A new survey of leisure travelers conducted by the RV Industry Association finds that 15.3 million Americans plan to travel in RVs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s this year. This represents 12% of the total number of leisure travelers intending to spend the holidays away from home, and the impact of these RVers continues to be felt in the economies of the locations they visit.
In fact, increased spending on outdoor recreation – of which the RV industry is a centerpiece – was reaffirmed last week when the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) report, revealing that the sector contributed a record $862 billion to the U.S. economy and employed 4.5 million Americans in 2021. This represents an increase of 31% in gross output and 13% in jobs over 2020.
“These two studies demonstrate that the RV industry and its customers are vital contributors to America’s economy and all indications are that they will continue to be so,” said RV Industry Association Executive Vice President James Ashurst. “Growth in the industry is being increasingly driven by younger and more diverse RV buyers whose purchases are largely motivated by the desire to experience the great outdoors.”
According to the RV Industry Association’s travel intention study, 29% of Millennials and 20% of GenZ leisure travelers plan on staying in an RV over the holidays. Some of these will be driving to warm-weather campgrounds or to mountain ski resorts, while others will be parked outside their extended families’ homes over the holidays.
“Spending time with friends and family is an integral part of the holidays, and we know that whether RVing together for a holiday vacation or traveling in your RV for a holiday visit, spending time with friends and family is a primary reason people are going RVing this holiday season,” said Ashurst.
The survey also showed that finances are a driving reason for people’s plans to take an upcoming RV trip. With RV vacations costing 50% less than comparable hotel and plane ride trips and a third less than hotel and car ride trips, RVing is an attractive option for people looking for the freedom to travel while also controlling their travel expenses.