There is no doubt about it, the UK has experienced a significant surge in the popularity of glamping over the past three years.
Google recorded a 118% hike in searches for glamping holidays during the past 12 months. But what has fuelled this growth?
Ultimately, there are five key factors driving this demand:
- Quality of products
Gone are the days of leaky wind-blown tents. Glamping structures have undergone a radical transformation and now the likes of safari tents, yurts, pods and treehouses offer all the creature comforts making this an appealing option for those looking for a holiday.
- A sense of fun and adventure
Consumers are looking for a different holiday experience rather than a run of the mill cottage which has been the norm for many years. It is far more fun for children and adults alike to sleep under canvas, in an eco-cabin or a tree house and start connecting back with nature.
Breaks in posh tents aren't cheap but flexible booking rules enable you to stay for two or three nights, unlike many cottages which often restrict bookings to a minimum of seven nights during the high season making glamping an attractive option for those wanting a short break or long weekend away.
See also: Seven Brexit bonuses to UK tourism
- Popularity of outdoor festivals
Outdoor music and food festivals are now all the rage and very much part of the rural social scene between May and August. Ageing festival goers have rekindled interest in living under the stars for a few nights and are now taking their young children away on holiday in a posh tent providing a new market for those looking at going into glamping.
- Warmer weather
Summer 2018 was a scorcher and with temperatures predicted to continue nudging upwards the letting season will benefit from extending beyond the school summer holiday. People are becoming increasingly aware that September and even early October can still provide warm days and therefore the option of glamping and being in the outdoors still appeals to them at this time of year, and maybe more so than it has done in the past.
Will the sales of glamping holidays continue to trend skywards?
In my opinion, I think that the growth in sales will soon level off. Business opportunities for landowners to set up a site will still exist, but guest expectations of comfort and a unique experience will raise the bar higher. This shift will require operators to invest in more expensive structures and upgrade facilities to tempt customers who are becoming spoilt for choice.