Will 2022 be the year of diversity in the camping and RV industry?

Diversity, or rather a distinct lack of it, is a serious problem for modern business. The true makeup of our societies is not properly represented in our workplaces or in our places of leisure, including the campsite. Or at least, that was how things used to be. Camping, caravanning and RVing have traditionally been industries and hobbies dominated by a certain demographic, but with a surge of interest and popularity in them over the last two years, that is slowly changing.

In October last year, the RV Industry Association (RVIA) in the United States revealed that the demographics of the typical RV owner us changing. While 85 per cent of current RV owners surveyed by RVIA’s Go RVing consumer demographic profile identified themselves as white, that figure declines to 76 per cent for RVers who bought their first RV in the last year. Within that figure, 13 per cent of new RV owners identify as black, up from six per cent of those who bought an RV between one and five years ago. While Hispanic or Latino RC owners have increased to five per cent and six per cent respectively for RVers who have bought their first RV in the last year.

Some of the changes in these figures can be attributed to a swing towards camping brought about by the pandemic, however Go RVing has been actively working towards increasing diversity in the market for some time via its marketing efforts. In 2021, it worked with diverse media outlets including Q. Digital, Essence, Black Folks Camp Too, and Parents Latina, as well as working with influencers like Yolanda Edwards of Black Girls Fish and Cory Lee of Curb Free with Cory Lee: A Wheelchair Travel Blog.

GO RVing vice president of brand marketing Karen Redfern said: “Historically, Go RVing has targeted a diverse market, knowing the importance of inviting everyone to the outdoors. When searching for a new creative agency, one of the things that drew us to FCB was the fact that they are known globally for their creativity and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“While there is still a lot of opportunity to increase the diversity of RV owners, I am proud of the work the Go RVing team, and the wider RV industry, has done to invite everyone to see themselves as a part of the RVing community. Change as a never-ending evolution of ideas and actions is a cornerstone of the Go RVing program and will remain as such. There is always room for continued growth. We are always listening – balancing the needs of our industry partners with our consumer mission to continued growth and sustainability of RVing.”

As well as this increase in diversity for RV and camping consumers, it is also something that is happening on a wider scale in the industry. Take the continued success of the RV Women’s Alliance for one, or the recent news that the Caravan Industry Association of Australia recently voted its most diverse board of directors ever. This is a movement that will continue throughout 2022 and beyond. The real question is: are you doing enough? To learn more about why diversity in your business is so important for its future long-term health, read our latest Become and Better Business article from issue 5.