Starting a Glamping Business: Insider Secrets From Industry Experts

tent, camping, hills

If you’ve been thinking about starting a glamping business, you’re probably on the right track: the popularity of glamping has been sharply increasing across the US. As of 2019, there are over 75 million camping households, of which almost half are interested in trying glamping.

Starting a business is no easy feat, but we have you covered with all of the main factors you will want to consider for your glamping business. Here’s the advice we’ve compiled from glamping business experts across America.

Initial considerations

Before getting started with your business, you’ll want to think about the costs of starting up, the time you’ll be dedicating, and how much space you have available. 

Startup costs

Blanket Inside Tent Near Body Of Water

Glamping tents usually don’t exceed $1500, which is much more affordable than other shelters, like domes or cabins. However, your costs will also include all other accommodation and physical items for your guests. As explained by Stacie Bartow from Ouachita Wilde, “it’s not just the tents. There’s the furnishings, upkeep, trailer if you do pop-ups… we have amazing four-wheeling trails that are a big draw so we do more campsite setups.” 

Depending on how you want your experience to be for your guests, costs can vary widely. You’ll also want to consider insurance for your gear, or even trip insurance, and any marketing costs to draw attention to your business. 

Time

Hard work is the key to success to any start-up business, and that also means long hours. Kelly Emilianowicz from The Pop-up BNB describes the time commitment involved: “There is so much behind the scenes to operate this business from cleaning, planning, packing, scheduling logistics, paperwork, legalities, marketing, and more – it’s a ton of research and it’s a lot of location scouting and growing relationships.”

Availability of space

Kelly’s team started from just 1-3 tents, but now they are now working with over 30. Since they don’t have land to store all these tents and gear, her team rents a warehouse instead. Space and storage is an essential factor to consider for your new business, and different types of sites will require different storage options. For example, a pop-up glamping spot, as opposed to a stationary site, would require a place to store tents in between pop-up events.

Location scouting

67% of travelers say that glamping fulfills their desire for a novel outdoor getaway, so location is likely to be an extremely important factor to your guests! 

Keep an eye out for competition

When picking your location, keep in mind that you’ll have a higher chance of succeeding in an area where there aren’t other glamping businesses. Moving in too close to a competitor can make things more difficult for both parties.

Where do your guests want to stay? 

You’ll also want to figure out what locations your consumers prefer. If you want to create a mostly stationary camping spot, you should look into where people usually like to stay overnight. On the other hand, if you want to create a pop-up tent camping spot, it’s important to gauge what specific events or experiences people are looking for at your pop-up site. 

For example, the teams at Perfectly Pitches Idaho and Glamp Odyssey create glamping experiences within a generous radius of their base cities, since their consumers are looking to pitch tents for specific activities like wine tastings and birthdays.

Service offerings and amenities

According to research, glampers look for creative accommodation and care about the experiential value of their trips. Therefore, your services and amenities will be key to attracting consumers. 

Know your guests

First, make sure you understand who your consumers are so that you can tailor to their preferences: families, for example, will want different entertainment options than office teams looking for a corporate getaway. 

Take advantage of your location

Keep in mind that the location of your campsite can build your service offerings: for example, if you’re close to a lake, you can offer kayak rentals for your guests. 

More “glamorous” or more “camping”?

Finally, you’ll want to consider whether you want to offer a more luxurious or more raw camping experience. A more luxurious camping experience may include WiFi and creative services like game nights and wine tastings, for instance!

All in all, creating your own glamping business is an exciting opportunity with many factors to consider. Hard work will allow you to create a unique experience that your guests will be thrilled to share with their friends and family. The glamping and hospitality industry is one that is rapidly changing, and the creative possibilities for making the perfect space are endless. So do your research but don’t forget to have fun, because passion makes everything possible.