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KOA President Outlines Strategies for Crafting Inclusive, Innovative Camping Experience

Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) President and CEO Toby O’Rourke is spotlighting strategic approaches to meet evolving camper needs at two significant industry events this week. 

O’Rourke shared her insights during a panel at the National Outdoor Recreation Executive Forum on Monday and is speaking at the RV Industry Power Breakfast today.

image via koa.com

As the camping industry evolves, KOA is leading initiatives to enhance the camping experience through inclusion, infrastructure, and innovation, O’Rourke highlighted in an exclusive interview with Modern Campground

KOA, renowned for its data-driven approach, examines the entire customer journey to identify and resolve friction points. 

“One actionable way we’ve used our data is by looking holistically at the customer journey to find and fix points of friction to make the camping experience as seamless as possible for the camper,” O’Rourke explained. This includes streamlining booking and check-in processes and investing in quality Wi-Fi and site amenities.

Accessibility is a priority for KOA, with initiatives designed to address both physical and neurodivergent needs. “One of our findings tells us 38% of campers acknowledge an accessibility-related concern within their camping experiences,” the president and CEO said. 

Despite these challenges, according to O’Rourke, camping remains a more accessible option compared to other forms of travel. In a significant move to improve accessibility, KOA has partnered with GRIT Freedom Chair to provide all-terrain wheelchairs at select locations, enhancing mobility for guests with physical limitations.

O’Rourke also highlighted the importance of increasing campers’ confidence and security. “Increasing a camper’s sense of confidence will help them feel more safe and secure while camping,” she noted. This involves educating campers on the proper use of equipment and campsite setup.

Reflecting on the past decade at the RV Industry Power Breakfast, O’Rourke shared insights on the growth of the camping sector. The industry has seen notable changes, including an increase in camping’s popularity as a travel option, with significant growth in RVing and glamping. “Camping demographics have shifted significantly over the past ten years with a 16-point increase in diversity and a 10-point increase in Millennial and GenZ generations,” the CEO told Modern Campground.  

“Notably in 2023, the Boomer population came back to camping after having retreated during the height of the pandemic. Of all new campers in 2023, 22% were Boomers,” O’Rourke added, citing the company’s latest Camping and Outdoor Hospitality Report.

Looking forward, the KOA leader underscored that the connection between the outdoor hospitality and RV industries is expected to strengthen. “As the outdoor hospitality industry continues to grow and attract new travelers, we see opportunity for the RV industry to continue growing alongside it. Central to that will be anticipating changing camper needs so we can deliver product and experience that meets their expectations,” said O’Rourke. 

In recent news, KOA also released its 10th annual Camping and Outdoor Hospitality Report with a new design and format. “To celebrate the last decade of industry-leading research, we’ve reimagined the report,” O’Rourke remarked. The redesigned report includes 10 supplemental reports covering a variety of topics, improving the usability and depth of the research.

For campground and outdoor hospitality operators, the insights from KOA’s strategies and report provide valuable information on improving their services and adapting to the needs of a diverse consumer base. By focusing on inclusion, infrastructure, and innovation, operators can enhance the camping experience, meet the evolving demands of today’s campers, and ensure a robust future for the industry.

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InfoGalaxy14
InfoGalaxy14
May 9, 2024 1:54 pm

Isn’t it interesting how KOA is making camping inclusive and eco-conscious? Partnering for unique activities makes the experience richer for all ages. I appreciate their efforts in enhancing the camping scene.

JazzyGym0071
JazzyGym0071
May 9, 2024 4:32 pm
Reply to  InfoGalaxy14

It’s truly intriguing to see how KOA is working towards creating a camping experience that is inclusive and eco-conscious. Your insights are valuable. thanks for sharing!

JazzyPanda879
JazzyPanda879
May 9, 2024 6:42 pm

Did you catch that KOA is stepping up their game with sustainability efforts and tech upgrades for a better camping experience? Pretty cool, right? It’s awesome to see them going the extra mile to make camping eco-friendly and super convenient for us campers.

FurryRodent90
FurryRodent90
May 9, 2024 8:41 pm

Isn’t it cool how KOA is stepping up its game for campers? They’re diving into new tech and workshops to make the camping experience even better. What do you think about that?

WarrenGlide
WarrenGlide
May 9, 2024 8:55 pm

Isn’t it interesting how KOA is all about sustainable camping? They’re promoting eco-friendly initiatives to keep our natural surroundings pristine. Partnering with outdoor groups for diverse activities is a smart move!

FluffyGems123
FluffyGems123
May 9, 2024 10:25 pm

Isn’t it awesome how KOA is stepping up their game? They’re diving into sustainability, tech, and accessibility to revolutionize the camping experience. That’s some serious innovation and care for the outdoors!

Jessica Phillips
Jessica Phillips
May 10, 2024 2:23 am

Isn’t it cool how KOA is stepping up their game with inclusive camping experiences and digital tools? They’re all about making camping fun and eco-conscious. Personally, I’m impressed by their commitment to sustainability and innovation. What do you think about their approach?

triviaTara
triviaTara
May 10, 2024 1:46 pm

Yeah, I thought what they were talking about was pretty cool. It sounds like they’ve got some good plans to make camping more welcoming and fun for everybody. Have you ever tried glamping or camping in a treehouse? Those could be awesome experiences to check out!

Carnivore649
Carnivore649
May 10, 2024 3:01 am

Have you checked out how KOA is using top-notch tech to customize camping experiences? It’s all about making those outdoor adventures unforgettable and unique to each person’s taste. Plus, KOA’s eco-friendly moves are all about keeping our camping spots beautiful for years to come. What do you think?

winterWes
winterWes
May 10, 2024 8:38 am
Reply to  Carnivore649

It’s truly remarkable how KOA is leveraging cutting-edge technology to personalize camping adventures. It’s worth exploring how they’re enhancing the camping experience through innovative tech solutions. Your camping trips will be so much more tailored and enjoyable with these advancements.

William Allen
William Allen
May 10, 2024 4:23 am

It’s interesting to see how camping is changing with more tech and eco-focus. I’m a bit concerned about preserving nature and making sure everyone can enjoy it. Do you think the industry will strike a good balance between modernization and sustainability?

StanleyPulse
StanleyPulse
May 10, 2024 7:46 am
Reply to  William Allen

Yeah, I reckon finding that sweet spot between modernizing things and keeping it sustainable can be quite the balancing act. It’s all about blending new ideas with what’s good for the environment, you know? It’s cool to see how camping is evolving!

WhimzyKitten051
WhimzyKitten051
May 10, 2024 6:31 am

Isn’t it interesting how camping is evolving? The tech in campgrounds is cool for us modern campers. We should also focus on sustainability to protect nature for the future. Let’s camp smart!

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: KOA President Outlines Strategies for Crafting Inclusive, Innovative Camping Experience! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/koa-president-outlines-strategies-for-crafting-inclusive-innovative-camping-experience/