Camping Holds Its Own Even as Other Travel Comes Roaring Back

Skift grip

Travelers are still faithfully flocking to campgrounds, despite the opening of other forms of travel. Today, variations of camping, such as glamping and RVing, are replacing higher-maintenance leisure trips. They also offer a new way to approach remote work.

Mary Ann Ha

Despite the relaxations of Covid regulations for airlines and international travel, one phenomenon of the pandemic seems to persist – campers remain dedicated to the great outdoors. A new study by America Campsites, The largest network of public campgrounds in the world shows that camping and its many variations, especially glamping and campervans, are quickly being adopted by new travelers seeking recreation and are part of the culture of the travel faster than ever. .

Over the past two years, the camping industry will see 36% growth, with more than 9.1 million first-time campers joining the scene last year, according to the Kampgrounds survey.

While a third of newcomers said Covid was their main catalyst for trying camping, these figures also go hand in hand with the increased interest in pandemic leisure and wellness travel since the start of the. People are looking for quieter getaways, outdoor wellness retreats and nature getaways. Of all survey respondents, two-thirds reported regularly participating in some type of pleasure trip, whether camping or other types of travel. In 2021, camping accounted for 40% of all leisure trips taken with more than half of travelers including camping in part or all of their overall trip.

The urban motorhome

Among regular and new campers, the urban resident is proving to be a rising star on the camping scene. In 2021, this type of camper emerged as “one of the most avid camping segments in terms of trips and number of nights spent camping,” according to the Kampgrounds report.

Camping offers city dwellers the opportunity to find local or domestic activities that still offer a change of pace. Urban residents who intend to continue camping said they are interested in various categories of camping, ranging from RV and road trips to backpacking and glamping.

While music festivals continue to be one of the most popular reasons for city dwellers to get out, they are still developing a new curiosity for camping offers. In 2022, 44% of this group said they intend to replace a traditional leisure trip with a camping trip, for economic reasons and to avoid crowds.

Glamping as a hobby

Similar to the previous year, almost half of new campers said they had tried glamping during their camping experiences in 2021. This interest is expected to grow in 2022, with 50% of respondents saying they are also looking for a glamping experience.

While 40% of leisure trips end up camping, 80% of all leisure travelers chose camping or glamping for at least some of their trips. Due to the high level of interest in camping and glamping among leisure travelers, many industry leaders recognize the importance of camping in the hospitality industry.

“Our research shows that camping is one of the top ways households prefer to travel and spend their free time, with 75% of camps saying it reduces stress and helps their emotional well-being,” Whitney said. Scott, Marketing Director of Kampgrounds America. . “Camping is driving the leisure travel recovery and its benefits will fuel future market share.”

Work-life balance in the great outdoors

But it’s not just recreation that new campers are looking for.

Remote work is overturning the traditional ideals of workplace culture, sparking both support and concerns about the new normal. Many people don’t exactly want a complete break from work when traveling, nor do they see it as completely realistic or possible. The distinction between leisure travel and remote work is blurred, and when it comes to camping behavior, 46% of campers reported working remotely on at least some of their trips, representing an increase from 5% compared to 2020.

As a result, nearly half (48%) of campers say Wi-Fi is an essential part of their camping experience, impacting their ability to stay outdoors to stay connected to their lives. professional. Ironically, providing connections to the digital world even outdoors is becoming an important part of customer satisfaction among campgrounds.

The motorhome boom continues, but will it last?

In addition to glamorous camping, RVing is also seeing an unprecedented spike, with nearly two million new RV renters in 2021 and 15 million RV households at least once to explore the outdoors. In a profile of the 2021 New Camper in the Kampgrounds survey, motorhomes were the most popular form of camping people wanted to try, with a 57% response rate. It was quickly followed by camping at 56% and glamping at 51%.

In the past, most RVers rented or borrowed RVs for their vacations, but recent survey results showed they are showing more ongoing commitments to these mobile homes, with 77% of RVers now owning their RV . Interest in owning an RV is still strong among remaining non-owners, with 32% saying they intend to buy an RV in 2022.

However, this spike in RV interest may soon plateau as soaring gas prices prompt RVers to change their travel plans in 2022. Some are either looking to change their RV or even consider sell or sell RV list. About half of new RVers say they plan to sell their RV this year, while a fifth are downgrading their RV to reduce payments and operating costs.