Focused on how distance and costs influence campers’ decisions, recent reports shed light on the evolving trends that highlight the changing dynamics of camping preferences and the implications for campground operations.
The 2023 Generational Campground Report, a collaborative study by RMS North America, OHI (formerly ARVC), and RVshare, reveals insight into the average distance and expenditure of campers when deciding on outdoor recreation.
“This report is crucial to campground owners and operators, giving them insight into their campers’ backgrounds, behaviors, and future travel plans,” says Adelle Rodriguez, senior director of marketing at RMS North America, in a press release.
This data helps operators strategically plan their operations to increase their occupancy, drive revenue, and bring an excellent guest experience to visitors of all generations for the 2024 camping season.
According to the report, campers demonstrate a significant commitment to their outdoor experiences, as evidenced by their willingness to travel considerable distances and allocate substantial daily budgets.
On average, a camper is prepared to journey 179 miles from home to reach their chosen campsite, spending an average of $50 per person each day. This figure translates to an expenditure of $200 per day for a typical family of four per campsite.
This data not only reflects the financial investment campers are willing to make but also underscores the value they place on the camping experience, indicating a robust market for campground services and amenities.
Meanwhile, the 2023 Camping Report by The Dyrt further emphasizes the growing popularity of camping, highlighting, “It was five times harder to find an available campsite in 2022 than it was pre-pandemic, making 2022 the most booked-up year ever.”
This surge in demand has led to significant changes in campground management, with more than a third of property managers adding campsites last year, and nearly 20 percent expanded their calendar to accommodate the increase in the camping community.
These reports suggest a dynamic shift in the camping industry, driven by the willingness to travel significant distances and spend a considerable amount per day, which reflects the value campers place on these experiences.
Campgrounds are responding by expanding facilities and embracing digital platforms for reservations and management to respond to the very needs of modern travelers – especially when 49% prefer to make their reservations completely online.
For campground operators, these insights are invaluable for making informed decisions and enhancing guest experiences. As the camping landscape continues to evolve, understanding these trends is key to staying competitive and meeting the expectations of modern campers.