Glamping Is A Growing Travel Trend Among North American Travelers

New research reveals young, diverse travelers are helping fuel increasing participation and interest in glamping as a way to experience the outdoors

Interest in glamping – or, “glamorous camping” – is growing among North American leisure travelers, according to the 2019 North American Glamping Report. The report, which represents the first-of-its-kind look at the North American glamping market and is supported by Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA), reveals that 30% of North American travelers say they have taken a glamping trip, which is self-defined, over the past two years.

 

Research results revealed in the North American Glamping Report show the growing popularity of glamping is being fueled by high levels of participation among young and diverse leisure travelers, including young families and high frequency travelers (those who take 10+ trips per year). It appears glamping is appealing to experienced travelers who are seeking new, unique travel opportunities. What’s more, based on the interest of Gen X, millennial and ethnically diverse travelers, the trend is well-positioned for continued growth in the years to come.

We’ve been tracking glamping as an emerging travel trend for the past several years as we’ve seen growing demand for different types of glamping experiences, and Deluxe Cabins in particular, at our KOA campgrounds across North America,” said Toby O’Rourke, President and CEO of KOA. “The results of this new research reinforce that North American travelers are in fact seeking different ways to experience the outdoors, even if they aren’t traditional campers. One of the most interesting findings in the report was how the self-definitions of glamping varied among travelers, indicating that there’s interest in a variety of glamping experiences. This presents opportunities for those in the outdoor industry to innovate and create the types of glamping experiences today’s traveler seeks.”

Travelers report cabins (64%), followed by tree houses (58%) and tiny homes (55%), are the accommodations that best fit their definition of glamping. Travelers also seek services and amenities that are reminiscent to that of hotels or resorts when they glamp, including Wi-Fi, a full kitchen and private restrooms, along with linen service and the availability of social activities, both on-site and among local attractions.

Additional key findings of the inaugural 2019 North American Glamping Report include:

 

A Look at Who’s Fueling the Growth of Glamping

  • Sixty percent of leisure travelers who indicated they had glamped in the past two years represent the millennial or Gen Z generations.
  • Of travelers who glamp, 42% are non-white. The highest representation among non-white groups is by African Americans (15% of travelers who glamp), followed by Hispanic (12%) and Asian (9%) travelers.
  • Forty-five percent of travelers who glamp are couples with children.

Why Travelers are Turning to Glamping Experiences

  • Sixty-seven percent of travelers agree that glamping is a unique vacation experience.
  • What’s more, the same percentage of travelers (67%) who are interested in glamping say that their interest stems from a desire for a unique outdoors experience. They also say they want their glamping experience to encompass services and amenities that aren’t available with traditional camping (63%).

How Travelers Prefer to Glamp

  • As different glamping experiences and accommodations open across the U.S. and Canada, findings from the North American Glamping Report reinforce that there is not a single, defined way to glamp.
  • Twenty-seven percent of travelers prefer a family-friendly glamping atmosphere. However, travelers have mixed feelings when it comes to a laid-back and quiet-only atmosphere versus an atmosphere that offers a mix of social and private opportunities (21% of interest in each option).

The Future of the Glamping Market

  • The interest in future glamping trips is highest among leisure travelers who have already tried glamping at least once – 77% of travelers who have glamped before say they are interested in glamping again.
  • Demographically, 66% of Gen X and 61% millennial travelers have expressed the greatest interest in taking a glamping trip in the future.
  • Families with children also have high interest in future glamping trips, at 68%. Travelers across all ethnicities expressed high interest in future glamping.

Findings from the North American Glamping Report provide insights and benchmarking of glamping behavior and preferences among U.S. and Canadian travelers, which will help the travel industry better track this trend in coming years. The full version of the North American Glamping Report breaks down findings further by age, ethnicity, travel frequency and, in some cases, by traveler type. To view the findings of the 2019 North American Glamping Report, or obtain related imagery and graphs, visit http://koa.com/north-american-glamping-report/.

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