The 2019 Industry Trends and Insights Report, released Monday by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, includes numerical data to support anecdotal evidence of the campground industry expanding rapidly in the past five years and an expectation of even greater growth in the next 12 months.
ARVC’s survey sampled 614 outdoor hospitality owners and operators from across the country on expansion trends and plans, along with campground profiles, guest demographics, amenities, sites and accommodations and rates. The findings of the survey, which are broken down by region, provide relevant insight into the state of the industry, which can be used as a valuable resource for all campground owners and operators when making business decisions.
The study finds more than 60% of RV parks and campgrounds have acreage available for expansion and the industry will likely see more than 52,000 new sites constructed in the next 12 months. These numbers seem to contradict anecdotal comments made previously in the industry suggesting private campgrounds were running out of room to grow.
“The outdoor hospitality industry has been experiencing rapid growth for the past decade, and despite some fears that growth was limited, this data shows otherwise,” says ARVC President and CEO Paul Bambei. “Park owners and operators across the country are enjoying a booming economy and are not only interested in expanding but planning to do so at an unprecedented rate.”
In addition to this expansion data, the study also drills down into more details about rates, amenities and popular site types, reporting results by park size and region.
“This report can help owners make sound decisions on how to improve their park and boost their business,” says Bambei. “By seeing what amenities and sites comparable parks are offering, along with rate averages by region, this is a resource that can guide an owner to see what improvements or rate changes they can make to add extra revenue and stay ahead of the trends.”
These findings are especially important when compared with other industry surveys, including the 2019 North American Camping Report, published by Kampgrounds of America (KOA), which includes additional information showing the growth and changes in camper demographics.
“For example, if an owner is looking to target the emerging market of millennial campers, they can cross reference this data and KOA’s data showing that millennial campers prefer park models over standard spaces,” says Bambei. “It removes some of the guess work and helps an owner make a sound business decision based on hard numbers.”
ARVC plans on issuing this report on an annual basis so its members, and members of the industry, can begin to use it as the go-to report for year-over-year trends.
As a benefit of membership, the report is available at no cost to ARVC members, by visiting arvc.org/industry-reports. Non-members can download the report for $299.