We’re thrilled and proud to officially launch BookOutdoors, enabling more people to experience the magic of the outdoors by making it easier and more enjoyable than ever to plan and book outdoor travel. We’re now live in 12 states with a wide selection of campgrounds, RV parks, cabins and glamping resorts, and with plans to quickly expand to the rest of the country and add more properties.
Our vision is simple: Inspire and enable everyone, everywhere to experience the joy, wonder and adventure of the outdoors.
We believe getting outdoors is the balance to our modern, connected lives. We like to think of BookOutdoors as the anti-metaverse!
But ask anyone who’s tried to plan and book a camping trip lately, and you’ll learn the experience is still pretty horrible. Campground inventory is still very siloed for a variety of reasons, which, combined with outdated booking platforms and lack of modern online amenities, creates an extremely poor user experience for anyone trying to book their travel.
In 2021, camping accounted for 40% of all leisure trips taken with more than half of travelers (53%) including camping in some or all of their travel, according to the 2022 KOA North American Camping Report. However, unlike the experience for booking a hotel room, there is no single destination for searching all available outdoor travel accommodations, particularly at professionally-managed properties.
In addition, campground owner-operators don’t have a legit way to get mass distribution to sell inventory (site nights) before they expire (nights go by unfilled), in the way hotels do with Expedia/Booking.com and ecomm brands do with Amazon/Walmart/etc.
BookOutdoors is solving these problems for both sides.
We launched BookOutdoors to reimagine and fundamentally transform how people plan and book outdoor travel. We don’t charge booking fees or require memberships to book. Rather, we’ve entirely elevated the experience with a fresh UI and perks like weather protection included on every eligible reservation, affordable travel insurance options, and a loyalty program to earn discounts and rewards. For owner-operators, we become a serious distribution channel that can drive discoverability and demand.
This is a collaborative effort and we’re not alone. The launch comes after we successfully raised $4M in seed funding late last year, led by GreatPoint Ventures, with participation from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed fund, R-Squared Ventures, and former C-level executives from several of the largest travel and hospitality companies, such as Aman Bhutani, former president of Expedia (and now CEO of GoDaddy), and Brendan Bank, former CTO of Booking.com, among others. We’re also already working with several of the biggest names in the outdoor hospitality industry, as well as the top reservation systems used by campgrounds, such as NewBook and ResNexus, to offer platform integrations for rapid onboarding and data syncing.
The future is brighter when more people spend time outdoors. BookOutdoors is the easy way out.
Brian Nolan, co-founder & CEO
You can read the full press release here.