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Good News for Outdoor Sports: Millennials are Leading Camping Resurgence

16 May, 2018

By: Michael Popke

Almost 50 percent of all camper households plan to increase their number of camping trips in 2018, which is good news for the outdoor sports industry.

Kampgrounds of America (KOA), the world’s largest system of privately held campgrounds, since 2014 has measured an increase of six million new camper households in the United States. What’s more, the recently released 2018 KOA North American Camping Report indicates that the percentage of campers who say they camp more than three times every year has increased by 64 percent since 2014.

“This year’s report shows that the camping lifestyle has taken hold in … new campers – especially millennials – who intend to increase their camping trips in 2018. In fact, new campers and experienced camping families alike say they intend to spend more time sleeping under the stars,” the report states. “Camping has increasingly become a cultural melting pot. Campers of African American/Black, Hispanic and/or Asian descent now turn to camping in numbers that more closely matchthe general U.S. Census. The connections made on campgroundscan’t be duplicated by any other recreational activity.”

Here are other highlights from the report:

  • Six in 10 millennial households tried a new camping destination in 2017, and millennials are more likely to explore the backcountry and opt for higher-end amenities and services.?

  • RVs remain a popular camping option for all campers, while 61 percent of campers say they use tents.

  • About half of the campers who claim Wi-Fi access is important say technology enhances their camping experiences and allows them to extend their camping trips.

And, as Sports Destination Management has noted in the past, many sports have long relied heavily on camping for lodging,

These camping statistics come on the heels of the2017 Outdoor Foundation’s Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, the leading report tracking American participation trends in outdoor recreation with a focus on youth and diversity.Nearly half of all Americans over the age of six, or 48.8% of the U.S. population, participated in outdoor recreation at least once in 2016. That equates to a total of 144.4 million people – two million more people than participated in 2015.

Indeed, shooting sports are among the most popular outdoor sports in America and fishing participation continues to increase.

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