, which directly impacts private campground owners and operators who can benefit from the growing market demand.
The research was jointly conducted by Campground Owners of New York, the Florida and Alabama RV Park and Campground Association, and the Texas Association of Campground Owners.
Key findings from the survey suggest that 54% of campground and RV park operators anticipate better occupancy in 2023 than in 2022, while 39% expect occupancy levels to remain the same.
The data also reveals that 60% of operators are basing their answers on advanced reservations for the coming year, while 44% are considering inbound calls and inquiries.
In terms of booking trends, 60% of respondents noted that guests are booking at about the same time as they were in 2022, with 25% observing that bookings are being made earlier than in the previous year.
Furthermore, 59% of operators anticipate that their cabin, cottage, and glamping business levels will be about the same in 2023 as in 2022, with 38% expecting an improvement in 2023.
Brian Schaeffer, executive director and CEO of the Texas Association of Campground Owners, explained that the survey’s results were not surprising.
“We had anecdotal information based on calls, emails, and requests for our state camping guide indicating camping was on the rise, but the survey really confirmed that for us,” he said.
The survey findings also highlight a growing trend of entrepreneurs in Florida building new RV resorts and adding campsites to existing parks in response to rising market demand.
Bobby Cornwell, president and CEO of the Florida and Alabama RV Park and Campground Association, noted that over 30 RV parks have been built in Florida and Alabama over the past three years, with thousands of RV sites added.
“The newer parks and parks that have added newer sites and more amenities are doing very well,” Cornwell commented.
New York campground owners are experiencing a similar surge in demand for campsites this year.
According to Campground Owners of New York, reservations have been coming in strong, much like the past couple of camping seasons.
“We have some parks being built and some just coming online for 2023, so this is very encouraging. Additions, expansions, and improvements have also been taking place at existing campgrounds. The independently owned campground sector seems to be very healthy,” CONY President & CEO Don Bennett explained.
The growing demand for campgrounds and RV parks in Texas, Florida, Alabama, and New York is expected to continue in 2023, with operators looking to expand and improve their facilities to accommodate this trend.
By offering diverse accommodation options, enhancing guest experiences, and keeping up with industry developments, private campground owners can maximize the potential of their businesses and contribute to the continued growth of the outdoor hospitality industry.
For more information on the campground associations that hosted the survey and their respective members, please visit their websites at TexasCampgrounds.com, CampFlorida.com, CampinAlabama.com, and CampNewYork.com.