Camping Craze Drives South Korean Campgrounds to New Record High | Be Korea-savvy

Camping Craze Drives South Korean Campgrounds to New Record High

Oceano campground (Image courtesy of Haenam county)

Oceano campground (Image courtesy of Haenam county)

SEOUL, Apr. 12 (Korea Bizwire) – Fueled by an enduring passion for camping, the number of campgrounds across South Korea surpassed 3,700 last year, setting a new all-time high as the outdoor pursuit maintains its popularity. 

According to data from the Korea Association of Tourism Organizations released on April 11, the nationwide tally of campgrounds stood at 3,747 at the end of 2022, an increase of 467 from a year earlier. 

Of the total, 2,999 were designated campgrounds, while 748 were specifically for recreational vehicles and car camping. 

The campground figures have climbed steadily from 2,367 at the end of 2019 to 2,534 in 2020, 2,873 in 2021 and then 3,280 in 2022 before crossing the 3,700 threshold last year. 

Regionally, Gyeonggi Province had the highest number at 898 campgrounds as of late 2022, followed by Gangwon (776), North Gyeongsang (448), South Gyeongsang (377), South Chungcheong (340), North Chungcheong (274) and South Jeolla (193). 

In contrast, the provincial capitals of Gwangju, Sejong, Busan, Seoul and Daejeon had relatively fewer campgrounds at 7, 8, 13, 15 and 15 respectively. 

Gyeonggi had the most general campgrounds at 812, while Gangwon led in campsites for recreational vehicles and car camping with 175 locations.

The rapid rise in campground development took off during the COVID-19 pandemic as camping, an outdoor activity offering individual spaces for families or couples, surged in popularity. 

After increasing by 167 in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, the number of new campgrounds expanded by 339 in 2021, followed by 407 in 2022 and 467 last year, underscoring camping’s ascendance as a major travel trend even as COVID-19 transitioned to an endemic phase. 

South Korea’s “camping population” now exceeds 5 million, according to a user survey by the Ministry of Interior and Safety, which showed the number spiking from 3.99 million in 2019 to 5.34 million in 2020 before easing slightly to 5.23 million in 2021. 

The camping boom has fueled steady demand for camping gear like tents, mattresses, shades, coolers, portable stoves, barbecue grills and camping carts.

Lina Jang ( 

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