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Hipcamp Protects $274 Million in Ecosystem Services and Injects $3.2 Million in Visitor Spending Annually Into San Luis Obispo County, CA

New report highlights economic and environmental benefits of low-intensity camping, glamping, and RV stays on private land.

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#CampingHipcamp, the world’s largest provider of outdoor stays, today released the summary of a report highlighting the positive economic and environmental impacts outdoor stays provided California’s San Luis Obispo County from March 2020 to March 2021.

The report, commissioned by Hipcamp and authored by Earth Economics, highlights the benefits of low-intensity private land camping. According to an analysis of publicly-available and internal data, Hipcamp infused the local economy with more than $3.2 million in direct and secondary spending across supplemental income, transportation, retail spending, and more, while enabling local landowners to preserve more than $274 million in ecosystem services from March 2020 to March 2021 alone.

“Private land plays an important role in conservation,” said Hipcamp Head of Government and Community Relations Mason Smith. “When Hipcamp partners with landowners to host campers, those landowners gain a revenue stream that enables them to keep their land intact, in turn benefitting surrounding communities in myriad ways. We’re thrilled to share our understanding of the quantifiable benefits Hipcamp brings to counties like San Luis Obispo.”

*According to the report:

  • Local Hipcamp properties provide more than $274 million annually in ecosystem services, which are often defined as the varied benefits that natural environments provide humans.
  • Fully 85,000 acres of San Luis Obispo County’s natural lands are listed on Hipcamp.

    • These lands include about 57,164 acres of grasslands, 10,810 acres of shrublands, and 9,720 acres of farms, ranches, and vineyards.
  • Hipcampers enjoy more than 29,000 nights outside in the county annually.
  • The average Hipcamp Host in San Luis Obispo County earns $10,300 annually.
  • Hipcamper spending in the community supports 31 jobs, with an average salary of $31,100, which is 23 percent above the county’s median income.
  • The average Hipcamper spends more than $300 during each stay at local gear shops, restaurants, and grocery stores.

When landowners partner with Hipcamp to offer low-impact outdoor stays, they earn income based on the natural qualities and beauty of their land. That earned income enables landowners to preserve natural resources and keep their land intact. Intact ecosystems provide multiple benefits to San Luis Obispo communities, such as clean air and water, wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, and the recreational opportunities that draw so many visitors to the region. In turn, visitors contribute to the area’s economic vitality.

Last year, Hipcamp drove more than $31 million in earnings directly to rural landowners across the United States, and $172 million in spending across local communities.

Hipcamp looks forward to continuing to partner with community members to support local landowners, protect San Luis Obispo’s natural resources, and contribute to the region’s outdoor recreation and tourism economies.

*Estimated economic and ecosystem impact is based on internal survey and platform data collected by Hipcamp, data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, publicly available geospatial data, and the Earth Economics internal toolkit.

Read the Economic Impact Summary

Read the Ecosystem Services Impact Summary

Social Media Links:

Hipcamp: @hipcamp

About Hipcamp

Founded in 2013, Hipcamp is the world’s largest provider of outdoor stays. It gives a growing community of good-natured people the opportunity to list, discover, and book unique outdoor experiences. The fully remote company operates in the United States, Australia, and Canada, and to date has helped people spend more than 6 million nights under the stars. When listing on Hipcamp, farmers, ranchers, vintners, and other landowners generate new revenue streams to steward their land and keep working lands working. By making it simple to get outside, Hipcamp protects habitat and supports a growing love for the land.


Lydia Davey


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