Glamorous camping manifests itself as a very lucrative business these days. We know that for a fact through many exclusive sites that are cropping up around the world in places from Patagonia to Kamchatka. Are you thinking of becoming a glampsite owner? Wondering about the technical side of the glamping business? Worried about the financial aspect? Here are some tips that will help your business take off.
1. Ask questions. No matter if you already run a hotel or resort, own a land or are planning to purchase one, it’s always good to ask yourself a few questions related to starting up a glamping business beforehand. Be honest with yourself. Are you passionate about hospitality business? Do you like nature? Are you inclined toward providing excellent customer service? Are you looking for a swift return on investment or would you prefer to take things slow? Do you have the determination and personality to run a glampsite? Once you have finished, move on to the business strategy (here’s a handy blog post where you will find even more things to consider which will help you make the decision).
2. Create initial business plan. Think about the budget you are willing to spend for the glamping site, the time you need to install the accommodations, the potential help you can get from your friends, family or coworkers, and so on. Think of a structure that will be suitable for your goal. Probably you will be looking into self-assembly solutions sold at an affordable price, which will nonetheless be durable, safe and elegant. We also suggest considering those which are relatively easy to erect, dismantle and maintain. Nowadays, people tend to be favoring cabins, tents and domes for glamping purposes. One such glamping dome of 50 square meters is a fast way to go – it can be easily constructed by 4-5 people in less than 6 hours, while bigger structures are set up in less than a day.
3. Think about your target audience. When working on your strategy, don’t forget to focus on the type of guests you would like to target: families, couples, individuals, business groups or perhaps VIPs? Or maybe your potential customers will include schools and activity tours? Consider the sizes of guest groups while working on your glampsite project and the sizes of their respective accommodations. Contact your local authority to ask about any planning permissions you might need in order to start construction. Permissions are sometimes required but when you consider using semi-permanent domes as your accommodations, the paperwork will be much lighter than in the case of permanent structures. Consult any of your local planning councils: many of them help aspiring business owners in the development of eco-tourism and diversification.
4. Do a small reality check on your idea. Start with 2-3 durable glamping structures, add furniture and insulate them if you feel they might need additional protection during cooler months. Create private facilities and a central chalet for your reception area. You’re all set! Bear in mind that in order to develop a successful business, you should offer your customers a high quality & unique solution that they will enjoy in many different conditions, come rain or shine, and that will inspire them to keep coming back for more. Curious to know how quickly your glamping investment could pay off? Click here for estimations.
5. Make your site eco-friendly & efficient. Many of the glamping structures available on the market accompany a “green” intent in both the way they are constructed and also how they perform in various locations, with minimal carbon footprint. If you are choosing between rectilinear and geodesic shapes, go for the geodesic. From the two structures of similar sizes, one in rectangle and one in geodesic dome shape, the second one would need 1/3 less material to be built (due to having 30% less surface area) and it would still be much stronger than a rectilinear structure. Basically that means you: a) are efficient, b) save money on bills due to a smaller area to heat and cool, c) invest in a long-lasting solution. Also, domes are true gems in that they withstand even the most extreme weather conditions and are suitable for all temperature.
6. Add “X-factor”. Convert your camping accommodations to a higher standard by offering guests what they are longing to find: 5-star hotel solutions in the middle of the wild. Pampering is what glamping business is all about. Your spacious pods with high-end interior should include a comfortable bed, a roaring wood-burning stove, candles & lamps, cozy curtains and a rug. Also, they need to be under your full thermal control over the summer and winter months. Think about alum-air insulation panels for additional heating and solar-powered fan to allow fresh air to circulate. Making it posh does not automatically make you bankrupt for life: smallest fully-equipped pod with chimney, stove, insulation, fan and curtains can be purchased for less than €8.000,00. And how to let your guests enjoy the stunning nature while inside? Choose a glamping pod with a bay window for a jaw-dropping panoramic view.
7. Promote, promote, promote! Let people hear about your glamping site. Think about promotion channels that you would like to include in your marketing. Always keep in mind your target group for which you’ve started the business in the first place. Know what they want before they do and use their favorite media to make them an offer they can’t refuse. Always remember to advertise on hotel-related websites in order to boost your business online – the more they hear about you, the higher the chances they will choose you. Use Airbnb, Booking.com, GlampingHub, CoolCamping and many others, publish your offering with photos, spend some time to market your business on Instagram and Pinterest. Never underestimate the role of social media. The likes of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn could dramatically add to your success. Get real recommendations from real people and publish them on your website (you definitely need one of those too). Prepare the best customer welcome pack to keep your customers coming back for more.
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