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KOA Report: Camping Gear Tops Holiday Wish Lists

In a recent report by Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA), the landscape of camping and outdoor recreation shows a dynamic shift, with winter camping gaining popularity and camping gear becoming a top item on Christmas wish lists. 

The KOA Monthly Research Report for December 2023 offers insights into these evolving trends, which have significant implications for campground and outdoor hospitality operators.

The report indicates a growing interest in winter camping, with about one-third of campers planning to engage in this activity. This trend is not isolated, as over half of the surveyed campers express some level of interest in cold-weather camping. This shift towards embracing the outdoors during colder months marks a notable change in camper behavior and preferences.

Christmas has emerged as a particularly popular time for camping trips, with a vast majority of campers planning to travel during this festive season. This integration of camping into holiday traditions signifies a deeper embedding of camping in North American culture, presenting opportunities for campground operators to cater to this festive season demand.

A striking finding in the KOA report is the high demand for camping gear as part of Christmas wish lists. An overwhelming majority of campers have included various camping items in their holiday lists, with tents, sleeping bags, and camp kitchen essentials being the most sought-after products.

Whitney Scott, senior vice president of strategy at Kampgrounds of America, Inc., commented on the trend, noting the encouraging sign it represents for the future of camping. 

“It also could indicate shifting of camping travel behavior and use.”

Looking ahead to 2024, the report notes that nearly 60% of campers have already made reservations for at least one trip, a rate significantly higher than that of general leisure travelers. This high intent to travel among campers outpaces other segments, highlighting the robustness of the camping sector.

Younger generations, particularly millennials and Gen Z, are leading this trend, with two-thirds of these groups having already booked their camping trips for the next year. This demographic’s engagement presents a unique opportunity for campgrounds and outdoor hospitality businesses to tailor their offerings to a younger audience.

The report’s findings are crucial for campground and outdoor hospitality operators. The increased interest in winter camping suggests a need for year-round operational strategies and amenities that cater to cold-weather camping. Campgrounds can consider investing in infrastructure and services that make winter camping more accessible and comfortable.

The high demand for camping gear during the holiday season opens avenues for campgrounds to collaborate with outdoor gear retailers. Offering gear rentals or sales on-site could be a strategic move to enhance the camping experience and meet the needs of campers.

The integration of camping into holiday traditions also presents a unique marketing opportunity. Campgrounds can create special holiday-themed events or packages to attract families looking to incorporate camping into their Christmas celebrations.

The report’s emphasis on the booking trends for 2024 underscores the importance of advanced reservation systems and marketing strategies targeting early bookings. Campgrounds can leverage this trend by offering early bird discounts or special packages to encourage more bookings.

The preference of younger campers for advanced bookings indicates a shift towards more planned and organized camping trips. Campgrounds can capitalize on this by offering a range of pre-planned activities and experiences, catering to the preferences of this demographic.

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April 30, 2024 4:05 pm

Looks like Santa might need to ditch the reindeer for a camping van this Christmas! Camping gear is selling like hotcakes, showing campers are all about that cozy winter camp life. Who needs mistletoe when you’ve got marshmallows and starlit skies, right? Get ready for a jolly campground season!


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: KOA Report: Camping Gear Tops Holiday Wish Lists! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/koa-report-camping-gear-tops-holiday-wish-lists/