December 16, 2021

Kampgrounds of America’s Monthly Research Report Projects 8.69 million households plan to winter camp, 22 million to holiday camp

BILLINGS, Mont. (Dec. 16, 2021) – The KOA Monthly Research Report – December Edition projects that 8.69 million camping households are planning a cold-weather camping trip this year. Whether traveling to winter destinations or warmer locales, more than 22 million households plan to take a camping trip during the remaining holiday season. Bolstering findings from the April release of Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA) annual North American Camping Report, research indicates the increased popularity of camping will continue through the end of the year.

Those that camped for the first time in 2021 are particularly interested in trying a winter camping trip. It is estimated that 69% of new camping households are considering a winter camping trip. RV trips are the most popular form (51%) of winter camping trips though first-time campers are also interested in hut-to-hut winter camping (31%) and overlanding (26%).

“Camping is increasingly becoming a year-round activity regardless of climate,” said Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of Kampgrounds of America. “We are seeing that new campers are really enthusiastic about the camping lifestyle and the options and variety it offers. This isn’t just a trend, camping’s popularity will continue to increase across locations, seasons and experiences.”

A strong indicator of camping in general, 22.47 million camping households – 44% of campers – plan to camp over the holidays in cold or warm weather locations. Popular states for December camping trips include California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New York.

Snowbirding also remains popular with 2.9 million households planning to spend three or more months on a campground. Public (43%) and private campgrounds (35%) are the top choices for snowbirds.

Overall, there is increased optimism for all types of off-season camping. In addition to the increased number of guests, only 3% indicate that they have cancelled trips. While COVID-19 concerns and increases in gas prices and the cost of goods and service have some impact, it has decreased drastically.

“Not only are people camping, they are less resistant to outside forces when considering trips,” said O’Rourke. “Other sectors of the travel industry are feeling the effects of COVID-19 and inflation in a way that is not impacting camping. People are eager to vacation and their choosing to camp.”

According to KOA’s latest projections, over 56 million households are projected to camp in 2021, compared to 48.2 million in 2020 – a 16% increase. An estimated 9.16 million households will camp for the first time this year. When added to the 10.1 million first-time campers in 2020, over 19.2 million households will have joined the camping lifestyle in the last two years.

To view the full findings of the KOA Monthly Research Report – December Edition, past and future editions, and review the research methodology, visit the KOA Press Room.



Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) is the world’s largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds with 525 locations across the U.S. and Canada united under the mission of “connecting people to the outdoors and each other.” The industry leader in outdoor hospitality, KOA’s family of campground brands – KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort – offer sites and amenities designed for every type of camping experience. In addition to unrivaled brand visibility, KOA offers campground owners unparalleled support, marketing, and technology. The company’s proprietary reservation software, K2, delivers campgrounds a completive advantage within the market. Founded in 1962 in Billings, Mont., KOA now serves more than a million camping families each year, who rely on the standards of excellence and unique outdoor adventures for which KOA is known. For more information, visit KOA.com.



Cairn Consulting Group is a market research firm with extensive experience in the hospitality and services industries. For the past several years, Cairn Consulting Group has worked with organizations in both indoor and outdoor hospitality, including the gaming/casino areas, food services/restaurant space, accommodations, travel/tourism and the products and services that are a part of the hospitality industry. The organization also serves clients in branding/brand positioning efforts, evaluating consumer behavior, public opinion & policy and product development.