What sustainability practices are most appreciated by guests and what services are being used to attract eco-tourists and those with a preference towards environmentally sensitive businesses?
Rachel Bowers has been deciphering guest preferences on glamping offerings, boutique hotels, and unique hospitality and how eco-travel does not mean guests need to sacrifice the quality of the service they receive.
It’s very rare to find research on this topic that includes guest and operator surveys for this industry, so when something comes along I want to hear about it. That’s why I invited Rachel onto the podcast to talk about her project and what it means for sustainability.
The need for environmental elements to become a priority in hospitality design is clear, but which ones are best and how is it all being fueled by the rising eco-travel demands of the younger generations?
The Rising Demand For Eco-Friendly Hospitality
In our latest podcast, Rachel Bowers discusses the rising demand for eco-friendly hospitality and its impacts on the industry. Guests no longer have to sacrifice quality service when it comes to eco-travel, and operators can incorporate sustainable practices such as energy-efficient lighting and organic food to attract environmentally conscious customers. Younger generations are driving the need for environmental elements in hospitality design, making it a priority for businesses to meet these expectations. Tune in to learn more about the sustainability practices that guests appreciate.
This podcast episode has been supported by The Start Up And Grow Club and The Glamping Academy, hosted by Inspired Courses. For more information please visit The Club: https://www.inspiredcoursesvip.com/club
Rachel Bowers has kindly offered to share her research and you can contact her here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachelbowers/
If you found this episode helpful, we would love your review of this episode and particularly to give Rachel your thanks.
The Glamping Business Podcast Shownotes
Additional Resources And Links Mentioned
- Contact Sarah Riley through Inspired Courses and The Glamping Academy
- The Ultimate Glamping Business Guide
- Guest Booking Success Marketing Masterclass
- The Glamping Business Facebook Group (+ Unique Holiday Rentals)
- Tools and resources in the Inspired Courses VIP Lounge
- How To Start A Glamping Business
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THE GLAMPING BUSINESS PODCAST TRANSCRIPT
Sarah Riley: It’s very rare to find research and the results of guest and operator surveys on the topic of sustainability and what exactly guests want. So when something comes along, I want to hear about it, and that’s why I invited Rachel Bowers onto the podcast, talk about her product and what it means for the glamping industry and eco resorts. So, if you are interested in what you need to do to attract eco tourists and the younger generation with renewable and green practices, then welcome to episode 58.
Sarah Riley: Glamping and unique holiday rentals are surging in popularity with the growing desire of customers to book holidays that deliver an experience. They are also the new business of choice for those wanting to improve their work life balance. So how do you build a strong business like this that gives you the life you need and a great investment I’m Sarah Riley, and I want to share what I’ve discovered after being immersed in this industry for over 20 years to inspire you to find out more about what’s going on. Welcome. This is the business of glamping and unique holiday rentals. Rachel,
Sarah Riley: Thank you so much for coming today and speaking to me. It’s brilliant because this is an industry that over the years, has suffered a little bit. Mm-hmm. that it’s not had very much research done. Research, as we know, is a very expensive exercise. And this industry, glamping, eco resorts, eco Hotels is actually quite young. And the changing preferences in the different generations we’re gonna talk about today is also very young. So when I hear that someone’s done some research and I, you know, it may not be in the country that I’m based, but it certainly gives lots of indicators, in numerous countries. I’m always very interested. So, but before we go into that and the research that you’ve done, I’d really like to hear a little bit about you and what’s got you interested in this and where you’ve come from and, and your aspirations for the industry. So tell me a bit about that.
Rachel Bowers: Sure. Thank you so much and again, pleasure to be here on the show today. Thank you for having me. yeah, just a little bit about myself. you know, I actually, if I’m fairly new to the Ecos Sustainable travel sector, however, I’ve been in the hospitality, business, on my own. Started out small, like many of your, of your listeners here, had, you know, our first Airbnb operation in 2016 and then had numerous ones, to follow. So that’s really where I start to started, in the hospitality industry. And after getting into that, having numerous properties and then starting to manage, properties and startup properties for, for others, I found that I was really enjoying myself. I really love what I was doing in this space and I wanted to actually do a total transition, at that time.
Rachel Bowers: So, you know, I was also simultaneously, running and managing my own yoga studio. So I was in the health and wellness sector as well, doing hot yoga and following that sort of passion. but I really wanted to, to take the next step and really dive in headfirst into hospitality. when you find something that works for you, for me at least, I, I go all in and that’s when I decided to go back to school and never thought I would get my master’s degree. Never wanted to get it. I was in a, a successful sales career prior, prior to the yoga studio and I said, oh, I don’t need to go back. But, I found something that was really interesting and passionate for me. And, then went into do a dual degree at, Swiss Hotel Management School, and that’s where I got my master’s in International Business and Hospitality Management. so from that it just kind of kept snowballing, you know, we had our, our master’s thesis that we had to do and I really started to dive into the eco, and sustainability space, during my research and found it extremely interesting and fascinating and absolutely something that we should all be educating ourselves on moving forward.
Sarah Riley: So what is it about this particular area of the industry that you are interested Because there’s so many different parts to the hospitality industry and I, I know from experience that when people kind of start dipping their toes in, they get really passionate about it or they leave it behind them cuz it’s completely not for them. But this has obviously gripped you, it’s gripped you properly, , and why specifically Eco and what, what is it about that’s interested you so much
Rachel Bowers: Sure, sure. So I think, you know, I’ve always been very interested in, in neuter technology, the, the, you know, looking into the future, let’s say what’s, what’s happening next Where are we going, what direction are we going in And I think if it weren’t for the exact timing of, you know, I was doing my master’s during C O V D and we started seeing all these rapid changes within the industry, and I think we were already going in the sustainability and eco-friendly space, as a whole in ho in hospitality. but I think it definitely expedited that process, where you saw more people wanting to get away from it all, get out into nature, reconnect, you know, distance themselves from others. And also, you know, with the work from home order you could now travel, during the week you could travel, you know, drive, get in your car, drive an hour away.
Rachel Bowers: so I found it to be really interesting looking and said, okay, wait, there’s something really big happening here. There’s somewhat of a revolution happening. you might say it’s related to the fourth industrial turning, you know, this is where we at, where we are at right now. So I found that to be really fascinating. And I also was kind of scratching my head when I, when I was really diving into it and say, okay, well what’s going on here We have all these hospitality leaders in the world and they’re, it seems as though they’re stuck, right We’re not really moving forward at the pace we’d all hoped for. And, you know, with Paris Agreement and all these different things in place, we have these sustainable goals, as a whole. But, it, it seemed like there was a, a problem in the industry, or a challenge in the industry.
Rachel Bowers: and I thought, okay, well I’m really into this. I wanna know more. I think, you know, I’ve got, I’ve got a child, and of course that also heightened my awareness of taking care of, of planet Earth, you know, right. Because this is what we’re gonna be leaving for our children and future generations and we, we definitely need to start making some changes. so that’s why I said, okay, lemme dive into this. See where I, I can help out, see what I can, you know, sort out and, and find solutions to, to moving that needle a little bit further in hospitality. more so on the small and medium size enterprise space.
Sarah Riley: Mm-hmm. . So it’s really interesting that you say that. Cause I, I’ve heard that from quite a few people, especially after Covid and after lockdown and, and many people talking about those clear skies from no airplanes and the mm-hmm. obvious and very tangible drop in pollution that we were seeing everywhere because people were just not as active as normal. And realizing that actually a big change in behavior can bring about significant benefits to the environment and, and everything else. So you are not the only one who’s talked about this, but I think probably what you are the only one that I’ve come across who’s actually done some really significant research, which is fantastic, particularly linked to, the, in eco industry, eco hospitality industry. But whereabouts in the world does the survey kind of cover Because I know you, you’re based in Germany. Yes, mm-hmm.
Sarah Riley: Right So where does it cover, does Germany or is it wider than that Tell me a bit about, how you set the survey up.
Rachel Bowers: Sure. So initially I went into this, because I was looking, you know, I guess you could say for selfish reasons, looking at how can I get that competitive edge in my own business Where am I gonna take this And now I’ve got, you know, I’m finishing up my masters doing the thesis, and I said, well, you know, why don’t I do something that I can apply to my own business here where we find solutions in the space that aren’t outrageously expensive. If we’re looking to start to head in the right direction, get that competitive edge or the pioneer advantage, what, what should we be focused on Right We don’t, as of right now, there was a big gap in the research, in terms of guest preferences. So I wanted answers to those questions. And I also wanted to see how Covid had impacted the decision making process and the perception of value on eco innovations in a post covid travel era.
Rachel Bowers: so that those were the, essentially the answers that I was looking to get, in this study. And I didn’t, you know, me being an American and, and living abroad, I really wanted to make this, more on a, a bird’s eye view globally, just to see if we could find any sort of generalized trend among younger travel, groups. So this, you know, the, the study was with Germany in mind. however, it was also put in place. as you know, at the end, we, we made somewhat of a, a starter pack for, for SMEs, that could be applied, you know, all around the globe.
Sarah Riley: Hmm. So when we’re talking about SMEs, that’s small and medium enterprises. Yes. Correct. Yes. And so just touching on there for a minute, just so we get a flavor of what you were planning for your own business. What, what are your plans What your, what are you hoping to set up
Rachel Bowers: Sure. So what I was looking to do is fill the gap, right Provide something where the demand was not being met. And what I found is that, there’s still a fairly large gap. You’ve got, you know, if you’re looking to travel sustainably, you’ve, you don’t have a lot of options, particularly here in Germany. It’s a massive issue where you either have to go, you know, camp with no water in the middle of a rainforest, or you’re paying a thousand bucks a night to go to an eco hotel, or eCore resort, I should say. and I really wanted to provide with my own concept, something that was obtainable and affordable to the general public, to people that are just, instead of going to a normal hotel, paying 150 to 250 a night, you know, and continuing this wasteful away, provide them with something sustainable and make it obtainable for everyone.
Rachel Bowers: in the general space, I think the only way to really move the needle is to make it more mainstream, more affordable. luckily we do have glamping, which is I think, starting to fill that gap, which is wonderful. but I, you know, eco-friendly and sustainable practices are not always synonymous with glamping. So I think that’s why, you know, I’m, I’m happy to, to speak here today and, and help anyone out there that’s looking to take their concept, their existing project, and just sort to slowly convert it, into a more sustainable long term operation without breaking the bank. Mm-hmm.
Sarah Riley: And, and actually what you’re doing is fantastic. You’re looking to see where the gaps are, and then you are trying to fill those gaps with your own offering, which means it’s much more likely to be a success. many people don’t do this, they certainly don’t do the kind of level of study that you’ve done in terms of this survey. So what was the kind of age group of the people that you surveyed, and, and what kind of numbers are we talking about here
Rachel Bowers: Sure. So it was actually, a little bit lower response than I was hoping for, but we were on a four month time scale, because we did have deadlines with the master’s program, but I think we got a good amount of, participants considering the circumstances. we did not pay anyone for their, participation. It was an anonymous, you know, isolated approach where we send out a Google Link survey on numerous different platforms, Facebook, you know, other social media platforms, LinkedIn business professional networks, alumni networks. and I also source some data from some of my own guests here in Germany at my Airbnbs. So that was really helpful, that we weren’t just getting participants that are, oh, I wanna travel eco-friendly. I wanted to get the perspective of just normal travelers that might not have even thought about, traveling sustainably to see where they were at and what their opinions look like. So in total, we had 32, participants in the study. so that was our, our qual quantitative part. and then the qualitative, the second part was, the qualitative survey. So I interviewed three, successful eco, hotels in Europe, UK and North America to see what their best practices were, what they found to be successful in working for them.
Sarah Riley: What were your kind of overall snapshot findings of this survey
Rachel Bowers: Sure. So overall, what we found, and again, just to kind of touch a little or to touch on the, profile of, of the travelers, right So we had a focus specifically on the younger travel generations. So we were specifically looking at generations, y and Z. So, within that space, we’re looking at those travelers that are typically paying between one and 300 per night, the majority of them. so it is very specific. I think it’s important to mention that, we’re not talking about eco resorts. We’re not talking about your backpackers, we’re talking about the people that it would be booking in this space. So, from that we found that, the, the top eco innovations that would likely have the biggest return on investment and value, or bang for your buck, I should say, would be switching over to organic, food, doing, plastic free facilities or low waste facilities where you would have, receptacles that could sort all the different trash.
Rachel Bowers: you would have, high value as well with, solar and clean energy. So something like l e d light bulbs, solar panels. And then most interesting finding, I think was actually the electric vehicle chargers. while there wasn’t a huge amount of demand for it, what I found interesting was that, we had four electric vehicle owners participate, and all of them were largely influenced by, having an electric car charger on site. They said that would be, potentially a, a decision for them. If they had an option between one that had one and one that didn’t, they would likely always choose the one that did. So I found that to be interesting as well. overall, the, you know, to put it all together and with a bow on it, you could say that, the visual attributes have the highest value or perceived value among these travel generations.
Rachel Bowers: So meaning, if you can see it, they automatically, it improves the guest journey, it improves their value perception, and their overall satisfaction, meaning higher reviews, they leave feeling good about what, where they’ve stayed. we found also from some of the interviews that, you know, some of these higher end resorts we’re practicing sustainable, you know, eco, they were adding in eco attributes, but, it was not visible. So let’s say a, a gray water, you know, reusing gray water or, or pipes being wrapped, stuff that the guests were not aware of, they didn’t see it, so therefore there was little to no value there. Meanwhile, these sort of innovations can be quite costly. So you have to think as a small business owner, is it really worth implementing this Is it really worth replacing my entire HVAC system when the guests might not even know about it They might not appreciate it, and in turn, we’re not getting any better reviews, we’re not getting more bookings, and we’re not charging a higher, daily room rate.
Sarah Riley: Hmm. That’s really interesting, because actually, even though it may be more expensive, it might actually bring some better environmental benefits mm-hmm. , but because the guest isn’t sing, they’re not valuing it, and therefore Yeah. That’s very interesting. So return on investment isn’t so good on those particular items. Right. just jumping back very, very quickly, because I realized as I was listening to you, not everybody understands what generation Y N Z means. Can you just give us a quick summary of, tho the profile of those people
Rachel Bowers: Sure. so it varies a little bit. If you do a, a Google search, you might find slightly different answers, but generally speaking, generation, why are the millennials So they would be born between 1983, give or take, till about 1996. And then from 1996 up until, give or take, 2011, 2012, we have our Gen Z. so we’re looking at people that are between, I would say, 10, 12 years old, all the way up to 38 years old, would be, I guess essentially our future generations of travel, that we should really be, be looking at, particularly Gen Z.
Sarah Riley: So why do you think it’s so important for the environmental hospitality space to be thinking about that particular generation Is it because they are, you know, you tell me your perspective of why that might be.
Rachel Bowers: Sure. So I think, COVID obviously changed quite a bit where we started to rethink our wasteful ways. we, like you mentioned, we saw clear skies, you know, there was dolphins swimming around in Venice, and you know, we started to see nature start to, to come back together. And I think we, we all liked it. We’re like, wow, this is kind of nice. Right. so I think it’s changed, number one, at least for millennials, their way of thinking. I, I believe from what the research suggests, that Gen Z are the most, most eco conscious generation yet, they’re the ones that essentially have to, to reverse some of the damage that’s been done to the planet. They’re, they understand the concept of global warming and understand that we, this is not a sustainable way of living. and they’re the ones that are really driving, sustainability as a whole. You can see it not just in hospitality, but with a lot of the other products and discussions going on that are targeted at this generation
Sarah Riley: Mm-hmm. and, and also EVs. So I wanted to touch on that point that you raised there. So it’s really interesting because one of the things that’s coming out is because electric vehicles, are seen as a way of supporting the environment. I mean, there’s a big debate over that in the first place because of the fact that, you know, people do question the, the batteries, the damage of the batteries, the constant having to replace the batteries and, and things like that. So, you know, that’s a, a whole nother debate for another day. but it’s, it is something that is starting to come out with feedback that we’re getting from guests from the industry. So actual businesses running at the moment, the feedback, they’re getting exactly the same as what’s come out in your survey. And the whole idea that someone within electric vehicle has what we call at the moment range it, they need to know the range they have and, and where will they be able to charge up on route and Right.
Sarah Riley: And although many of the vehicles do actually have an indicator of there’s an EV point coming up, or there’s an EV point on your route, and so you can plan your route. Mm-hmm. , there’s definitely this sense of, if I’m staying somewhere, I want to know that I can plug in and recharge. And so it’s becoming quite an interesting guest magnet. A booking magnet, which is similar on similar levels to hot tubs, believe it or not, is also a bit like that. But whereas EVs are debated as being a bit more environmentally friendly, hot tubs are not debated as being environmentally friendly. They’re very, very much are not because of the chemicals they use, the energy they use the filtration, everything else is seen as not environmentally friendly, although it’s nice for the guest. so there are kind of alternatives to the hot tub. And I wondered if there are alternatives to the EV stations. So, you know, whether, I dunno if you, in your survey there was any feedback about, you know, if there was an EV station nearby rather than actually at the guest accommodation, would that also be okay Is that something that you talked about or was it very much they said No, it needs to be onsite
Rachel Bowers: Yeah, and that’s a great question. all very good points there. so we had to narrow down the focus on it, so that was not a part of the study. But I do think, that for anyone that wants to pick up on the research, that would be, a very good point to add in to get clarity down that and, and get more of the specifics on the preferences for each of the eco innovations that were recommended.
Sarah Riley: Mm-hmm. I think it’s really interesting as well that what you’ve highlighted in this, guest survey is essentially customer magnets and methods for magnetizing customers. And at the moment there’s an a lot of debates, conversations around the bookings and how people can increase their bookings, how they can make their business more profitable, more efficient, and all of these other things that we’re talking about. And to actually have a survey which helps to highlight things which certainly guests of the future and what we’re seeing now already, coming through the system that are, are going to be demanding and, and not just in a, you know, a small way they’re actually going to be making their buying decisions based on this. Mm-hmm. . So that’s really interesting. But one of the things I want to touch on is about greenwashing mm-hmm. , because this is something that I’ve seen many businesses do, and often some large hotels who mm-hmm.
Sarah Riley: After Covid, they were saying from my own experience of staying at some of these places when I was going to conferences and meetings and so on, you know, they, I I would pick up the, the notes that the hotel left me saying, oh, we’ve, we’ve made everything in the room very basic because we don’t want to spread covid and our environmental credentials means that we have only given you one small towel and and we won’t be washing it, we won’t be cleaning the room between, cause this is, this is all, our environmental ethos now. And, and to me mm-hmm. , actually no, because you are still cleaning the room with these terrible, harsh products, which are definitely not environmentally friendly. So actually you are just greenwashing and what you are doing is you’re using covid using pandemic, and you are using mm-hmm. the environment as a way of saying you are, you’re doing all these things, but just saving money, you are trying to Right, right. Increase your profit. And that’s greenwashing in my view, so mm-hmm. , I mean, what are, I mean, this is a huge debate in itself probably, but what, what’s your view of maybe the guest preference around greenwashing, but also are they clever enough to figure that out in general, would you say What’s your thoughts on that
Rachel Bowers: Yeah, I think that, that’s an excellent question. Right. You know, it’s become such an issue with these larger hotel chains, with greenwashing, you know, and, and you also brought up a very good point on, you know, the part of where we associate sustainability with sacrifice. And I think that, you know, to address, kind of, to go back to what you were speaking of, in terms of the greenwashing, when you add in these visible eco attributes or eco innovations, I think it really helps to prevent the, the feeling of greenwashing where you can then build that trust because they can see it for themselves, right Here’s our solar, here’s our EV chargers. You can clearly see all of the labels on all of our products, are labeled as bio or organic or, or, you know, non-toxic for the environment. It’s non detrimental.
Rachel Bowers: you can see these things maybe touch these things. of course, that’s not to say that, you know, the training piece should be left out because that, again, is very, very important when you’re implementing an eco or sustainable program, to train the staff, to educate them, to help them educate the guests on this, again, adds that value where they say, okay, oh, this is why we’re doing this, this is why we’re doing this. And then I think that eliminates some of the feeling of, oh, I’m being, I have to sacrifice something to be more eco-friendly because you don’t, that’s absolutely not the case. I think a lot of people, particularly smaller, business owners are, are saying, okay, well, I don’t want this for my guests, you know, because, they’re gonna, you know, think that the value is less, or, you know, they have to do some sort of sacrifice, like you said, with the towels or, you know, the automated lights when you walk into the bathroom that don’t really function so well because then you’re halfway through and you’re sitting there in the dark, right
Rachel Bowers: So you don’t have to have the sacrifice with it. And I think, that’s a part of, of my research as well, is how can we add to the guest experience and the guest journey without sacrifice. And, in terms of the green washing, this happens quite often. We saw, you know, you have these big hotel chains. Yeah, we clean up the ocean. every year it’s like, well, do you, we have no way to actually know if you do or not, because you’ll look it up online. You’ll try and dig into it on their website. You can’t find anything. So I think transparency is absolutely key as well to combat any, ideas of greenwashing because it can be quite difficult for the average, guest to, to decipher, or, or kind of dive into that
Sarah Riley: Mm-hmm. . So do you think they’re much more savvy this generation to these things
Rachel Bowers: good question. I think they’re, I guess you could use the word more woke,
Rachel Bowers: Joe Rogan. So as men, nicely mentioned, but I think the generation’s definitely more woke in that sense that they are more aware. They, it’s more important to them than, than few than previous generations, like the boomer generation where they’re actively looking into being more sustainable at home when they travel, they’re absolutely more conscious.
Sarah Riley: Hmm. I certainly am myself. I, I feel that I’ve always been on the side of rooting for Mother Earth and, you know, making decisions based on that. I, I do speak for n you know, I have teenagers in my family at the moment and, they, they do have some mixed opinions. You know, some of the teenagers that I come into contact with, they’re quite interesting with what they talk about. And, you know, there’s a quite a bit of blame at times for generations like mine and older that have done, done a lot to mess up the environment mm-hmm. . but then we do, they are fighting also this desire for consumerism and to wear a particular thing and be a particular way and follow a particular trend and mm-hmm. , you know, all of these things that we’ve probably all had been, been exposed to.
Sarah Riley: But I think now, particularly those generations are exposed to it much more because of social media and everything else they’re seeing on the news and on their, you know, devices. And so how do you think, I, I know this is probably just a question, it’s probably too big, but how do you think there’s eco accommodation can kind of attract people in of that generation in a kind of, as you are saying, don’t sacrifice mm-hmm. , look at this as something that’s fun to do in a new trend, and it’s modern and it’s vibrant, and yet it is still environmentally sensitive. What do you think they could do Is it about improving the structures, improving the service Is it about making it more trendy, more modern What, what do you think is coming out, at the, in, in, in the industry at the moment
Rachel Bowers: Right. Well, I think always having, a unique space that, encompasses the local culture and uniqueness and authenticity of the area is always a wonderful experience for this generation. They’re not looking for the Disney themed hotels like we all did in the nineties. they’re looking for a more authentic, pure experience. So I think anytime that you can add that in, it’s always an add-on for them. It’s always a value add-on. So for one example would be if you’ve got, you know, a hotel somewhere in a, in a smaller village, more remote, you know, adding in local vendors to pop up their fruit stand or their food chalk, you know, every Thursday, then you’re not only helping the community, but you’re also giving your guests a very unique and authentic experience that also is more sustainable. Right And these things don’t have to cost you any more money.
Rachel Bowers: You can work out an agreement with, with local vendors to come in and sell their honey. things like this where everyone wins, I think there’s definitely a value in that, for that generation and, and for eco-conscious travelers and, and quite frankly, everyone, why not, right Who wouldn’t want to come in and have that unique experience, feel like you’re immersed in that lifestyle I think this is why Airbnb started taking off so quickly, you know, back in the day, just because they offered that authentic experience. You feel like you live there, you belong there, you’re a part of it, you’re fully immersed. so I think there’s definitely some high value, in that, in that spectrum for sure.
Sarah Riley: Mm-hmm. , that’s really interesting. So with your business in Germany, where are you based in Germany, by the way Is it north So East West,
Rachel Bowers: Sure. We are just outside of the greater Frankfurt area. We’re out in, Rangal wine country. And,
Sarah Riley: And what kind of ideas have you got at the moment for your business and structures and so on, if you’re willing to share
Rachel Bowers: Sure. So right now everything’s been put on ice. the pest wasn’t looking too great over the past few months out here in Europe. you know, we had more or less all the pieces of the puzzle, put together. We had, you know, developers, investors, we were just missing the land piece of it. but then in the last six months, you know, everything that’s been going on, unfortunately with, with Ukraine and the energy crisises and the labor shortages and, you know, we’ve decided to put everything on ice. And at the moment, we’re now working on a project out in the States, so, greater Lake Tahoe area. So I’m actually, working on facilitating and putting together a team. We’ve actually got a, some very, great people on the team so far. We’re in the works with a few people, that have been on some of your earlier podcasts as well. so that’s in the work, but I guess that’s another, another podcast for another day. but we are working with, eCore Resort operator and, we are scouting land at the moment, so we’re hoping to build up something out there, that would be really special, unique, and, and first of it’s kind in, in, in that area.
Sarah Riley: Oh, that sounds really intriguing. Well, I can’t wait for you to let me know when you’re ready to talk about it, but
Rachel Bowers: Absolutely
Sarah Riley: I I think you really highlighted there just something that so many people are going through at the moment, which is the pivot. And in fact, it’s, it is a word that I’ve never heard talked about so much, since 2019 when the pandemic first hit and, and then of course the envi the economy was crumbling and is continuing to crumble and everything else going on in the world with the political changes mm-hmm. and wars and, and you name it, we’ve got it, it seems at the moment, but the pivot is particularly, interesting and, and actually a, a business owner’s ability to bend shape and be flexible to the situation going on is just so important. And, and often people see it and talk about it as if it’s a, a failure almost that they’ve had to pivot and they’ve had to change. Mm. But I absolutely do not think that at all. And, and, and I think it’s great to, to hear you talking about that as in, well, we’ve put this project on iceberg, we’re working, working on this project, which at the moment is probably better mm-hmm. because of X, Y, and Z. So I think that’s brilliant and a really great example of someone pivoting and, and doing, you know, responding to their environment and, and you know, this kind of business epigenetics right. There is, it’s really interesting .
Rachel Bowers: Right, right.
Sarah Riley: So it’s really good to hear.
Rachel Bowers: Yeah, I think it, you know, it is tough because, you know, you’ve worked so hard and, and, and so long on one particular project and then you’re almost there, you’re almost ready to, to pull the trigger and then, you know, politically things start to, to crumble around you and okay, this is really not looking good, and then something else happens and then you get to your point where you’re like, okay, well we’ve just, we’ve just gotta put it on ice. And I don’t think, you know, you don’t have to be discouraged by it. I know we’ll pick it back up when things look a little bit better. we are looking at doing some, some other projects in Portugal as well. So, you know, nothing lost there. because I think everything is a learning experience and everything, even if you don’t know it, the work you’ve put in somewhere at this point, even if you don’t end up bringing it to fruition, it’s still a learning experience. And maybe five years from now, maybe next month, that education and that information will be useful to you in some unexpected way. So I don’t think, you know, my advice would be not to get too discouraged on it. It, it’s going to benefit you in some way, shape or form and just keep going, keep pushing forward, you know, and, and don’t look back.
Sarah Riley: Mm-hmm. Keep learning, stay curious and get support when you need it. That’s absolutely. For sure. Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. It’s just been a pleasure to speak with you. You’ve obviously very knowledgeable about what’s going on in the industry, particularly with the younger generations, and I cannot wait to hear more about your projects as you progress.
Rachel Bowers: Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure.
Sarah Riley: So if somebody wants to get in touch with you, ha just say how someone can get in touch with you, your website and maybe contact details.
Rachel Bowers: Sure. I think, we’ve, we’re working on the website at the moment, but anyone can reach out to me via LinkedIn. so it’s linkedin.com/in/rachel, r a c h e l, Bowers, b o w e r s. And I’d be happy to share, the full case study with anyone. If anyone wants to read through a hundred page academic paper, , I’d be happy to send it over. or just, you know, discuss, I’m always interested in getting involved in hearing other people’s stories. cuz again, I think information sharing is the best way to, to push forward in this space. You’ve got such a niche here and it’s like its own little community. So I think whenever we can help each other out, we should. So I’m always open for, for communication.
Sarah Riley: Absolutely. Well that’s great. Thank you so much Rachel. Lovely to speak to you
Rachel Bowers: Today. Thank you. You as well
Sarah Riley: As always, if you found this helpful, if you found this useful, if it’s going to change the way you do business in the future, then please leave a review. We read every single one that we get and we are so grateful. And if you want some extra support, some masterclass on how to set up a glamping business, how to get your guests, how to get support from a community of like-minded people, go over to the Glamping Academy. You can find that hosted on inspired courses.com. Alternatively, you can just put into your lovely search bar on Google glamping.academy. I’m looking forward very much to hearing from you. Take care, have a fantastic time and hope you can join me here again.