Survey: Camping is recession-proof vacation
The extras are the first to go for many who are tightening their belts during the recession. That means no tropical vacations or even budget-friendly vacation rentals for many Americans worried about stretching their dollars amid the economic uncertainty. What hasn't been affected, according to a new report, is enjoying a great, family-friendly outdoor vacation at one of the thousands of campsites around the country.
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds reports that the country's largest campgrounds have reported seeing more visitors this year compared to last. One difference is that they are spending less overall.
MotorHome Magazine reports that although occupancies are up, revenues for some large campgrounds and parks are down. For instance, the Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort in Wisconsin Dells reported a 10 percent increase in visitors but a 7 percent decrease in revenues.
Spokesman Brent Gasser says tent camping, which is less expensive than RV camping, was a budget-friendly option for many. In addition, many RV campers weren't spending the extra money for electric hook-ups at their sites. "I've been doing this 40 years, and this is the first time I can remember visits were up but revenues were down," he said.
Tourism officials say retailers and restaurants near campsites and RV parks say their revenues were down as well.