In 2019, 148.3 million travel reservations (across multiple industries) were made online (Condor).
And while many people were understandably concerned about flying during a global pandemic, Statista found that the online travel industry was still worth nearly $600 billion at the end of 2020.
Unlike other aspects of travel, the camping and RV industry is very much alive and well. In fact, it’s thriving, and will likely only continue to grow in 2021.
So how many people will go RVing this year?
To gain some clarity, Harvest Hosts – a membership program providing RVers with access to various breweries, wineries, farms, museums, and other unique attractions in their network – surveyed 10,000 RVers to understand their travel plans for 2021 and came back with some great news for campground owners.
Here’s an idea of how many people will stay at your park in 2021.
How many people will camp in 2021?
People are getting back on the road this year.
While 2020 was a difficult year for many, it saw record numbers in the camping and outdoor industry. Harvest Hosts quotes RVIA, stating that an estimated 46 million travelers went RVing in 2020 – which is an industry record.
And that record is only growing.
Harvest Hosts found that 76% of their respondents said they will travel more than they did in 2020.
More people are RVing than ever.
As a result of the pandemic, the Guardian found that “camping and glamping booking services [are reporting] huge spikes in business, with some 400% busier than the same time last year.”
This past year alone, Golden Municipal Campground took over 6,000 reservations completely online. So, more people are definitely RVing.
Who is going camping in 2021?
Harvest Host discovered that “98.9% of total respondents said that they felt safe traveling in an RV.” Furthermore, the survey also discovered that 38% of participants said they have friends who are now exploring RVing for the first time as a result of the pandemic.
Harvest Hosts also found that their audience is venturing out for longer stretches on the road. Specifically, the data showed that 60.5% of people surveyed plan to travel farther than 500 miles, versus only 5.2% opting to stay within a 100-mile range.
You may likely see people coming from further and further, which means they’ll likely be looking for campgrounds that reflect the topography of your part of the country. Consider investing in local flora and stocking your camp store with regional items to create a better experience for new guests.
Harvest Hosts says that 38.9% of their audience works fully remote, while 22.6% said that they are partially remote. Along those same lines, BusinessInsider recently quoted a study from RVshare, stating that millennials are 73% more likely to find themselves taking a trip and working from an RV this year.
This means there’s a huge opportunity to cater to a fully remote crowd, so long as you have the proper infrastructure. Quality WiFi is more important than ever, and campers will be willing to pay more to have it. In fact, our own study found a lack of working internet to be the biggest detractor of a campground, and many will stay elsewhere if you don’t have it.
57% of Harvest Hosts audience indicated that they have, or will be, traveling with children. On that same note, Afar estimates that RV ownership in the US spans 11 million households.
This means that family-friendly accommodations and events could easily boost your occupancy. Hosting socially distant movie nights, or seasonal experiences like a trail of lights could go a long way in growing your campground.
The Harvest Host study found that “71% of respondents indicated they would travel or have been traveling with their pets.” Additionally, an informal survey of our own even indicated that 90% of RVers bring their family pets with them on road trips, and will pass on a campground if it doesn’t have proper accommodations for dogs.
To capitalize on appealing to these guests, adding a spacious dog park (with plenty of doggy bags and trash cans), and dog-friendly bathing areas would go a long way.
In 2019, KOA found that 67% of their campers are looking for glamping options in order to create a unique experience while maintaining a few comforts. Adding to that, Fox Business reported that the US market for glamping was “projected to reach $4.8 billion in revenue by 2025.”
Many of our campgrounds have found success implementing glamping options, especially when it comes to attracting new campers. If you want to add some economic and relatively simple accommodations, consider:
- Luxury canvas tents or yurts.
- Cabins, tiny homes, or glamping pods.
- Converting vintage campers.
Connecting with more guests in 2021.
With over 46 million RVers on the road spanning from seasoned veterans, pet lovers, glampers, remote workers, first-time campers, and everything in between, the RV industry reaching new peaks. This is a great time for campgrounds to explore new ways to accommodate a growing audience and find more success than ever before.
Need an online reservation software for your campground? We’ve got you covered. Book a demo today.