Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the U.S Outdoor Vacation Activities market including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

The great outdoors has enjoyed heightened popularity during the pandemic as consumers see outdoor activities as a good way to pass the time. However, all outdoor activities are not created equally, and there are definite preferences in the types of activities travelers want to engage in based on seasonality, cost, accessibility and other factors. In understanding these biases, travel providers can work to amplify or counteract these preferences to cater to their guests.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the outdoor travel activities market.
  • How the economic downturn affects different travel demographics.
  • The level of interest and participation in various outdoor travel activities.
  • The barriers and motivations that make travelers choose one activity over another.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Mike Gallinari, a leading analyst in the Travel & Leisure sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Even as it limited many areas of the overall travel industry, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t dampened travelers’ desire to explore the outdoors on vacation. The market has a challenge in appealing to a spectrum of travelers, from casual summer hikers to serious ski bums, but therein also lies a lot of opportunity. By acting on many of the underlying motivations, providers can encourage more frequent and varied participation in outdoor activities.

Mike Gallinari
Travel & Leisure Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definitions
          • COVID-19: Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Outdoor activity participant overview
                  • Figure 1: Outdoor vacation activity participant demographics, January 2021
                • Impact of COVID-19 on travel and outdoor vacation activities
                  • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on travel and outdoor vacation activities, January 2020
                • Challenges and Opportunities
                  • Outdoor vacation activities are widespread
                    • Figure 3: Types of leisure trips in past two years, December 2020
                  • Travelers are interested year-round, but clearly prefer summer
                    • Figure 4: Interest in outdoor vacation activities, December 2020
                  • COVID-19 and cash are the biggest barriers
                    • Figure 5: Barriers to outdoor vacation activities, December 2020
                  • Motivations are varied across ages
                    • Figure 6: Motivations for participating in outdoor activities, by age group, December 2020
                  • The industry is not connecting its natural supporters with overarching trends
                    • Figure 7: Environmental attitudes about outdoor vacation activities, December 2020
                  • What it means
                  • The Market – Key Takeaways

                    • Outdoor vacation activities are popular and varied
                      • Unemployment levels jeopardize vacations
                        • The fight against COVID-19 trudges on
                        • Market for Outdoor Vacation Activities

                            • Prevalence of outdoor activities on vacation
                              • Most travelers embark on outdoor vacation activities
                                • Figure 8: Types of leisure trips in past two years, December 2020
                              • Interest in outdoor vacations continues into middle age
                                • Figure 9: Types of outdoor vacations in past two years, by age group, December 2020
                              • Affluent vacationers are strong targets for outdoor activity providers
                                • Figure 10: Types of outdoor vacations in past two years, by age group, December 2020
                              • Great outdoors are great for groups
                                • Figure 11: Types of outdoor vacations in past two years, by number of minor children living in household, December 2020
                              • Length of trip and seasonal preferences
                                • Outdoor activities round out long vacations
                                  • Figure 12: Length of last outdoor vacation, by trip type, December 2020
                                • COVID-19 affected the number of vacationers, but not seasonal preference
                                  • Figure 13: Seasonality of outdoor vacations, 2019-20, December 2020
                                • Impact of COVID-19 on travel and outdoor vacation activities
                                  • Figure 14: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on travel and outdoor vacation activities, January 2021
                                • Lockdown
                                  • Reemergence
                                    • Recovery
                                      • Americans are locked into their travel habits despite rising cases
                                        • Figure 15: Comfort level with travel activities during COVID-19, September and December, 2020
                                      • Some stigma exists around outdoor activities
                                        • Figure 16: Attitudes toward travel during the pandemic – safety and booking, December 2020
                                      • Pessimism about COVID-19 depresses 2021 travel outlook
                                        • Figure 17: Attitudes about COVID-19, December 4-20, 2020
                                    • Market Factors

                                      • Travel market faces slow climb out of recession
                                        • Figure 18: Total travel industry revenue and forecast, at current prices, 2015-25
                                      • Travel recovery dependent on COVID-19 vaccine
                                        • Slow vaccine rollout delays all travel recovery
                                          • B.1.1.7. threatens the rebound of destinations
                                            • Direct relief in question despite changes in Senate and White House
                                              • High unemployment narrows outdoor activity participation
                                                • Figure 19: Unemployment and underemployment, January 2007- November 2020
                                                • Figure 20: Vacation occurrence in past two years, by race and gender, December 2020
                                              • Low prices at the pump encourage outdoor vacations
                                                • Figure 21: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007- November 2020
                                            • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                              • A greening industry needs its customers on board
                                                • Brands are acting in line with the sentiments that influence consumers
                                                • Market Opportunities

                                                  • The broader travel industry provides a roadmap for outdoor activities
                                                    • Figure 22: Environmental attitudes about outdoor vacation activities, December 2020
                                                  • Case study: African destinations pioneer eco-friendly outdoor vacations
                                                    • COVID-19 solutions can have lasting ramifications
                                                      • Successful round of funding can make the homeshare market more outdoorsy
                                                      • Competitive Strategies

                                                        • Mintel Trend Drivers
                                                          • Surroundings
                                                            • Figure 23: Mintel Trend Driver, Surroundings
                                                          • Industry initiatives underscore sustainability
                                                            • Smaller markets reach out to people nearby
                                                              • Figure 24: Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette “Winter Bucket List” email, January 2021
                                                            • Value
                                                              • Figure 25: Mintel Trend Driver, Value
                                                            • Sixt gives destination advice alongside rental deals
                                                              • Figure 26: Sixt email, December 2020
                                                            • Wellbeing
                                                              • Figure 27: Mintel Trend Driver, Wellbeing
                                                            • Big White takes the wrong angle on the pandemic
                                                              • Figure 28: Big White Ski Resort online ad, December 2020
                                                          • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                            • Summer activities have the broadest appeal
                                                              • Warm weather activities are seen as the most desirable
                                                                • Enjoyment and relaxation are key motivators
                                                                  • Health and wealth are principal barriers
                                                                  • Activities and Interest

                                                                    • For activities, summer heat can’t be beat
                                                                      • Figure 29: Attitudes toward outdoor activity seasons, December 2020
                                                                    • Outdoor activity appeal is wide ranging
                                                                      • For many activities, interest is high, but participation is low
                                                                        • Water activities are more universally appealing than snow
                                                                          • Niche activity participants are engaged broadly
                                                                            • Figure 30: Interest in outdoor vacation activities, December 2020
                                                                          • Vacationers are interested in easy-access activities
                                                                            • Figure 31: Activities done by outdoor vacationers on vacation in past two years, December 2020
                                                                          • Snow venues have to get creative to attract visitors
                                                                            • Figure 32: Activities done on vacation in past two years, by region, December 2020
                                                                        • Opinions of Outdoor Activities

                                                                          • The family vacation sweet spot
                                                                            • Snow and water activities have high hurdles
                                                                              • Climbing’s appeal is an uphill struggle
                                                                                • Figure 33: Correspondence Analysis – Symmetrical map – Vacation perception, December 2020
                                                                            • Motivations for Participating in Outdoor Activities

                                                                              • Outdoor vacation activity participants are experienced
                                                                                • Participation can be relaxing, not rigorous
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Motivations for participating in outdoor activities, December 2020
                                                                                • Different age groups have different approaches to novelty
                                                                                  • Figure 35: Motivations for participating in outdoor activities, by age group, December 2020
                                                                                • Low-cost introductory activities can be inclusive for budget travelers
                                                                                  • Figure 36: Motivations for participating in outdoor activities, by HHI, December 2020
                                                                                • City residents are more impulsive in activity selection
                                                                                  • Figure 37: Motivations for participating in outdoor activities, by area, December 2020
                                                                              • Barriers to Outdoor Activities

                                                                                • COVID-19 and cost are main barriers
                                                                                  • Figure 38: Barriers to outdoor vacation activities, December 2020
                                                                                • Everyone has an underlying concern about the virus
                                                                                  • Figure 39: Barriers to outdoor vacation activities, by age group, December 2020
                                                                                • City dwellers can be stuck on where to begin
                                                                                  • Figure 40: Barriers to outdoor vacation activities, by age group, December 2020
                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                • Data sources
                                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                                    • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                          • Methodology
                                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                              • Figure 41: TURF Analysis – Reasons against outdoor vacations, December 2020
                                                                                              • Figure 42: Table – TURF Analysis – Reasons against outdoor vacations, December 2020
                                                                                              • Figure 43: Vacation perception, December 2020

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