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Glamping Retreats, Eco-Resort Events And Industry Vitals, Episode #060

Glamping Retreats, Eco-Resort Events And Industry Vitals

Kerry has been a successful glamping business owner for many years. She has single-handedly managed multiple businesses and has had her fair share of ups and downs. She is also known to share generously and talk openly about industry vitals while others keep their cards close to their chests.

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In this episode, we talk about:

Key glamping retreat events in the calendar we are looking forward to most this year The most important part of glamping that some owners miss today Industry insights from a serial glamping business owner and TV star What it’s really like to start a glamping business on rented land Her tips for starting a glamping business in a foreign country without even knowing the local language How this style of hospitality can be a retirement plan and a passive income if managed right Why location, location, location is still number 1 for attracting repeat guests And how to price your offering competitively in the market at the moment Learn from one of the most established glamping business entrepreneurs in the industry at these events.

The Glamping Business Start-Up And Grow Retreat

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Kerry Roy: Yeah, it’s been a big learning curve. So from five years ago of the knowledge, which I had five years ago, and I had a lot, then I’ve definitely gained a lot more experience and extra knowledge that I never thought I could possibly do, to be honest. And I sometimes look back and wonder how the hell I’ve done it. Well, I have!

Sarah Riley: Glamping and unique holiday rentals are surging in popularity with the growing desire of customers to book holidays that deliver and 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 Reilly, 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: Kerry, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s fantastic because I know that you have been talked about so much in the industry as somebody who’s really prepared to share things behind the scenes that most other business owners are not. And I know from a few of the people that I’ve put you in contact with that they have talked about how knowledgeable you are and how generous you are with that knowledge. So it’s really, really nice for you to be here. But for people who don’t know you, introduce yourself and say a little bit about where you’ve come from and what you’re doing now and what your glamping site is.

Kerry Roy: Okay. So I’m Kerry Roy as, and some of you may have seen me on various TV programs, of my business here in Italy and, previously at camp in the UK. So I came into the industry in 2012, and I was, I set up from scratch, one of the largest at the time sites in the north of England, which was Camp Kaur. And from that, we did a lot of di diversification into weddings, events and festivals as well, with a really good team behind me, which was key to be able to obviously develop and grow over time. Then in, gosh, I’m trying to think what was it now, 2007, I was itching to sort of do something a little bit smaller and more of an intimate glamping, more of a retreat-based glamping resort. So, we decided to move over and venture into Italy because at the time Italy was very, very small on the glamping side and it still is.

Kerry Roy: It’s, just, well, it’s building up now, but obviously it’s kind of where we were in the UK 10 years ago on the glamping. So from 2007 I’ve been busy, setting up all of the, well the firsts in the area for Italy. And again, the retreat started obviously through the times of Covid and, and all of the little upheaval that’s happened over the past few years. And obviously coming into a market in a, in a country where I had zero language skills separated from my partner at the time. And, just got on with it and got my head down and have managed to do it and made a success of it. So yeah, it’s been a big learning curve. So from five years ago of the knowledge, which I had five years ago and I had a lot then I’ve definitely gained a lot more experience, and extra knowledge that I never thought I could possibly do to be honest. And then sometimes I look back and wonder how the hell I’ve done it

Kerry Roy: But I have . I’ve really found my passion after many years of stress in this. it’s, no, do you know what glamping, it’s a great industry, what to work in, and I think you either create yourself a job and a family-type business in it, or you create yourself, an entrepreneurial business and I’m definitely more of an entrepreneurial spirit. So I love creating it, I love building it up and getting the right stuff in the right place to do, you know, sometimes the job better than me. And then I like to keep sort of building the business and designing the business, the strategic side of it, and not just stay stagnant, so to speak. So, you know, we all have our own reasons to come into business and mine was always to do business, not just such change of lifestyle.

Sarah Riley: So tell me a bit about the area where you’ve ended up in Italy.

Kerry Roy: we are in a brute, so, which is beautiful area. it’s actually just two hours east of Rome on the coast, so not many people know of it. It’s kind of a secret region, just because of the, the marketing of from the Italian government here isn’t very good, so therefore many people dunno about it, but it’s, it’s right near the mountains, Pennine mountains and the Adriatic seas, which is beautiful. So I’m 20, 30 minutes max to the beach and 40 minutes into the mountains and we’ve got winter ski resorts nearby and obviously all the summer sports. So for me, the attraction was the location because of the all year round sport activities as a, I am an adventure girl when I, when I have my free time. and also to be able to blend it in, well really with the retreat side, you know, a retreat is about being in nature and this place is perfect.

Kerry Roy: It’s a, a little paradise that people don’t know about, which has everything to offer for anybody who loves the outdoors or just wants to get away and escape the normality, especially though living in the city, or want to, you know, or just at the beginning of starting to become a more of an adventurous person. A lot of people crave it, but they just dunno where to go or how to, how to get there. So it’s something that we are now, this year starting to offer again because unfortunate that we’ve covid we couldn’t have the groups at the time. and that is something that I’ve always strived towards the, for this, side of the business here.

Sarah Riley: Mm-hmm. it’s something that I’ve actually always wanted to do is to find a perfect location in between the beach and the mountains. So you can just go from one to the other and have the best of both worlds. I mean, it sounds idyllic

Kerry Roy: oh, this time of year now we’re in March at the end of March and down, where I am in the temperature yesterday, no, the other day was 24 degrees. Today it’s about 20. But if I wanted to this afternoon, I could get my ski stuff and I could go up to the mountains and ski this time of year. You can literally ski in the morning and then be on the beach in the afternoon sun, with within an hour’s drive. It’s, there’s not many places in Europe that, that you can do that.

Kerry Roy: No, absolutely. Do you think this is why, you, you mentioned earlier about the TV and being featured in the television series. Do you think this is why they chose your location to, to cover your business And, and you’ve actually been featured all the way through the most recent series and they even did a, a, a re a review of how you’re doing now, just recently. tell me a little bit about that. And it’s called The New Life in the Sun, isn’t it

Kerry Roy: It is, yeah. So, I mean, I was fortunate to be, I think I calculated now I’ve been on 12 different programs since doing glamping. So we was fortunate in the UK to have various programs filming us and then this opportunity then came up in Italy and cause I’ve always got so much going on and I don’t stop with my projects, they wanted to continue filming and still want to continue filming, you know, what’s going on in the future because one GL is new to here, so it’s a, it’s it, it’s not just a bed and breakfast. So it, it’s a little bit more interesting I guess for the viewers. And also, I think, you know, being a solo female entrepreneur, so to speak, was a, a target for them and, and the fact that it is a beautiful area and they wanted to sort of showcase it more because one of the problems, I think the program’s now been running for just over 10 years, but a lot of people were getting bored of just Spain, Portugal, and France because for 10 years that’s the only areas that they’ve really filmed. Glamping retreats are back.

Kerry Roy: So they, I was lucky that at that time it was the first year that they were actually looking for new locations to sort of mix it up and spice the program up a little bit. And yeah, fortunately now I think this is coming into the fifth year, they’re due back to film again this year, so it’ll be five years now that I’ve managed to, so I’m the second longest apparently that’s, that they’re filmed for.

Sarah Riley: So that’s quite, it’s a claim to fame, if ever I’ve heard one, but most people wouldn’t do what you’ve done. And, and so what on earth gives you that kind of, motivation and confidence to push yourself forward into situations that probably, I’m sure you feel quite uncomfortable with at times I mean, it’s can’t be easy having a TV camera in your face while you are operating a business. I mean, how, what would you say that is the thing that has sparked you and, and made you go forward with that

Kerry Roy: one was, because obviously, it is a, a key marketing angle and but unfortunately the, the first year that we did it, obviously cause it is only marketed to the British, we couldn’t get the British here, so we had a hell of a lot of requests, but nobody could fly here at the time. So I feel like we lost a lot of opportunity there with potential British bookings. However, we have done really well with the Italian bookings, so it has continued to keep interest. and then I tended to get a lot of people just coming to me for business advice, but unfortunately, I don’t have the time to just, you know, give out business advice, because of all the work that we have to do here, and I think to inspire people as well. And the, the, the most thing I’ve loved from it is people contacting me, couples, women, teenagers apparently that have watched the program of the parents never watched it, that felt inspired that, you know, there is, there’s no limit to what you can do really if you put your mind to it and you have the greater determination.

Kerry Roy: And trust me, I have reached my limit doing this one. I really have at times reached my limit, especially in a foreign country in the bureaucracy. the staff mentality is so different to what is in the uk. but I wouldn’t give up. And now I’ve come out of that and, and if anything, I’ve got more drive and passion and I’ve learned a lot from it because, and there’s one thing I always push with my team is, you know, don’t say no, just some people’s limitations. It’s just the mindset. but we can all do it. We can all push if you’ve, if you’ve got that passion. I do, I do believe, obviously the passion is a, is a big thing. I mean, you may have seen one program, series where I opened the restaurant and I knew when going into that I did not want a restaurant in my gut. I just thought, this is not my passion, but I did it in a panic because we’d had covid, I don’t like to put all my eggs in one basket. It was another avenue. And as soon as I did it, I just realized that I’m really struggling to find the passion and keep the motivation up for it. so I I just ditched it. I ditched it and I’ve do, I’ve been there and tried it, but it’s not what I want to do . Yeah,

Sarah Riley: But you learned so much from that, didn’t you And actually you’ve grown because now you are using that whole restaurant vibe and you are just giving it out to someone else to run it for you.

Kerry Roy: Yeah, and then that’s always been my strategy really here. I mean, obviously I came here with my ex, so the, the plans originally were that we’d just be in there together and do it as a nice little quiet business. and then, and then obviously, you know, I, my business capital in the uk I rented the land there for almost 10 years, so I was paying a lot of money for rental. And then here I own the property and I own the land and, and it’s got various divisions in it now that I can rent out. So I’ve created the glamp pin, once my whole return on investment is returned from the glamp pin I plant to then either lease out the glamp in business as it’ll be limited or sell it, and then the person, the new owner will pay me the rental. And same with the restaurant, the chef now, we’re just doing the contracts at the moment for him to now take on the restaurant side, so he’ll manage that. I’ve not got the responsibility, obviously, I’m there to advise and help, but it means it’s another passive income for me. So what I’m doing really is setting up a, a business, an asset that I know I can always have a passive income from and move on to, you know, the next, project.

Sarah Riley: Mm-hmm. So you’re kind of valuing your time more than the turnover

Kerry Roy: yeah, for me because yeah, definitely as long as I, because I know that, you know, maybe I’ll sell the whole place one day and make a profit on it, or maybe in 20 years time it might just become a retirement home or a holiday lapse. I’ve got a property that gives me a lot of opportunity to still always earn money and never have to go and work for somebody else again. Hopefully . That’s my, you know, I think my two motivations in life, I, I love business. I do, you know, I studied business from a young age, so I just, it’s my passion. and it’s just to make sure that, you know, I have something that’s mine when, when you are in your fifties and your sixties and nobody can take it away from you no matter what. And the passive income, for me now, I’m striving towards the passive income.

Sarah Riley: Mm-hmm. So you are in the industry, you’ve been in the industry for many years. You are very much an expert. You are seen as one of the kind of original business entrepreneurs in glamping it to somebody who’s coming in, who’s new and who’s maybe thinking about investing money and setting up a business and doing something a bit different, maybe, playing on what people like yourself have been able to build up so far, but maybe introducing their own kind of unique vibe. What would you say to them about the state of the industry at the moment and, and where it’s going or where you see it might be going in the future

Sarah Riley: I think compared to when I started out in 2012, the setup costs now, is a lot more. I mean, I actually, set up camp with very little, but then initially for the first year, but then I kept investing and reinvesting, and that’s what I’ve always done. I’m always reinvesting for, you know, a good sort of five years into my business really to make sure it gets to where I want it to be. But it’s definitely a lot more expensive these days to do it. Obviously the competition is greater. So, I’m not, you, you’ve got to have something special or you’ve got to be in a good location. I think that’s the key, because I know especially in the uk, we had the boom after more so after Covid, I mean, it was, it was growing anyway, very much so before covid. But then post Covid, we had such a boom that I remember seeing some locations that I just thought what was going through that person’s mind that that is just crazy.

Kerry Roy: Location one was on the side of the, I think it was the M 18, you know, like the Hal Manchester, motorway. And I remember there once the pods right on the side of the, of, of the busy motorway. Yes. And I just thought is you’ve got to know, I mean, it’s ok, there’s GL and some people set it up and just think, I’m gonna get a quick book to be sustainable. Now that the industry is so competitive, you really have to know the location people where they need to be near restaurants, bars, other activities, walks, whatever to offer, not just accommodation, or offer another package within that, whether it’s, wellbeing or art or crafts. And creating that is that you’re marketing to a specialized target audience or put in events and only doing events and weddings, which can be a nice good income because otherwise it could be, you know, a slow process.

Kerry Roy: But again, it depends, as I said before, what kind of business people want. If they just want one or two cabins and it’s a little bit of pocket money, then it’s, it’s a good industry now to work in mm-hmm. . But if they set up and be big and keep growing and expect to be, you know, sort of full occupancy or at least 80%, I really think we’ve got to offer something special. And what I have found in the industry is I don’t, more so really here in Italy is some of the prices that people are charging for basic interiors, is quite shocking, . And that’s, you know, even I, I, I look at some now and I compare and think, and why are people paying that I mean, at least pay a little bit more for your interiors and style them up like you would in the hotel and, and people will keep coming because otherwise you’re gonna get a one hit wind wander guests and they won’t come again.

Kerry Roy: but there’s, there’s still a lot of potential also because, you know, I think as we’ve read a lot of this from, post covid, there was 20% increase. So, if not more now of people holiday and in nature and the mountains, and people are really wanting that, you know, the generation, gen Z and the millennials, they’re all about experiences over things, therefore they want something that’s unique. and Instagramable stuff or TikTok, is it nowadays more so there is, there is definitely still room in the market, but just don’t be a copycat, I think if you want to really make it successful and, unsustainable. I think sometimes you don’t need to be big. You can be small, but be high, high quality and you can actually charge out more for your rooms and gain the same kind of income as what you could as a, a competitor that’s doubling size with that costs.

Sarah Riley: I think so, and, and I think you’re right about, the research that was done quite a few years ago now, I think it was Eventbrite that did, it was around the expectations of those different millennial groups in Gen Z and everything else on, on what they would expect from their holidays or their vacations or when they’re booking a break. And it’s definitely around experience. And that’s what glamping was so good at providing an experience. And way back when glamping started as an industry, it was an experience just to go and camp in a tent that looked a bit different, that looked a bit luxurious, that you didn’t actually have to take to the campsite yourself, but someone would set it up for you. And so that was considered glamping and it was a real experience, but now that experience has shifted and there’s so much of that now.

Sarah Riley: People have their own glamping tents and they go camping with their own glamping tents, so why would they pay a silly amount of money to stay in someone else’s glamping tent that isn’t nicely furnished inside and isn’t styled nicely so that they’re, you know, able to do a bit of self-branding on TikTok and Instagram and all of that kind of stuff. So I think you are absolutely right that that’s where people can stand out from the crowds and be different without, you know, you know, keeping their customers happy without breaking the bank, but being a bit clever about how they think about it and what they set up and being different and looking at where everyone else is doing, like yourself, not copying it, but building on it and emulating it and introducing their own version so that they’re not just jumping on everyone else’s coattails. but what would you say to someone who’s thinking of changing countries to set something up Because maybe in their country it’s a bit over competitive, there’s not that much land, or maybe the land’s very expensive. What would you say to someone who’s thinking of doing what you did, which was leaving the UK setting something up completely from scratch on your own in Italy

Kerry Roy: gosh, there’s a lot I could say

Kerry Roy: One is do not go in it with roast into glasses. Be prepared that it is gonna be challenging and it will challenge you more than you think, or it’s at least more so than any business that you’ve done in the UK because you are dealing with language barriers, you’re dealing with a difference in culture and mentality, the bureaucracy, which is very tangled and twisted. that’s obviously more initially, but I heard it is very much like that in France and sometimes in Spain, depending on your countries, you need to make some France. I mean, you know, I I, for, for the first few months here, I didn’t know anybody and I just had to fill myself out there and reach out and just start to ask questions. You know, I’ve got a 400 like, 400 olive trees, I’ve no idea back then what to do with the olive trees.

Kerry Roy: So you start networking and making contacts and it’s amazing how many people will come to and help you. always just make sure that you, you’re getting the right type of contracts to contractors to work with you. A big thing that I hear amongst a lot of expats, and also I’ve had it myself, is, you know, contractors and builders, builders and, plumbers and all of that, they’re not quick to give you a quotation before the work. They often like to give you the price after the work. and that can become obviously very, very expensive. you need to be strong because what I’ve found is a lot of the time I’ve been pushed into a direction, which has been the wrong direction because obviously, you know, I have been here before by doing Camp Couture and I, I know a lot of groundworks and infrastructure, but I started to get swayed into their way of thinking and actually ended up costing me doubling work and doubling time because it wasn’t right for my actual business.

Kerry Roy: So businesses stand you ground, because remember that that person that you are contracting hasn’t been there doing the work, that you are doing. and yeah, try to learn language to learn the language, you’ll make it a lot easier and definitely understand the taxes and the bureaucracy and the whole setup of the business from the, you know, the administration side. I mean, I, I read a lot about Italy before I came, obviously with the taxes and, and, and how to try and set up a business officially here. But one thing I hadn’t read until we moved here was about contractual laws and employment. And I have to say, if I, I’d have read that and understood now what I know now about taking on employers here, I probably would not have chosen this country. Mm-hmm. so unless you are gonna go there and again, just do it as a family business where you don’t need to employ anyone. and you don’t want to grow it because if you grow it, you need employ, you need staff, then you really need to look at the laws and policies around employment laws because that here is, yeah, it’s, it’s quite worrying at times.

Sarah Riley: Mm-hmm. Great advice, fantastic advice. And I think people are more looking for that kind of advice now because, you know, from people who have actually done it, they’ve actually stepped outside of the comfort zone and they’ve gone to another country and it’s, it is easy enough to say that’s what I fancy doing because look at the land, look at the buildings, it’s so much cheaper than my country. But if you really dive deep into the, as you said, the bureaucracy and everything else that’s going to really influence your business, it can look a little bit less attractive or it certainly need a bit of preparation needs to be done. So you are somebody who loves to share advice, you’re really generous with that. And you also love to network and kind of know people in the industry move around, you know, make contacts, all that kind of really good stuff. And the last time I saw you was at the Eco Resort Network. We were both having a bit of a, a location over there, which is, it was in Venia last time and it was amazing. What did you think of all of that

Kerry Roy: Oh, I loved it. I mean, again, I was just at that point, at that moment in my life and business, it was probably, you know, it was quite tough and for me to come and meet people, again, who were in the industry especially. Cause obviously we’d all had covid as well, so, you know, business can be quite lonely at times. So for, to get together with other experts in the industry and just have one, just a great time and all relaxed, which was, it was super relaxing. You know, there was no commercial type feeling about it. It was just like making new friends. But it was inspiring. I loved just being able to hear other people’s stories and their pains. You know, the fact is that you can, sometimes you can feel like you’re so alone or you’re making so many wrong choices or there’s no one as an owner, there’s nobody else to ask. Sometimes you are the one that everybody’s asking. So when you are in that kind of environment to be able to ask each other and advise each other and realize that most of us have all actually gone through exactly the same challenges, exactly the same problems, a a lot of the same successes, yeah, it was, it definitely lift the spirits and revitalized it, revitalizes the passion, for the work. Mm-hmm.

Sarah Riley: I mean, the location was incredible. I’d have to say the organizers didn’t outstanding job.

Kerry Roy: They did great. It was the first one as well, and they were surprised how well it has gone. But yeah, I think, Stephan Mayer, they definitely know how to choose the best locations to attract us all that .

Sarah Riley: Yeah, absolutely. And from my understanding and also from my experience, most people who attended came away with definitely new contacts that goes without saying, but also new projects. And, you know, it’s incredible to think that it’s such a tiny investment to make in a, in an event like that, if you come away with new business, a new business focus or a new business deal, it’s incredible. And, and one of the people actually from my own, networks who attended, we were chatting at the event and he was saying that he thought he knew so much before he went there. And then when he went there, he just had his mind blown by everything he learned and that, you know, the contacts he made. And, and he just said he really felt inspired by that. He felt that before then he thought he’d done as much as he needed to do and he was going, he was growing as big as he would ever grow. But hi, his mind, he just shifted and saw that there was so much more, there’s so many other directions he could take. And he was just full of just so much business, entrepreneurial spirit, you know, it was just uhhuh amazing. yeah, cause

Kerry Roy: That’s the thing, you know, like when you’ve been in the industry, when you come into it, you always, you know, you, you are on fire, you’re passionate. And then after so many years or several years on, I mean, some people have been in the industry that with that event 20, 30 years, you know, they’ve got a lot that they can learn, that we can learn from that complacency can be a killer and, and complacency just in even your entrepreneurial mindset and like you say, going to an event like that, it really does it yeah. Re shifts your, your way of thinking and definitely regains the passions. And I think what was lovely as well, there was no arrogance. I mean, I come from a commercial industry background previous to Granton and there can be a bit of, you know, oh, look at me, I’m better than you or my Ben, or people not wanting to share the knowledge and information in case you gonna steal it and all the rest of it. But here, it it, the people from all over the world and it was just yeah, friendly, helpful, and there was none of that kind of crappy commercial type industry, feeling that makes make me, you know what I mean Mm.

Sarah Riley: Yeah. It, it was incredibly supportive. I would have to say it was definitely my event of the industry. oh, there’s a lot of good events in this industry, but this is, I would say it surprised me how good it was and it really was so good. So as soon as they told me about the next one, I was on onto the case immediately. So I put my ticket and I’m gonna be there ,

Kerry Roy: I can’t wait. Cause this is the thing, it’s not just a, it’s a holiday, isn’t it So we look to new location, it’s this year beautiful and great events that they put on as well. And then also combining it, what we’re going and we’re gonna to another, I see another site and get inspiration from that. but yeah, for me now it’s kind of on my calendar of my, my annual holiday and I like to last year as well. we just turned it into holiday, so a week before or a week after, I just extend it as a holiday and do the event at the same time. ,

Sarah Riley: Yes. Brilliant. Brilliant. Actually I will share, I’ll share at the end. I’ve got a bit of a discount I can share with listeners if anyone else wants to join us there. It really is incredible. So I’ll make sure I’ll drop that in at the end. definitely

Kerry Roy: Highly, highly recommended for anybody in the industry.

Sarah Riley: Yeah, definitely. So obviously you’re gonna be going there, so I’m really excited about meeting you there again, but we, we are actually doing a few projects together this year, which is exciting. I’m really excited by that.

Kerry Roy: Yeah,

Sarah Riley: And we’ve been working on that quite a lot. So explain one of those and why we’ve done it.

Kerry Roy: Okay. So, it’s kind of been on the cards I guess a while, but obviously again, you know, the last few years we’re just both busy, aren’t we And other things going on. but for what is, like you say, a lot of people don’t always want to share their advice and knowledge of the industry and I feel like there is a real need for it, to help other people along so that they don’t always suffer the same sort of, you know, setbacks and, problems and, and to inspire them to more, more so inspire people who want to come into the industry. So, me and Sarah are now creating and set up the GL ing startup and grow retreat, which will be later this year in October and beginning the 16th of October. And it will be a five day event where you will come on a retreat to, Tokyo del in Italy in a, so, so you’ll be views of the mountains, near the beach if you wanna visit the beach.

Kerry Roy: I said there’ll be lots of fun, there’ll be various activities, but there will be a lot of information sharing and Sarah is going to be there to obviously do a lot of the consultancy side and give a lot of her knowledge in the industry, which she’s got many, many, many years of, and often still gives me good advice . And also for me, from my side of things, I want to be able to share with people, you know, different tenancy agreements. I’ve got documents that I can share that I would only share to people coming on this event. Financial, gains and highs and lows within the industry. various health and safety laws, especially when you employ staff, people don’t realize a lot of things change, when you have five staff and above and how that can affect a lot of the paperwork and all of that kind of boarding, extra commitment that you have to do on the admin side.

Kerry Roy: And so I’ve got a lot of, tools that I will distribute as well to, to those already in the bus industry or those that are coming into the industry, which will save them a lot of time. And we’re gonna do some on the job training . So not that people that are all in need training, but then saying that as somebody who’s been in the industry 12 years now myself, you, you never stop learning. You should never stop learning and you should never stop taking advice and what you do in your own business, somebody else will do different in their business. And from that, we can all just pick up little pieces to learn from each other that we can then incorporate to offer an even better service and even better higher standards. So again, it’ll be networking, it’ll be meeting other people. There’ll be a lot of, you know, stories to be shared. A lot of quality time and free time, but it will be very much, almost like a glamp in school and knowledge and actual tools that I’ve used, including tenancy contracts that, you know, I’ve had when I was doing, the land rental, which I know I do see some people always asking how to do that legally within the industry as well. Mm-hmm.

Sarah Riley: I think when we kind of came up with this idea and we were developing the idea, we were thinking more around the, i, you know, the, the fact that both of us are asked so often, you know, how do you do this, how do you do that And you just can’t give people the time individually to, you know, all that information because it just takes so much time. And yeah, I think there’s so many things that people don’t think about as well when they haven’t got the, the business in front of them or, or maybe they’ve never set up a business yet, or maybe they have one but it’s early days or maybe they’ve been in in it for a while. But for those who are really starting at the beginning, they really don’t know what they don’t know until it’s pointed out to them, until it’s shown to them, until they kind of have that discovery.

Sarah Riley: And I think we were saying that that’s what we wanted Mo most of all, was people could see an operating site, they could ask questions about, you know, even down to the finer detail of what’s the best linen, what cleans the best, what gets rid of stains, you know, all of those things. but also how quickly do you need to, to employ staff to be able to grow to this size of business that I’m thinking of Or how do you find land to be able to do the things that I’m thinking of And there’s so much that we can talk about. And I think two things for me is, one, if people come on this retreat, they can design and request the information that they actually want to receive, which is fabulous cuz between us, we’ve got so many years experience that we can actually deliver any request really.

Sarah Riley: But also that whole location thing. And we’ve talked about previously on an episode that we’ve done here on the podcast about how important it is for entrepreneurs and people in business to really focus on their, their mental health and their mental wellbeing because it can actually be really stressful to start a new business. You’re second guessing yourself all the time. You are lacking in confidence and self-esteem. And actually to be able to go to a supportive group, which will continue probably to be a supportive group at the end of the retreat, it’ll continue, you know, to meet, in a online virtual way after that is just incredible. And I think, so many people lack that interaction with people who can support them in that way. And we’ve also talked about the fact that this may just be the only time we do it. So I think it’s an opportunity not to be missed by somebody who’s really desperate for that confidence building and, and knowledge building. But one thing I’m really excited about sharing, because not only do we have horse riding and massage and all kinds of other amazing things, , I’m really excited to share my stress and anxiety busting toolkit that I’ve used. So over the years of

Kerry Roy: Hear that yeah,

Sarah Riley: I’m standing on stage and things like that that I’ve done, you know, speaking to rooms of hundreds of people, setting up new projects from scratch and basically starting things that have never been started before. You know, that’s really anxiety and stress building and I’ve, over the years I’ve managed to, you know, build some incredible , which I think probably might make your eyes boggle carry when you find out what they are. But I wanna share these with people in, in a setting that is, you know, has beautiful views, is warm and you know, supportive, surrounded by friends all trying to achieve the same thing. And, and to, to be able to go away, for me to share that toolkit and for people to be able to go away with that toolkit and then use it to help them in their setup process for me will be incredibly rewarding. So that’s kind of part of the thing that I want to make happen as a result of this retreat is to give the operators the people who are really, you know, making it happen on the ground, the opportunity to learn from people like yourself, but also take these toolkits away to make their life easier, you know absolutely.

Kerry Roy: And it’s all about, you know, like you say time and we’ve had conversations about this before, time is my biggest asset. You know, you can’t buy back time and this kinda industry has so many variations. It is a 24 7 type business, especially one in the seasons that you open. And especially those are open all year. So to, to be able to be able to be focused, less distracted and be able to have these tools given that is gonna just save them time and that they don’t have to go out there and try and hunt for or find out what’s right themselves, they literally copy it and stick around. Logo go on is, it’s priceless really, to, to have that. And again, we came into it when the industry was quite new, so we’ve had to set up systems, you know, I was surprised how many systems I had, especially at Camp Kaur, because we have such strict, you know, health and safety laws and employment laws that you have to have these systems in place. And, you know, one will be a story that I share, of how disastrous it can be if you don’t have these systems in place because it could actually kill your business financially. Mm. So, there’s, yeah, there’s, so, and I’m gonna say I just like you, we just want to help inspire and guide people because there’s not enough of it. Sometimes I think it’s easy for a lot of business owners just to go into their shell, or not want to share the information, but for me, why not. That’s why I’m going to share everything with those who attend this glamping retreat in Italy.

Sarah Riley: Yeah, absolutely. I think that sometimes people operate from this place of scarcity. They’re a little bit afraid that if they share the information then you know, that’s gonna be detrimental to their own business cuz there’s only a limited number of customers. But I, I don’t believe that at all. I’m so, I’m so passionate about marketing and about finding people if even if they’re, you know, the market isn’t there, you can create the market. I’ve done that in my life so I know it’s possible. I know it can be done on the know the steps that make it happen. So I think coming from a place of scarcity is definitely the wrong place to be. And being generous and sharing knowledge is the way forward. And, and I hope people really take, you know, example from you and, and hopefully me as well in doing that cuz I think this industry needs to be and should continue to be a positive supportive industry. I really would hate for it to go down that commercial route of backstabbing and stabbing and overselling and over-marketing and all that kind of stuff. yeah. Well,

Kerry Roy: Well this is it. A lot of people who have come into the glamping industry, they’ve come into it for that kinda change of lifestyle to get outta the corporate world or the grind and that kinda backstabbing industry. So yeah, I’m saying I really hope it doesn’t and I think by doing this, hopefully we can keep it a safe, warm sort of friendly type feeling place, between us and, you know, your competitors can also become your friends at the same time. That’s what we will build upon in this glamping retreat.

Sarah Riley: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. , I can agree more and I think that, you know, this is something you, you strive by example, don’t you. and, and so I think you really do achieve that and I think it’s fantastic and, and I can’t really wait at all to be involved in this project. I can’t, it’s October, which is a bit of shame, it’s so far away, but with everyone’s schedules and everything we’ve got for the year, it’s the only time we could really fit in. But the weather in October is still really lovely over there, isn’t it Oh, it’s

Kerry Roy: Great. Well October is normally around twenties, early twenties, and then we have the olive as well. So you’ll see the traditional way of all the Italians trimming there, their bushes. Around the area and having their Italian lunches and breakfast liquor. So yeah, I might, hopefully I can throw in a little surprise and we’ll go off and not only do wine tasting, but we’ll go to one of the, local olive, production places to show people how the olive oils actually made as well. And I think we do have another little surprise by a very special guest, which we can announce at a late today in the course of process as well.

Sarah Riley: Yeah, I definitely think that there’s, it might be worth mentioning that, it, there might be a TV cue crew around, is that worth mentioning

Kerry Roy: Yes. that be, they do work so new life and the sun, they want to, they do want to film it as well. So if people are happy to be filmed, then then obviously, they’ll just, they go, people don’t need to worry. They, the camera won’t be in their face. You won’t even realize that there, they’ll be in the background. But anybody who does want to join and book onto the course who doesn’t want to be filmed, they can opt out of it and sign a content form and the, and the film crew will make sure that they’re not in any of the series. So, just because she book doesn’t mean you have to, so anybody that’s camera do not worry. You don’t have to be on, on camera.

Sarah Riley: I, I think it’s worth mentioning, but also it’s worth mentioning that if you are starting to set up your own business, you’ve really gotta get used to standing in front of a camera or near a camera or being part of this whole TV process because some of the businesses that have launched the quickest and had the most success have been the ones that have been working with the, the relevant lifestyle kind of TV programs at the moment that we’re finding around the world everyone’s really interested in. So you know what better time to do it is when you are at a retreat, you’re really relaxed and, and you are gaining knowledge, but you’re also getting a little bit of media training and how it’s all done and seeing behind the scenes. And then you’ve also got some fantastic social media contact content to share. exactly.

Kerry Roy: This is it if you’re using it on your social media, it always, it’s always a good share. So yeah, people, people love it, don’t they want know what it is and then watch it as well to see if they can spot you in the, in the audience

Sarah Riley: So if anybody is interested in joining Kerry and myself at our retreat, you just need to go over and have a slash Italy and that will give you a complete rundown of everything that you’ll get at the retreat, including all the activities but also the glamping business knowledge and training that will be happening at the same time. we’d love you to join us. That goes without saying, I think it’s going to be a really special, period of time and I cannot wait to visit your area, especially as I know that it means it’s gonna be a bit of, well cuz I’m based in the uk for me it’s gonna be autumn sunshine and a little bit of top up of the old tan, which for me is quite exciting.

Kerry Roy: And the Italian style with its wine, its olives, the horse riding. So yeah, don’t bring the, do not bring the rain

Sarah Riley: I’ll do my best.

Kerry Roy: Please do not bring the rain with you .I’ll have a word with the rain gods and I will tell them that they’re not welcome just for that week.

Kerry Roy: Still, we can make it cozy even if it rains, we’ll still have a fabulous time. So, those have already got geo, so now I love that they’re even in the rain. So, no, I’m looking forward to it. So it’s a shame it can’t come around quicker, but you know, it gives us more time and more time to be able to even think of more things to add in. So that’s, I don’t think five days is long enough No,

Sarah Riley: No, I think probably two weeks might be able to deal with the

Kerry Roy: Maybe request for two weeks .

Sarah Riley: Absolutely. But in the meantime I just cannot wait to Monte Negro. I, my, I’m all booked up and I cannot wait to be there and everyone else and yeah, really exciting year because of the various trips that we’re doing and yeah, really look forward to that Carrie, so I shall see you there.

Kerry Roy: Yeah, we’ve not got along, haven’t we In fact, I was doing my flights yesterday and looking at the air and I was like, oh, it’s just beautiful. So yeah, I look forward seeing you for glass of wine and a ketchup.

Sarah Riley: Yeah. Oh my goodness. Me and it’s, it’s on my bucket list so I can actually tick something off my bucket list. So it’s, I’m really pleased about that. ,

Kerry Roy: Steph must know it’s everybody’s bucket list from Montenegro, so it’s not being Montenegro. It’s definitely gonna time to book .

Sarah Riley: Yeah, absolutely. Anyway, so thank you so much Carrie for coming on stage, sharing your knowledge as always about the industry and everything else in between and we will see you very soon. You take care.

Kerry Roy: Thanks Sarah. Speak soon.

Sarah Riley: Bye.

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