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Park owners are reporting that they expect higher occupancy levels in 2023. Credit: Shutterstock

Campground operators anticipate even higher occupancy levels in 2023 than last year, according to recent surveys by the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO), Florida and Alabama RV Park and Campground Association and the Campground Owners of New York (CONY).

“We’re encouraged by the consistent feedback we received from independently owned and operated campgrounds in different parts of the country,” said Don Bennett, CEO and president of CONY. “This means that the increasing demand we are seeing for campsites is not limited to a single state or region of the country.”

About 400 campground and RV park operators responded to the survey.

Among the survey’s key findings from campground and RV park operators: 

  • 54% said they anticipate better occupancy in 2023 than 2022; 39% about the same
  • 60% said they are basing their answers off advanced reservations for this year; 44% off inbound calls and inquiries
  • 60% said guests are booking at about the same time as they were in 2022; 25% said earlier than in 2022
  • 59% said they anticipate their cabin, cottage and glamping business levels to be about the same in 2023; 38% said better in 2023 than 2022

TACO Executive Director and CEO Brian Schaeffer said he was not surprised by the survey findings.

“We had anecdotal information based on calls, emails and requests for our state camping guide indicating camping was on the rise, but the survey really confirmed that for us,” he said, adding, “We still have an issue of not enough campsites for the overall number of RVs that are on the road, particularly with the huge spike up in RV sales due to COVID. But many parks in Texas are adding sites as fast as they can. It is a good time to be in the camping business.” 

Entrepreneurs in Florida are also building new RV resorts and adding campsites to existing parks in response to rising market demand.

“There have been over 30 RV parks built in Florida and Alabama over the past three years, and thousands of RV sites added, said Bobby Cornwell, president and CEO of the Florida and Alabama RV Park and Campground Associations. “The newer parks and parks that have added newer sites and more amenities are doing very well.”

New York campground owners are also seeing rising demand for campsites this year.

“Reservations have been coming in very strong, much like the past couple of camping seasons,” said Bennett. “We have some parks being built and some just coming online for 2023, so this is very encouraging. Additions, expansions and improvements have also been taking place at existing campgrounds. The independently owned campground sector seems to be very healthy.” 

To order state’s camping guides or for more information about the campground associations that hosted the survey and their respective members, please visit their respective websites at TexasCampgrounds.com, CampFlorida.com, CampinAlabama.com and CampNewYork.com