Camping is hotter than ever and you can thank the millennials!! The 2021 North American Camping Report is out and the news is fabulous. More than six million more households took at least one more camping trip in 2020 than in 2019 and 2.6 million households bought an RV! As a result, the number of first-time campers grew five-fold since 2019. Millennials now outnumber Boomers and they are camping.
Why Are They Camping?
Millennials say they are trying camping because they have an existing love of the outdoors and all things green, they also want to introduce their children to nature. In addition, they are seeking opportunities to put down their phones and spend time with their families face to face and be physical while doing it. Is it something new to experience? An activity that forms bonds? Is it worth sharing with friends? This is what Millennials crave and is easily combined with their passion for the outdoors.
How Do They Decide Where to Camp?
Millennials start by going online to do some research. They want to see reviews, they want to preview the atmosphere and get a sense for the experience. Additionally, they are looking for places with reliable wi-fi or cell service so they can share the moment while they are in it. According to Toby O’Rourke, President and CEO of Kampgrounds of America (KOA),
“More than 80% of campers changed their camping habits last year – including working and schooling from the campground, turning to RVs for travel safety and security, and adding more weekdays to their trips – which, coupled with the influx of first-time campers, solidifies that many Americans turned to camping and the outdoors to make it through a challenging year.”2021 North American Camping Report finds 2.6 million new camping households – RV Travel
But that’s not all, three-fourths of those first-time campers said it was a “great” experience and they are going to continue camping!
Tent camping is still the most common, but RVs are a very close second (either rented or owned). Additionally, van camping is growing in popularity. Everyone seems to want to try glamping. The bottom line, they want to try new things, is it unique? Is it different? Is it something worth sharing? From yurts to treehouses to spending the night inside of an actual potato In Idaho You Can Spend The Night in a Potato (theculturetrip.com), if there is something out of the ordinary, no matter how small, they are searching for it.
What Factors Are They Looking For?
Over half of campers say that access to wi-fi service impacts the amount of time they can camp. Access enables them to work or school while camping, giving them the option to extend days spent camping. See our article on Starlink for more information on how you can ensure a good wi-fi experience for your campers.
Part of the reason they camp is to reduce stress, relax, and clear their minds. Not to mention, they also want to experience an adventure, meet new people, interact with them, and feel safe while doing it. In their search for the place that can fill this tall order, they turn to online reviews.
What Actions Do You Need To Take?
You need to make your online presence interactive – an experience in and of itself.
- Ask questions
- Create conversations involving visitors and staff using chat bubbles on your website
- Ensure your social icon links are working
- Be proactive, watch your reviews, respond to them
- Post events and things to do on your blog (include pictures from real campers!)
- Involve visitors by hosting photo contests
- Provide selfie stations in your campgrounds
- Create a snapchat filter unique to your park
- Above all, have a compelling website!
Make your park, your site, your staff part of their life journey, a milepost they want to return to over and over again, sharing the treasures you have to offer with everyone they know!