October 19, 2021

Kampgrounds of America’s Monthly Research Report Projects 12 Million Camping Households Will Snowbird This Year

BILLINGS, Mont. (Oct. 19, 2021) – The KOA Monthly Research Report – October Edition projects that 12 million households – 31% of active camping households – plan to snowbird camp this winter. Additionally, 6.9 million camping households anticipate taking at least one winter camping trip before the end of the year. Following the April release of Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA) annual North American Camping Report, ongoing monthly research indicates the popularity of camping will continue through the winter of 2022.

Looking ahead to the snowbird season, about 17% of all campers who have historically taken trips to southern locals plan to do so again this year. Bolstering this number, 9% of camping households are projected to try snowbirding for the first time. It is estimated that 2.4 million active households will spend three or more months snowbird camping. Another 9.6 million will take shorter snowbird trips of one to two weeks.

“Snowbird campers are an important part of our business so seeing the new interest is encouraging,” said Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of Kampgrounds of America. “The continued effects of COVID can have more of an impact on snowbird guests, but indicators are pointing to a healthy season for southern camping locations. We’re ending a particularly strong year of camping on a high note.”

This year, 24% of snowbirds are planning to head south before the Thanksgiving holiday. Another 24% and 23% will leave between Thanksgiving and Christmas and after Christmas, respectively. The most popular locations for snowbird travel are Florida, California and Arizona.

“In addition to looking at overall snowbird business we’ve been particularly interested in Canadian travel,” said O’Rourke. “Prior to the opening of the land border, our research indicated that 16% of Canadian snowbirds were still planning to travel south, while another 16% were taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. With the change in travel restrictions, we expect even healthier Canadian business. While the overall incidence of snowbirding is lower among Canadians, we are happy and ready to see the return of these guests at our campgrounds.”

In addition to snowbird camping, KOA projects that 6.9 million camping households will take at least one winter camping trip before the year ends. A full 17% of these campers plan to take more trips and spend more nights camping this fall and winter due to the continued effects of COVID-19.

According to KOA’s latest projections, 55.9 million households are projected to camp in 2021, compared to 48.2 million in 2020. An estimated 7.7 million households will camp for the first time this year. Adding this figure to last year’s staggering new camper number, 17.8 million households will have joined the camping lifestyle in 2020 or 2021.

To view the full findings of the KOA Monthly Research Report – October 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.