Glamping – the portmanteau of glamour and camping – allows travellers to enjoy all the benefits of camping with the added extras and comfort of a luxury hotel.
Some people said it was a passing trend that would disappear as quickly as it had appeared, but they were wrong.
Over the years I have worked in this industry I have identified several significant factors that have shifted glamping from a trending meme to something that is far more widespread, significant and a very exciting part of the camping industry today.
When the recession hit, we all became much more thoughtful about our income and what we were spending on luxuries. The number of people taking overseas holidays declined, but glamping showed itself to be surprisingly robust in the face of an economic meltdown.
The Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism noted that glamping worldwide was an area in need of academic research and called for a study regarding “…outdoor hospitality, its successes, and challenges, particularly in its stellar performance during the recent global financial slowdown…”
When incomes started to rise again, people once again began to spend money on their vacations, but with memories of the hard lessons learned during the recession they were encouraged to look elsewhere for more affordable holiday experiences rather than opting for what they had always done before.
Terrorist threats and the political turmoil of various countries have lead to an unstable world and an equally nervous holidaymaker, worried about hostility abroad and losing money on cancelled vacations. This has encouraged tourists to look elsewhere when booking their holiday, and staycations (staying at home vacations) such as glamping have been boosted as a result.
We cannot avoid the fact that many of us no longer want to switch off when we go camping. New technology, social media and the increase of freedom lifestyles and businesses have encouraged this global habit. Glamping, with its added luxuries and wifi access, has helped to make this possible, while advances in technology have also helped, with the development of smaller and more portable devices.
Popular culture, celebrities, and Royalty have also given glamping the thumbs up, which has resulted in the trend being popularised further among the younger generation. As those generations have aged, they have also helped the trend continue with its ongoing growth.
Ease of booking
With the rise of booking portals such as Glamping.com and Airbnb, travellers have been able to explore a huge variety of experiences in any location they desire, resulting in even the smallest glamping experience in little-known destinations becoming possible and very successful. This has been great for small businesses and the industry as a whole.
Another reason for the growth in the glamping trend is with the rise in sustainable tourism, with 66 percent of travellers** now saying they’re willing to pay more to ensure their trips are as sustainable as possible.
Glamping naturally leans towards offering additional extras such as wellness activities and treatments. This is particularly interesting as wellness travel is expected to generate £403 billion in earnings this year (2017)*.
The blend of tourism, travel, wellness, and the environment are all elements of glamping experiences and this helps to make it a profitable one. The wellness travel industry grew 6.8% between 2013 and 2015, and it shows no sign of slowing, which is great news.
As glamping has evolved into being more about the location and the experience than just simply being a luxury camping trip, it has earned the respect of the camping industry. To be a success, new glamping businesses have to get the overall mix of what they are offering just right for the discerning glamper. If they do, they will be able to enjoy riding the wave of this strengthening and very exciting trend.
**MDPI Sustainability Article “Are Tourists Really Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Destinations?” Juan Ignacio Pulido-Fernández * and Yaiza López-Sánchez, Department of Economics, University of Jaén, Campus de Las Lagunillas, s/n, 23071 Jaén, Spain; firstname.lastname@example.org
*Global Wellness Institute https://www.globalwellnessinstitute.org/global-wellness-institute-releases-global-wellness-economy-monitor-packed-with-regional-national-data-on-wellness-markets/
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