Harvest Hosts, a membership program giving RVers access to unique camping options, reveals the results of its newest Harvest Hosts study showing that RVers are ready to travel. But traditional summer camping is out. RVers want something new.
Campsites are overbooked due to the pandemic, and many RVers are noticing no vacancies and highly inflated prices. This is driving more RVers to seek alternative locations to traditional campgrounds.
Only a small number of travelers (9%) have already booked all of their summer travel, but more than half of travelers (54%) are booking trips now. This is leading to a huge influx of alternative camping sites, such as Harvest Hosts.
Many travelers expressed interest in exploring other locations that aren’t campgrounds. The most appealing being National / State parks at 59%. Harvest Hosts has multiple state parks and points of interest that skew from the normal campground, which have seen huge increases in inquiries.
The region travelers expressed they’d most like to explore was the West Coast of the US (56%). Statistically, this is the most popular region of all the host locations.
The region travelers expressed the least interest in exploring was the Southeastern US, at 32%.
Employment, Age and Income are the Main Factors in Travel Decisions
About one-third of respondents indicated they planned to spend two weeks to a month on the road this year.
About half (53%) of respondents’ 2021 travel budgets range from $1,000 – $5,000 this year. This is similar to 2019, indicating that travel is picking back up to pre-COVID levels.
Overall, the Harvest Hosts study validates what everyone has been feeling the last year, which is the innate desire to travel. People are ready, and while many want to do it the right way, there are still strong feelings on both sides regarding precautions such as vaccine passports. This decision will ultimately come down to the business themselves to decide but take data like this into account. While the COVID-19 pandemic is fading, the new discussions around vaccine passports, indoor capacity, and masks are here to stay.
Overall, the findings show hope for the travel industry in the summer months, and projections uncover it will look much different from the summer of 2020. As vaccines roll out, Americans feel confident booking trips, yet many are running into overbooked campsites and accommodations, driving the need for alternative stay options.
“The vaccine rollout is in full swing now across the United States. RVing was celebrated as a safe mode of travel during the peak of the pandemic, and we are confident that in this post-vaccination phase, road travel will remain strong,” says Joel Holland, CEO of Harvest Hosts. “In the last year, travelers have rediscovered the road trip. The survey ahead of the much anticipated 2021 summer travel season shed light on the planning that’s already underway, where the most popular destinations will be, and what we can expect out of the RV community.”
Below are key findings from the Harvest Hosts study with a roadmap of what to expect for the summer and the remainder of 2021.
Vaccination Approaches Goals, and Attitudes Are Changing
When asked about vaccination, an overwhelming amount of travelers (71%) confirmed they were fully vaccinated or awaiting their upcoming second dose.
Thirty-two percent of respondents indicated they’d only travel with people who are fully vaccinated. Around half of the respondents (52%) indicated they are willing to travel with both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
Only 17% of respondents have allocated less budget to travel this year than last, indicating a strong desire to travel and plan for this year.
“Vaccine Passports” Create Potential Re-Opening Issues for Businesses
A potential means to confirm an individual’s vaccination status, vaccine passports are creating issues of sustainability and accessibility. The survey shows the RV community is split on their feelings around vaccine passports.
When asked about willingness to show a vaccine passport to enter hotels, restaurants, and similar attractions, 74% of vaccinated and partially vaccinated respondents indicated they would comply. However, 15% of that group noted a “reluctance” to show it but still ultimately would.
Twenty percent of total respondents said they would decline to show their vaccine passport, even if it meant not entering an attraction.
Across the board, feelings were split on destinations imposing the rules themselves. When asked if vaccine passports were a requirement, 44% said they would be more interested in visiting and patronizing, while 38% stated they would be less interested. Around one-fifth (18%) of people are undecided on the issue, which could eventually impact how these businesses decide to operate in the post-vaccination era.
For more info, visit HarvestHosts.com.