Multicultural Generations Are Spending Time Outdoors
More than 1 million households in North America started camping last year. Of these new campers, 18 percent are African-American, 11 percent are Hispanic, and 44 percent are millennials, according to the 2016 North American Camping Report, an annual independent study supported by Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA). The research findings suggest that not only is there an increase in African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American representation overall, but among new campers for 2015, representation closely matches overall population (i.e., census) figures, indicating that this new generation of campers is truly multicultural.
Of Hispanic campers, about 25 percent just started camping within the past few years and say that camping allows them to spend more time vacationing, further demonstrating a shift toward multicultural camping. Additionally, multigenerational camping is most common among Hispanics compared to other groups, with 75 percent of all Hispanic households camping with one or more additional generations of family members.
Hispanic campers are also the group most likely to camp in a tent for family camping, and represent the group most likely to spend more nights camping in 2016.
Hispanic millennial campers represents one of the fastest growing segments among campers. With the Hispanic and millennial communities also comes a higher use of technology, specifically in regards to smartphone usage and expectations of free WiFi. Hispanic campers are more likely to use social media for “checking in” at a location and posting photos or videos, in comparison to Caucasian counterparts.
African-American and Hispanic campers are not only camping more than ever before, but they are enthusiastic about the benefits, stating it allows them to spend more time with friends and family, reduce stress and be more physically active. What’s more, the research suggests that there is a “flattening” effect among millennials, where many of the differences observed between ethnic groups are much less pronounced among these younger campers.
As a whole, relaxation and stress relief are the top reasons people camp, according to nearly 3,000 survey respondents across the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, 1-in-5 campers say that camping allows them to spend more time vacationing each year, and access to technology may be promoting greater mobility among campers. While email usage while camping is down overall, campers who check their email while camping spend on average three additional days camping, reinforcing the notion that technology is allowing people to camp more without the anxiety of being disconnected.