Highest Number Since October

The Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) Monthly Research Report for April finds more households plan to camp over Memorial Day Weekend with 22.6 million saying they want to venture into the great outdoors during the May holiday. This marks the highest number seen since October of last year and it is expected that camping will continue to be popular among leisure travelers through 2023.

More Campers are Booking Trips

The report goes on to state that almost a quarter of campers have booked all their camping trips for the year, a percentage that doubled month-over-month. Another 20% of camping households have booked at least one trip with more planned. Notably, campers are deeper into the planning and booking phases than general leisure travelers. Only 9% of non-camping travelers have booked their trips for the year.

“Campers are an especially fervent group of travel enthusiasts, and we can especially see this in how they plan,” said Whitney Scott, senior vice president of strategy. “This group looks forward to time spent in nature and plans accordingly to secure their favorite campgrounds and campsites.”

Off-Season Camping Increases

The report also gave an overview of a robust camping off-season that saw more campers than ever before. Winter camping, which does not include snowbirding, saw an additional 1.3 million households bringing the 2023 end-of-season total to over 8.2 million who camped during the colder months. The totality of off-season camping brought an estimated 6.15 million new campers to the activity.

“Our research shows that campers look forward to new experiences and adventures,” Scott said. “The changing seasons offer new ways to experience nature that directly affect the growth of winter and off-season camping. We expect to see even more growth during this half of the year in the future.”

Report Shows Strong March Camping Numbers

The April report also shared that March camping increased by more than 3 million households year-over-year. This continues a multi-month growth trend in the camping market that is expected to continue.