Glamping, or glamorous camping, has swept the hospitality world. People in today’s urban, constantly-on world crave connection with nature. However, they don’t necessarily enjoy sleeping on rocky ground or making a tree into a makeshift toilet stall.
Hoteliers do well to capitalize on this trend. Several hospitality giants have already made moves to enter this exciting market. With a small initial investment, hotel owners and property managers have an opportunity to substantially boost profits.
Glamping is growing
For many reasons, many travelers today prefer to stay closer to home versus venturing abroad. Fears of terrorist attacks create part of the problem. Others prefer staying nearby due to financial or time constraints. For example, over a quarter of Americans report they do not plan to take all of their paid vacation days this year.
However, the one travel sector that is growing? Glamping. In one recent survey, over half of all participants indicated they’d love to give glamping a try. And camping and caravan trips are expected to grow significantly this year.
Big brands are entering the fray
Hotel giant Marriott recently entered the glamping market. At the 2017 Coachella music festival, Marriott provided luxury yurts for guests who craved amenities like air conditioning and real beds. The tents proved so successful, they returned the following year, and the company recently opened a glamping resort in Indonesia.
Nor is Marriott the only hotel embracing the glamping trend. For example, Nomade Tulum, located in Tulum, Mexico, features gorgeous yurts with privacy screens and amenities like whirlpool tubs and fire pits. Guests can enjoy beautiful Mayan ruins during the day but sleep mosquito-free at night.
What amenities do glampers want?
Is it sufficient for hoteliers to invest in luxury tents only? Nope. The beauty of glamping lies in pairing modern conveniences with outdoor adventure.
Some items most craved by glampers include the following.
- Luxury bedding. Glampers don’t want to get backaches from the hard, lumpy ground. They crave the same quality bed mattresses and linens found in top hotels, only transported to nature.
- Private baths. Glampers don’t want a cold camp shower with a chintzy curtain around it. They crave campsites with showers and higher-end toilet facilities like the ones found in a traditional hotel.
- Climate control. Glampers want a place where they don’t shiver or sweat with the elements. While they crave the openness of yurts, etc., they desire the ability to close up at night and enjoy climate comfort.
- Pest control. One of the worst parts of camping is the bugs. Glampers often feel as put out by insects in their abodes as they would in an infested room.
Ideas for getting into glamping
If you want to take advantage of the glamping trend yourself, the journey begins by selecting your destination. Some hoteliers add on to existing properties. Others open entirely new resorts. Still, others proceed caravan-style by following popular festivals and events and offering to lodge.
Part of the location decision hinges upon your budget. If you have less room for expansion, it makes more sense to add to an existing property or take the nomad route. However, if you’ve invested in a suitable property already but have yet to break ground, consult with your architects to see how you can design the buildings to better take advantage of this trend.
Then, you’ll need to design your resident accommodations. While many popular glamping resorts choose to go with a tent or yurt-style design, others use a variation on the log cabin theme. Still, others incorporate adorable designs like Airstream trailers to woo their guests.
The grounds matter when designing the ultimate glamping experience. For example, one of the best parts of camping is toasting marshmallows around an open fire. Designing the space with copious fire pits, preferably one for every one or two guest rooms encourages community and recreates a rustic feel. Professional pits also reduce the risk of damage from irresponsible campfires.
Consider other amenities, too, such as on-site dining and water features. Natural saltwater pools feel heavenly on guest skin and hair and recreate the feel of taking a dip in the ocean. Serving elegant meals al fresco under hanging fairy lights creates a magical evening for honeymooners.
Seek out partnerships with local tour companies as well. Since glampers come to such locations to explore the natural beauty, providing them with guides can protect their safety and make their stay more memorable.
Capitalizing on the glamping trend
Given the enormous numbers of people interested in glamping, savvy hoteliers do well to capitalize on the trend. By incorporating nature into their designs, hotel owners can reconnect guests with their innate selves while caring for their creature comforts.