by Jim Westover, Vice President of Sales and Product Development
• Moms and kids rank camping as favorite type of vacation
It’s no secret that moms – with a little help from the kids – are the main decision makers when it comes to family vacations. To help us better understand today’s moms, Leisure Systems, Inc. retained Touchstone Research, a nationally recognized research firm, to survey more than 800 moms and their kids ages 6-12. Both were asked questions about what they like to do on vacation. The survey included both families with camping experience and without.
It was no surprise that kids love the attractions and activities Jellystone Park offers, especially the water amenities. In fact, 97% of kids rated going to swimming pools and water parks as their favorite summer vacation activity, topping even amusement parks.
Moms’ views of camping, however, were quite eye-opening. With 14 years of continuous same-park sales, it’s obvious that camping is growing in popularity. Yet, the deep sentiment moms have for camping came as a surprise. Nearly all of the moms who have camped – 98% – said they would recommend camping or glamping to friends and/or family members who have not yet tried it.
It confirmed what we have long suspected – moms want vacations that go beyond just fun. Here are a few of the top take-aways:
- 90% felt that camping/glamping lead to greater family communication and bonding compared to other activities.
- 90% said that camping is one of the best activities to strengthen family communication and bonding, in part because kids spend less time on social media while vacationing outdoors.
- 75% of those with camping experience credited the variety of camping/glamping activities, including swimming, organized games and activities, and cooking, which leave less time available for online activities.
- 90% of moms with camping experience said their family has made some of its best memories while camping/glamping.
The survey also found that moms currently prefer camping over other types of vacations. Seventy percent said they are somewhat to very comfortable camping, compared with vacationing in an RV (63%) or staying in a hotel room (62%). Just more than one-third (37%) are comfortable traveling by air, with only one-in-five moms comfortable taking a cruise.
Providing children with an opportunity to learn new life skills, controlling their family’s environment and saving money on eating out were identified as top camping attributes.
As a glamping pioneer, Jellystone Park learned long ago that moms want convenience and comfort while enjoying the great outdoors. The survey found that kids also have gone upscale. 90% said that staying in a glamping cabin with air conditioning, Wi-Fi, a TV, refrigerator and microwave would be a lot of fun. Far fewer – 72% – said that about staying in a tent. Mom wins again!
The survey also explained why the Yogi Bear™ characters remain so popular. 82% of kids said going somewhere with costumed characters would be a fun.
While millennials are the nation’s largest demographic group, the Gen Z cohort is only a bit smaller. By introducing their Gen Z kids to camping and glamping early on, milennial parents are creating the next generation of Jellystone Park guests.
One other interesting finding: Moms in the Western U.S. are most interested in taking a camping/glamping trip this summer. 57% said they are very interested, assuming safe options were available. This underscores there is a need for more family camping and entertainment options in the region.
I invite you to read a summary of the research, which includes comments from moms, here.
As Vice President of Product Development & Sales, Jim Westover works with current and prospective operators to identify growth opportunities, including converting non-branded parks and building new ones. Before joining Jellystone Park, he spent more than 10 years with a nationwide premium ice cream franchise, overseeing the operations of more than 60 locations.