Yurts have become a popular rental option at parks

Yurts have become a popular rental option at parks

There’s a good business case to be made for growth in the outdoor hospitality market in general, and by all accounts one key to that growth is an expanding mix of rental accommodations that bring new guests into campgrounds and RV parks across North America.

According to a report by Woodall’s Campground Management, it’s one of the reasons, in the opinion of Jim Rogers, chairman and CEO of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), that some major companies invested in the RV space see so much upside in the market. And a new “North American Camping Report,” an annual report due in March from KOA, should shed more light on the popularity and growth potential of these alternative accommodations.

Rogers alluded to the preliminary results of that report when he detailed a key group KOA plans to target: The bulk of the 27 million households in the U.S. who go camping. More than half of them are tent campers, he said. “Looking at that audience, ’I’m not trying to sell you a new product. You’re already sleeping on the ground somewhere in America. You’re already taking the time to go camping; you’re already spending the money to go camping.’ This audience is huge and is already out there.”

Add to that the fact that 20% of those 27 million go camping in cabins, he said, and “You should feel fairly secure in terms of where this industry is going.”

More proof of the positive state of the camping market comes from a National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) survey released in December, a study the Colorado-based association commissioned MMGY Global, to perform — and that study showed a strong case for a solid camping market.

In fact, at ARVC’s December convention, MMGY’s Peter Yesawich said, “we’ve never seen a brighter horizon line for the leisure-travel business.”

The study looked at campers in private campgrounds, campers in public campgrounds and outdoor enthusiasts who don’t camp, and according to Yesawich, underscores the case for rental accommodations at private campgorunds.

According to Yesawich, more than half of the people who camp at state and national parks would be interested in camping in private RV parks and campgrounds. Of those, half prefer cabins and cottages.

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