What’s been happening in the glamping industry over the past year and what are the data statistics and numbers saying about the size, trends and growth rates of the glamping business market and the impact of the pandemic?
The Business of Glamping And Unique Holiday Rentals, with Sarah Riley
Glamping Industry Trends
This episode of the podcast is essential listening for anyone wanting to enter the industry or who are already operating within it. It will give you an experts overview of some of the key industry shifts, including changes to guest booking behaviour.
Today’s episode is brought to you by The Start Up And Grow Club, which offers an accelerator program and support group for those who want to set up their unique holiday rental or glamping businesses quickly.
The Glamping Business Podcast Shownotes
Additional Resources And Links Mentioned
- The Glamping Business Start-up Guide
- The Start Up And Grow Club Accelerator Program
- Powerful Publicity Workshop
- Guest Booking Success Masterclass
- About The Podcast Host
- Tourism Turnaround
- Contact Sarah Riley through Inspired Courses
- 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
Listen to the podcast here:
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- Libsyn (App for smartphones)
- Spotify (Smart Player)
- Soundcloud (Smart Player)
Want To Feature On The Business Of Glamping And Unique Holiday Rentals Podcast?
If you have something inspiring to offer the world of Glamping and Unique Holiday Rentals then get in touch with Sarah Riley and share it on the Podcast. For more information contact Sarah here.
Listen to previous episodes here:
Sarah Riley: What’s been going on? No seriously. What’s been happening in the industry in order for us to take the right steps forward. We sometimes need to look at where we’ve been. So I’m going to throw some light on it all by sharing some data and statistics about the glamping industry. And particularly after what’s been going on over the last year, welcome to episode 39 and unique holiday rentals are surging in popularity with the growing desire of customers to book holidays that deliver experience. They are also the new business of choice for those wanting to improve their work-life balance. 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.
Sarah Riley: Hello, and thank you so much for joining me on a blowy, Almost wintery evening in the UK is actually quite a strange time because in the daytime you can sit in the sun, you can sunbathe and you can almost get a suntan. And yet in the evening, it’s really cold. We’ve got the North wind blowing and yes, it’s not the best, but that’s kind of the same as what’s been going on recently in the, in the world. It’s a very strange time. Sometimes it can seem positive and upbeat and almost as if we’re lying in the sun and you could be forgiven to think that you’re on holiday. And then other times you have to check yourself and remind yourself that, you know what, it’s actually a really big crisis that’s going on at the moment in the industry, in the economy with COVID and everything else. So, yeah, crazy time, really odd.
Sarah Riley: But the best thing we can do is keep ourselves busy, get ready and prepared in the UK. We’re going to start opening up in the next few days, and everyone’s very excited about that. Can’t wait to start welcoming everyone back to their premises, but I know it’s not the same way all over the world in Europe, we’re starting to see numbers rising and things are being locked down again. So who knows what’s going to happen over the next few months We’re keeping our fingers crossed the way I’m dealing with it is I’m looking at ways that I can keep myself busy and you know what There’s been so much work. I don’t really have to look for things to do. It’s been really amazing because there’s obviously a lot of people who have been seeing and reading the press coverage, getting sight of the TV reports and everything else that’s giving them.
Sarah Riley: So actually the glamping industry is a good one to be in. Now that the holiday guest is looking for other alternatives to staying in a hotel or going on a cruise ship or even flying on an airplane. They’re looking for other alternatives to spend the holiday vacation time. But one thing is for sure people still want to have vacations. They still need to have something to look forward, to, to plan for, to be excited about because you know, it’s been really depressing. Yeah. For many of us we’ve had trauma for others. We’ve actually been okay, but nothing has been the same. Everyone has been impacted across the world. No one has escaped this. So this is why I’m starting to see a lot of people coming into this industry. Lots of people wanting to start out, wanting to find out about the industry and what they need to do to get involved in it.
Sarah Riley: So I’ve been working hard, supporting people in my club, my start-up and grow club, which helps people to really leap, frog and accelerate into the industry. So we have lots of face to face time together. So I’m actually just looking now at my notes that I’ve been making because of the session that’s happening for me tomorrow night. And we’re going to be talking about websites building and what you need to have in place to make sure it’s found and that Google loves it. And it kicks up the search engine so that your guests will find you. And then when your guest finds you and lands on your website, what you need to have in place to make sure that you’re capturing that guest, you’re capturing that person to make sure that they will stay connected with your business time and time. Again, again, to become a repeat guest, because repeat guests are the cheapest guests.
Sarah Riley: Research shows us that actually, your repeat guests are going to cost you seven times less going out and getting a brand new guest. So using these tactics is vital. And so this is what we’ve been talking about, but I’ve also been updating and upgrading the ultimate glamping business guide in line with what’s been happening in the industry, in the aftermath of the pandemic. And I’ve been adding new sections about key issues that we’ve learned during the pandemic. It’s really hit the hospitality industry hard, but those businesses that have fared best have done best, all those that had certain best practices in place. So I’ve been looking at what worked, what didn’t the key issues that came up. Some of the things that people did to tackle those issues, what works best out of that, and maybe what didn’t work so well because you know, it’s important to look at the mistakes we make and learn from those mistakes.
Sarah Riley: Mistakes are our friends. So we’ve also been looking at what the customer is demanding so that they feel safe. Everything has changed things that people didn’t ever expect to have to offer. They’re now offering. So there’s been a lot of things around shared facilities. Governments are making it clear that shared facilities aren’t as fully supported as separate independent facilities. And this is being shown in the way that lockdowns are happening and how the industry is reopening. So wherever possible, businesses that are in existence are looking at how can they tailor some added extras to make sure that their guests are not having to share facilities, but for those people who are coming into the industry, new, it’s actually a great time for them because they can learn from all these things right now and make adjustments to their plans before it becomes too late.
Sarah Riley: And it means then that they can avoid lots of costly mistakes by setting up the wrong kind of facilities that start. So they’re doing the right things at the start instead. So as well as all of these things of supporting people, coming new into the industry, looking at how I can help people who have been around for a while, I’ve got some really exciting things lined up on the horizon because I think it’s really important that we look at the future. We look at how we can develop things in the future. And some of the best things that we can learn from that are face-to-face work, getting together in groups, having community discussions, group discussions, live question, and answer sessions. So I’m organizing with some experts and friends of mine who I’ve been involved with since the start of being in this industry for over 10 years.
Sarah Riley: Now give this mayor can hardly believe it, but we’re all coming together and we’re doing some really exciting workshops. So if you want to find out about what we’re planning, this is around powerful publicity. We’re looking at ways to support people who want to start up. You know, a lot of these workshops are going to be free. Some of them will obviously be paid because they are sharing industry secrets, but they will be really accessible to everybody. And I think this is what’s so important getting as many people involved as possible as we start to come back to normal with the industry. And as we come back to normal with people’s behaviour, this whole situation is going to change our guests’ behaviour. Absolutely guaranteed things are not going to be the same again for a good few years. And I actually have a really strong feeling that it’s going to change guest’s behaviour for actually, I think forever.
Sarah Riley: I think people are going to change what they want out of their vacation time. They’re gonna change how they interact with businesses that they’re involved within their vacation time. And I would not be surprised if the new normal that we find ourselves in actually remains to be the norm. we won’t go back to where we were. So I think as business owners, we need to support each other, to be able to get through that, to understand where the changes are, and adapt to those changes. But in terms of my industry, I’m really pleased to report the things are starting to go back to normal a little bit. I had a number of phone calls over the last few weeks from people who are organizing events, one in America, one in the UK, one in London, and one in Slovenia. And it’s really nice to be invited to these places is going to be at the end of the year.
Sarah Riley: And it’s not a hundred per cent that they will go ahead with all the restrictions that are in place, but it’s really nice to have that kind of normality happening. So what else is going on in the industry Well, one of the things that we can do is to look at those businesses that have data that can help us understand that. And some of those businesses are online travel agents. And if we know cat online travel agents in the glamping and unique holiday rental space, then we really start to get an indicator of what’s going on, particularly with our guest behaviour. So canopy and stars is an online travel agent that is based in the UK. And they’re very well known in this industry. They have been reporting a lot of data about the 2021 bookings. And they said at the end of last year that their bookings were up by 400% year on year.
Sarah Riley: And they’d had over a million visits to their website since July last year and 850,000 searches up until September last year. So it really goes to show that people are really looking for glamping-related stays. And in fact, Google searches for glamping-related terms are actually up significantly from the previous year. So this shows us that people who are going to Google opening up the search console and putting terms in to search for certain things are starting to use the words, glamping, glamping breaks, where can I go glamping, glamping near me, and all of these things more and more. Now, this could be for a number of reasons, key trends, driving growth. For example, I’ve been talking about millennials for a really long time since the research paper that came out, showing that millennials are more likely to spend their income on experiences rather than possessions.
Sarah Riley: And of course, glamping is an experience. So is these millennials coming into the market, but also because of 2020 and the staycation boom that’s happened because of COVID. And that has continued into 2021, you know, is that pushing the trend But we also need our time in nature. We are all suffering a little bit from fatigue. We are suffering from feeling low and possibly depressed. Certainly, we are more in need of time in nature and to take time for ourselves and go on wellness weekends and just to be outside in the green of nature with our friends and our family who we’ve missed so much over the last year. So are these things driving the trends Well, I think probably they are, but there are other things too. And I think depending on the area here or in, depending on the country, you’re in those things might be slightly different, but it’s all pushing it in the right direction for glamping and unique holiday accommodation.
Sarah Riley: So they also reported that there was an influx of pop-ups glamping, popups, where people had a bit of land, they didn’t want a permanent business. So they decided to put a temporary business in place on their land. And in the UK, there are some regulations that have been relaxed because of what’s been going on, which allows people to put these temporary structures up for business on their land for a longer period of time. Whereas before they were restricted for 28 days, now they can do at any time up to 56 days, but there are some regulations linked to that. And some conditions linked to that. However, this does mean that it’s opening up different options for the business owner, the provider of the service, but also the guest who can look at the different options available to them. And this is starting to be shown because the pop-ups jumping up are many and various and people are being very ingenious.
Sarah Riley: And it’s really exciting to see people using their creative skills, their imagination, offering things that we’ve never seen before in structures that we’ve never seen before. And so I’m loving talking about these particular things. And I’ve been talking about the types of permissions that are available in my Facebook group. We’ve all been asking questions around, which applies to me in my area. Can I do popups What style of pop-up, what are the restrictions So we’ve been doing a lot of chatting around those issues in the group to try and help clear the confusion because there is confusion when there have been these different restrictions for a period of time? And then because of COVID, everything’s changing, you know, people are getting confused about what applies to them and what doesn’t. And particularly in the UK, some areas have actually said, yes, we’re going to go with that extension for a temporary time.
Sarah Riley: And other areas are saying, no, we don’t want to have those extensions in our area. So for Wales, for example, they aren’t supporting this extension to the temporary period. So these are all kinds of localized issues that are confusing people. And so this is where having our Facebook community really kind of help to bring people together, to be able to discuss that and talk that through. So the other place that I got some data from was from the glamping hub and OTA based in America, but also with offices in Spain and Europe. And they have some really interesting data that they shared in their 2021 report. And they were talking about how bookings for highly secluded accommodation have increased 91% compared to 2019, which is really interesting. And I think shows what I was saying earlier about how guests’ behaviour is changing. People want to go on holiday.
Sarah Riley: They want to have something to look forward to, but they want to have it in a place where they feel safe, where they have more personal space, more time in nature. So this is really interesting how it’s all shifting and it’s shifting towards the glamping industry and unique eco-accommodation. And so it’s benefiting this industry. It’s also been reported that the focus has been on private rather than shared facilities. This is what the glamping hub reported. Again, we can see why this might be, and the top five accommodation as reported to the same hub is cabins cottages, tree houses, and log cabins and yurts bookings for cosy accommodation also increased by 113% and peaceful accommodation increased by 196%. Again, I think this has to do with the fact that people want to socially isolate at the moment. They’re not really interested in big crowds and lots of hustle and bustle.
Sarah Riley: They actually want to have some time out so that they can feel safe. They can retreat from society, have some time in nature, and really, truly relax without feeling that they’re putting themselves at risk, but people still want to hang out with each other, their own families, and their own friends. So the average length of stay increased by 5%. And the average number of guests per trip increased from two to three people. Now, this is interesting because it shows that people are wanting to have more family-focused and friend-focused breaks. So this is something we are talking about in the startup club, which is how can we tailor our offers so that it really speaks to people who are looking for that style of break. And this is something that people who are really on it with their offers and how they’re going to engage new customers are really starting to win.
Sarah Riley: So Saturday remains the number one most popular day to check-in, but Friday is now a close second. So it received 144% more Friday check-ins through their portal compared to 2019. Now I’ve been thinking about why this might be, and, you know, maybe it’s because a lot of people are now working from home in the week. So rather than having to race home from the office on Friday and finish packing, getting the kids in the car, and then driving off to their holiday, they’ve been able to do this and the time that they would otherwise be commuting to and from work so they can take off straight away from Friday, rather than wanting to go home, unwind, relax, have a good night’s sleep before then setting off for there, for their holiday. So it’s again, another indicator of how everything that’s been happening over the last year is changing people’s behaviour in terms of the booking of vacations.
Sarah Riley: So looking at a few locations that they were reporting on how bookings have fed, they saw that in California, 145% and in Texas, 185% and in New York, 105% year on year increase in bookings, took place through their portal. So this is really interesting because it’s showing that people are looking for alternative ways to book different styles of holiday, and they are using OTAs like glamping hubs to do that, looking at the alternative style of holiday that they can achieve. So if I was asked my opinion on the market, I would have to say that even though hospitality has been hit really hard over the last year, I feel immensely positive about the direction going for this industry in particular, yes, we have a different market and a shifting landscape. There’s no doubt things are changing. And yes, we are attracting different types of guests with different types of behaviours who have different demands.
Sarah Riley: And that’s going to change things too. But as with everything, this opens up new opportunities, new possibilities, and certainly where we concerned looking at new ways that the businesses that currently exist or those that are starting up and just coming into the industry or just those people who are thinking about the ideas and what they might want to do coming over the next few years, it’s bringing some really exciting potential and some exciting possibilities. The key is to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening so that you understand where things are moving, where it’s shifting, and where the best potential and opportunities are. That’s where the magic is going to happen. And that’s where you can win. So make sure you stay here. I’d love to see you come back again. I’d really like to have your thoughts on all of this. Just leave a review, leave a review on whatever platform you’ve used to listen to this podcast.
Sarah Riley: I’d love to read what you’ve got to say about this. I’d even love to hear any suggestions for content that you’d like to hear on the podcast over the coming year. It’s really exciting for me to be able to connect with you in this way. And you know, you can also find me over on inspired courses.com. If you want to check out the show notes for this episode, you will find it on inspired campaign.com forward slash zero three nine. As this is episode 39. That’s the way it works, keeping things simple. Do make sure you stay in contact and yeah. Come and say hi. I’d love to hear from you. So stay safe, enjoy your week. And I hope you join me again here on the podcast, in the very near future.