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.
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 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.
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. 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. 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.
What Is Glamping?
We’ve seen many camping trends come and go over the years but none have been so determined to stick around than ‘glamping’.
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 up stream 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.
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, over heated and tedious, with very little about the experience that doesn’t cost the earth.
How The Economic Crisis Has Boosted Glamping
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.
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 businesses that have decided to offer this service in the future.
The type of thing glampers expect are electrical power, lighting, real beds, real linen, even private bathrooms and hot tubs outside. By providing these facilities glamping has opened up the camping experience to the mainstream that have been dissatisfied with it until now, which is attracting a completely new market segment to the outdoor industry.
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 This Means For Glamping Businesses
Glamping is attracting a completely new customer base to the hospitality and tourist 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.
As a result glamping is really catching on across the world, for both campsites that have never offered it before, to new campsites opening up. But it’s not only the hospitality and tourist industry that are benefitting. Customers are also getting more choice, improved facilities and more of a chance to take part in hassle free lower cost but high quality breaks.
If you are thinking of offering a glamping service and want to find out more, take a look at our intensive Glamping Business Guide containing 36 industry specific lessons, which take you through the glamping business set-up process step-by-step.