If you’re serious about setting up a glamping business you need to start thinking about the type of service you are going to offer. If it’s one that will use tents as a source of income then there are some very important questions you should be asking your tent supplier or you could make some very costly mistakes.
Firstly, “What are the best tents to use for my glamping business?” Then, “How much do they cost and what’s the return on investment?” Finally, “How long will they last and are they safe for my customers?”
Actually, there are more questions to ask, including:
Do I need planning permission to put one up; Do I have to take it down and store it over the winter; Do I need to waterproof it at any point against the elements; How do I fit a wood burning stove in it; How do I keep it clean and get it ready for the new camping season; and finally and most importantly; How much am I likely to earn per year from my tent?
What’s The Best Type Of Tent For A Glamping Business?
One choice that exists for a new glamping business is the safari tent. It is large enough to comfortably fit beds for a family of up to 6 people, and still include space for luxury seating, a kitchen area, wood burner and open doors to an outer area. It is also one of the cheapest options, has the best longevity/cost ratio, earns the most for a new business and therefore has the best return on investment, but I cover that in more detail with figures below. Although in our experience Airstreams, in general, have the highest occupancy rates, the safari tent model has the best financial returns and makes the most sense to new businesses wanting to set up and start earning as quickly as possible.
How Long Will it last and is it safe?
When looking for your new tent you will need to do your homework. There are some very poor quality tents on the market. One supplier is Clear Sky Tents. They have been working in the travel industry for over 20 years, and for some of the biggest names in the holiday and ‘glamping’ industry, including John Lewis, John Fowler Holidays and Haven Holidays. The Company Director, Mark Scott, even runs his own safari tent letting business on his farm and therefore has direct experience of the type of products glamping businesses need and how important return on investment really is. As a result, their premium tents come with canvas that has the longevity of 20 years and the choice of steel or wooden frames that will last for at least 10 years. The premium canvas is tough and fire retardant to stringent British Standards (essential if you are going to fit a wood burner) so they will keep your guests safe, weatherproof and warm.
Do I need planning permission for this type of tent?
This is an interesting question. The tents are classified as temporary structures, so it is arguable that you do not need planning permission, especially if you decide to take them down over the winter period. However, every planning department is different and you may need consent for a change of use for the land the tent is placed on, so you must check this with your local planning office or ask a planning consultant to do this on your behalf.
Do I need to take it down and store it over the winter?
While this is possible and may help with planning restrictions, there are some considerations for packing away the tent over the winter. Firstly, you will need a dry space to store the equipment. This has to be rodent free and the tent has to be packed down properly to avoid any rips or tears. However, if you feel this is too much work or don’t have a storage area, you could purchase a winter kit – an outer tent that sits as a protective layer over the top of the safari tent when it’s not in use.
Do I need to waterproof it with chemicals at any point?
The type of canvas used by Clear Sky Tents is very thick premium canvas – the same used by the worldwide Scouts network. This lasts up to 20 years and does not need extra waterproofing during this time.
How do I fit a wood burning stove in it?
There are a number of wood burning stoves and fitting kits we have highlighted. You can do this yourself, if you are happy you won’t wreck your new tent, however, there are fitting services available too.
How to I keep it clean and get it ready for the new camping season?
At the beginning of each season all you need to do is hose down the tent and rub any marks clean with a cloth. No chemicals are needed so this is perfect for environmentally sensitive areas or organic farmland.
How much do they cost, what will I earn and what will the return on investment be?
Clear Sky Tents provided these figures for their British Standard fire retardant canvas. Therefore using their prices, here are the cost and return on investment details depending on the charges for your particular customers, the area you are operating from and the season in which you are operating.
|100 days||150 days||200 days||250 days||
So in summary, based on the cost of a Superior 6m x 7m Safari Tent at £3,696+vat, allowing £2,000 for the base and internal decoration, you could recoup the cost of your Safari Tent in as little as 3 months, and with a lifespan of around 10 years that means over 9 years profit for your business.
If you found this useful and you are considering purchasing a tent from Clear Sky as a result of this article, get in touch with us as you might be able to gain access to The Ultimate Glamping Business Guide after you have made your purchase.
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So if you want to diversify your land and learn how to start a campsite successfully, then look no further than this intensive online course that will show you how it’s done, and you can get it free with the coupon above.