Snowbird Travel Has Healthy Outlook For Upcoming Winter Season

Oct 20, 2021

The KOA Monthly Research Report – October Edition projects that 12 million households – 31% of active camping households – plan to snowbird camp this winter. Additionally, 6.9 million camping households anticipate taking at least one winter camping trip before the end of the year. Following the April release of Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA) annual North American Camping Report, ongoing monthly research indicates the popularity of camping will continue through the winter of 2022.

Looking ahead to the snowbird season, about 17% of all campers who have historically taken trips to southern locals plan to do so again this year. Bolstering this number, 9% of camping households are projected to try snowbirding for the first time. It is estimated that 2.4 million active households will spend three or more months snowbird camping. Another 9.6 million will take shorter snowbird trips of one to two weeks.

CampingHouseholds“Snowbird campers are an important part of our business so seeing the new interest is encouraging,” said Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of Kampgrounds of America. “The continued effects of COVID can have more of an impact on snowbird guests, but indicators are pointing to a healthy season for southern camping locations. We’re ending a particularly strong year of camping on a high note.”

This year, 24% of snowbirds are planning to head south before the Thanksgiving holiday. Another 24% and 23% will leave between Thanksgiving and Christmas and after Christmas, respectively. The most popular locations for snowbird travel are Florida, California and Arizona.

“In addition to looking at overall snowbird business we’ve been particularly interested in Canadian travel,” said O’Rourke. “Prior to the opening of the land border, our research indicated that 16% of Canadian snowbirds were still planning to travel south, while another 16% were taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. With the change in travel restrictions, we expect even healthier Canadian business. While the overall incidence of snowbirding is lower among Canadians, we are happy and ready to see the return of these guests at our campgrounds.”

In addition to snowbird camping, KOA projects that 6.9 million camping households will take at least one winter camping trip before the year ends. A full 17% of these campers plan to take more trips and spend more nights camping this fall and winter due to the continued effects of COVID-19.


According to KOA’s latest projections, 55.9 million households are projected to camp in 2021, compared to 48.2 million in 2020. An estimated 7.7 million households will camp for the first time this year. Adding this figure to last year’s staggering new camper number, 17.8 million households will have joined the camping lifestyle in 2020 or 2021.

To view the full findings of the KOA Monthly Research Report – October Edition, past and future editions, and review the research methodology, visit the KOA Press Room

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