Frank Hugelmeyer

With the RV industry seeing record sales over the last three years at a double-digit growth pace, it’s no surprise to Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), that camping is seeing an uptick.

“Camping obviously is what everyone in an RV is doing and the RV industry is on a multiyear trend of growth,” said Hugelmeyer, the former president and CEO of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), in an interview with SGB Media. “But we’re seeing [camping’s momentum] in participation studies and were seeing it in sales of the gear. The experience economy or the recreation economy is without question getting stronger.”

Hugelmeyer’s comments follow the release of the 2018 North American Camping Report, an annual independent study supported by Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), that found more than 6 million new North American households have adopted the camping lifestyle since 2014. Driven by younger and more diverse campers, camping is expected to continue to see further healthy climbs in participation in the years ahead.

Hugelmeyer said the outdoor industry’s overall strength was also underscored in a recent report by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) that included the outdoor recreation industry in its calculations for the first time. BEA is the government agency responsible for reporting U.S. GDP.

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