We’ve focused recently in this column on a wealth of positive news reports pointing to the growth that the RV park and campground sector – as well as the allied RV industry – experienced in 2016 and the upbeat prospects most seem to hold for 2017. So, let’s glance at the overall travel environment in which the outdoor recreation sector dwells.
Case in point: More than a third of Americans (35%) are planning to take a vacation of 50 miles or more away from home this years with two or more immediate family members according to a recent AAA survey. While the overall volume of travelers remains unchanged from last year, AAA indicates that Americans continue to prioritize family travel.
While most family travelers (70%) are planning to take one or two vacations, the survey points to a significant uptick this year in the number of Americans planning three or more – a 13% hike from 2016. “Families continue to see the value of traveling as a way to bond and reconnect in today’s busy world,” said Bill Sutherland. AAA senior vice president of travel and publishing. “The best way to wrap up a family vacation is to start planning the next one, as more and more Americans are starting to do.”
Case in point: In his “State of the U.S. Travel Industry 2017” report, Roger Dow, president and CEO of the non-profit U.S. Travel Association, underscored the fact that travel was an economic bright spot last year across the entire spectrum – and he expects that trend to continue this year. “With the lowest unemployment rate in years and American consumer confidence way up entering 2017, this is a good sign for travel and tourism,” he noted. “Domestically, leisure travel, which is the largest segment, will remain the primary driver for growth.”
Case in point: Travel remains a bright spot in Canada, despite a sluggish economy due to low gas prices and a weak Canadian dollar, the Conference Board of Canada reported. “The tourism sector is one of the handful benefiting from the low Canadian dollar. We’re seeing increased levels of both U.S. and international visitors that are nothing short of tremendous and (should) restore much of the travel volume lost during the past decade,” said Greg Hermus, associate director for the board’s Canadian Tourism Research Institute.
Case in point: Travelzoo, a global media commerce company with more than 28 million members, states in its “Spring 2017 Travel Trends Survey” that Canada should see more 2017 travelers. “With the 150th anniversary approaching, Canada is front-and-center in people’s minds as a must-visit 2017 destination. We know that many Canadians are planning to travel within the country and visitors from abroad will be able to take advantage of our lower dollar to maximize their vacation experience,” said Lara Barlow, Travelzoo’s general manager in Canada.
Woodall’s Campground Management March 2017 Issue, Editor’s Notes Written By Justin Leighty