A question we get asked a lot is “What is glamping?”. So for those who have only just started to hear about this new luxury camping trend, here is our summary of the basics and what the fuss is all about.
What is the definition of glamping?
Glamping, glam camping, luxurious, posh, luxe camping, luxury boutique camping, or whatever you prefer to call it can be defined in one way. It’s all about camping, but it’s also all about smoothing the edges of roughing it. The official definition in the Macmillan Dictionary is:
Glamping (noun) an abbreviation of ‘glamorous camping’; glamping involves all the luxuries of home. ‘Glampers’ stay in yurts, tipis or luxury caravans, instead of basic tents.
It isn’t just about getting away for a time to be closer to nature and under the stars. It is also about visiting hospitality venues that are equipped to give their guests a unique, and often quirky, outdoor experience. This is how Wikipedia explains it as:
Glamping is its modern equivalent, combining both yesterday’s amenities and today’s technology.
Podcast Episode with Sarah Riley, Glamping Business Consultant: “What Is Glamping”
While you are reading this post you might also want to listen to our podcast sharing the inside line on what glamping is and how hosts and owners are significantly changing their lifestyle by setting up a glamping business. You can listen to The Glamping Business Podcast by Sarah Riley, Glamping Business Consultant, below or on your favourite podcast platform.
What is the history of glamping?
There are many modes of glamping, which have their roots firmly in the history of camping and humans travelling the globe. In fact, we believe we are prehistorically hard-wired to want to go camping and glamping as it gives us so many benefits.
What glamping essentials do I need?
For the camper, it must be inspiring, homely and authentic. It is nothing like a traditional camping experience, as it is luxurious and completely effortless.
We consider it to be a 5-star experience under canvas, which focuses on the environment, respecting nature and keeping it high quality and as local and artisan as possible. We have put together a glamping tent wiki here so you can look at all the options available to you.
It is also about the glamping accessories and high-end camping gear and accessories that people love to play with when they go on vacation.
Why is the link between nature and glamping so important?
The first and ultimate priority for glamping is to respect nature and spend time re-connecting to it, which we highlight in our manifesto.
In our busy lives, we are neglecting to take the time to de-stress and enjoy being outside. Research now shows us that this is essential for improving our health and we can get many benefits from it.
How can it improve our health?
Thankfully, the act of luxury camping and glamping can bring us all of these benefits without adding any stress, which can happen occasionally with traditional camping.
However, the research is clear… there are lots of health advantages to spending more time outside. You can read more on this topic and what the experts are telling us here.
What type of experience can I have with my friends?
We love nothing more than enjoying new experiences and showing off to our friends and family. After all, this is how Instagram has got so popular! As glamping gives us new types of experiences it offers plenty of photo opportunities to post to our social media platforms.
Can I go glamping easily with my family?
All families are keen to spend more quality time with one another but with today’s fast pace of life, it can be difficult to put time aside.
Often, the only real-time families get to spend together is when they are on vacation and away from the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life. However, even then it can be difficult to spend proper quality time together depending on the type of vacation you go on.
Glamping offers an opportunity for family camping with outdoor adventures that are fun, healthy and can really help us reconnect. Perfect!
Can I go DIY luxury camping?
If you have the energy and eye for style, there’s no reason why you can’t put some DIY Glamping Pizzazz into your next luxury camping trip.
Although this takes more effort, it can be fantastic fun for the family, especially if they fancy a bit of backyard glamping. To help you on your way we have put together a glamping checklist for you to use.
What is glamping – future trends in 2024 and beyond
We’ve seen many camping trends come and go over the years but none have been so determined to stick around than ‘glamping’. There’s a detailed summary of why that is here on Inspired Courses.
Many people try camping once or twice but are put off by the lack of facilities, creepy crawlies and leaky tents, so they return home disappointed and devoid of motivation to ever return again.
But this does not remove the inherent desire that most people have to stay in our great outdoors, soaking up the atmosphere and absorbing the fresh air.
As humans, we would not have spread across the globe if we hadn’t been compelled to travel from place to place. As a result, we have had to become travellers, adventurers and campers to survive. Similar to how a salmon swims upstream to reach its spawning grounds, we feel an equally powerful desire to get on the road and begin more outdoor adventures.
Basically, we are all prehistorically hardwired to want to go camping whether we want to or not! Read our opinion on this here.
Added to this is the fact that travelling abroad or staying in the comfort of a hotel isn’t what it used to be. Volcanic ash clouds and terrorist threats interrupt flights, while hotels have become crowded, overheated and tedious, with very little about the experience that doesn’t cost the earth.
So here is our summary of future trends in the glamping industry:
- With the increasing competitiveness of the market, glamping structures are getting more interesting to attract bookings, leaving the unimaginative behind
- The guest is expecting higher standards so the glamping business owner is levelling up both professionally and in terms of their services
- It’s all about the experience with a glamping stay so getting this right is essential for the success of an outdoor vacation
- The host is experiencing more whole-site bookings so Glampers are wanting to use the glampsite exclusively for their experiences
- Sustainability options are becoming more of a magnet for eco-tourists and the younger generation who are more clued up on the need to choose environmentally friendly options
- As glamping structures increase in popularity and quality, the season is getting longer as the guest is able to stay in nature in all weathers for longer periods than the traditional camping season
How has the economic crisis boosted this activity?
An Operations Manager of a large holiday park in the UK recently stated:
There has certainly been a big boom in the luxury market. People still want to experience the outdoors with all the home comforts that glamping or a woodland lodge offer.
When asked about the financial crisis and the impact this has had on glamping he said:
When the recession started there was a big trend in UK camping holidays because people were looking to cut costs. And now that we are out of the recession two things are happening. The resurgence of camping has continued, but there are greater demands from the consumer. They want the luxury as well as the outdoor activities, which is an area where investment will lead to growth. People have higher expectations for their spend. Therefore, it is essential that businesses invest in higher-spec facilities because people are willing to pay a premium for it.
The KOA Report – Kampgrounds of America – talked extensively about glamping, which had been almost ignored in previous years. More specifically it noted that 45% of its campers wanted to experience glamping over the following year. This has doubled from the previous 2018 report. Other research about glamping has also highlighted it as a new part of the outdoor industry, with experiential business models which are growing in demand around the world.
This is also raised in episode #015 of the glamping business podcast interview with Sarah Dusek of Under Canvas, where she explains how she and her husband have achieved such epic success by growing their glamping business from nothing to a multi-million concern.
This is great news for happy glampers, who are likely to find an abundance of great glamping facilities, but it is even better for those business owners who have decided to offer glamping as a service in the future.
What are the new ‘glamper guest’ expectations for hosts?
The type of facilities glampers now expect are electrical power, lighting, real beds, real linen, and even private bathrooms and hot tubs outside.
By providing this glamping has opened up the camping experience to mainstream customers who have been dissatisfied with it until now, which is attracting a completely new market segment to the outdoor industry. Read the article here
It has also opened up the season as glamping sites are now equipped with heat and shelter to keep even the most discerning traveller satisfied throughout the year. This means glamping gives more earning potential to existing and new campsites alike.
What does this mean for glamping business owners and hosts?
Glamping is attracting a completely new customer base to the hospitality and tourism industry, and with the associated extension of the glamping season, in comparison to some types of camping, this brings more earning potential to outdoor businesses.
Read our recent article on why now is one of the best times to start a glamping business.
If you would like to find out more about how to start a glamping business and are just at the beginning of your journey, make sure you read this article on Inspired Camping, which is full of helpful tips and links for more resources.
If you are already keen to get started and need the business plan templates and cash flow examples to help you move forward, then you can find those here.
There’s no doubt that glamping is really catching on across the world, for both campsites that have never offered it before and new glampsites just opening up.
But it’s not only the hospitality and tourism industry that is benefitting.
Customers are also getting more choices, improved facilities and more of a chance to take part in hassle-free lower cost but high-quality breaks.
How do you start setting up a glamping business?
If you are thinking of offering a glamping service and want to find out more, take a look at our business information articles and intensive Glamping Business Start-Up Guide containing more than 36 industry-specific lessons, which take you through the glamping business set-up process step-by-step. So if you are keen to learn how to set up a glamping business then check out the guide to give you all the advice, business plan templates, cash flow forecasts and PDFs you need.