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Guide to Setting up a Glamping Site

Guide to Setting up a Glamping Site

Are you a property manager on the lookout for new profitable business ventures?

Recent travel trends present an intriguing opportunity for vacation rental owners: Glamping!

Perhaps you are among the increasing number of property managers looking to expand your business and are interested in starting a glamping business. Why not? It's the perfect opportunity to create the "sweet spot" in the booming travel industry, which is proving to be one of the most sought-after businesses to invest in during the current economic climate!

The Glamping Experience

Glamping is a term that combines the words "glamour" with "camping." It is a type of camping that features more lavish amenities than traditional camping. This is a means of making camping more approachable yet comfortable. In 2020, the global glamping market was estimated to be worth $1.88 billion. It is predicted to expand at 14 percent annually.

The tourism industry is experiencing rapid change as more vacationers seek socially isolated experiences away from crowded spaces. Glamping is an option for travelers who want a closer connection with nature. Despite the constantly growing demand, there are not enough glamping facilities available. This gives property managers the ideal opportunity to capitalize on this glamorous opportunity.

Glamping Business : Envisioning Expectations

Vacationers are increasingly opting for comfortable outdoor suites that provide a nice combination of hotel amenities while also allowing them to experience the beauty of nature. Without a doubt, people are willing to spend a steeper price for a far more luxurious ambiance by “glamping” or camping without getting messy.

As a glamping business owner, here are some of the expectations you need to live up to:

  • You will need to indulge them and provide a one-of-a-kind venue for them to unwind and forget about their everyday routines.
  • Your glamping site must be pleasant, unique, and well-planned so that it sends a strong message to potential vacationers and generates a lot of bookings.
  • Last but not least, you must ensure that your visitors have all the essential amenities they would expect from a 'hotel room' in the middle of wild terrain, so to speak!

Now let's look at the detailed steps involved in establishing a glamping site and what you are required to do.

Groundwork For A Glamping Site

1. Invest time and effort into research

Successful businesses are built on research. Analyze all aspects of the business before getting started. Understanding the market and what your new venture is about is crucial.

1. Location

  • You may already own some land; consider how special it is and where the accommodations will be built. Provide a “Wow” Factor location, for example to establish the “tent-hotel in the wilderness” concept, consider highlands, coastal areas, or dense forests and flat grasslands.
  • Pro Tip : It is important that your choice of location is something that can be captured on Instagram. Since most of your clients will be millennials, this will have a major impact on their decision making process.
  • Is your land surrounded by a scenic view or features that are unique? What will your USP (unique Selling Point) be?
  • Consider acquiring land in an area where tourists will likely want to visit and what the key attraction is.
  • Consider the proximity to popular attractions and locality

2. Check out the competition but don't copy!

Local sites that are doing well will offer up inspiration and ideas on rates. But don't simply copy competitors as having a unique offering will make you stand out from the crowd.

3. Analyze trends

See what's currently making waves in the industry and decide whether it's a trend you'd like to embrace.

4. Explore your passion!

How can you differentiate your glamping site? What would make your property unique and pique interest for vacationers to visit? This could be as simple as making your site particularly dog- or family-friendly. Will it be a honeymoon suite for just married couples? Try adding something entirely new that your locale doesn't currently offer. Something different that would make your property stand out from the rest.

5. Question everything!

Find out what other business owners and tourists are doing and talk with them for insight. Joining a few online forums on social media and browsing the internet can also be tremendously helpful.

Groundwork for a Glamping site

2. Who will be your “Glampers”?

The target audience for your glamping business is another important consideration before you open your doors. Your target Glamper will dictate everything from the accommodation you choose and the facilities you offer to the exact location of your business.

Family - With children in tow, families are likely to look for larger accommodations, entertainment options, and open spaces where kids can play.

Couples - Travelling couples may not need as much space as families, but they may look for romantic extras like hot tubs and statement baths, added treats like bubbly upon arrival, and privacy from neighbors.

Luxury Lodgers - will want to get closer to nature while still feeling luxurious and will seek out unique touches such as hot tubs, quirky accommodations, high-quality furnishings, and the option to have their meals prepared.

Budget-Bees - at the other end of the scale, those looking to keep costs down will be looking for simple accommodations with all the essentials included and the option of self-catering.

Pet-friendly - If you allow guests to bring their pets, consider adding a few inexpensive extras to make them feel welcome, such as dog bowls, a list of local dog-friendly pubs, and a treat.

Eco-friendly - many campers will be keen to reduce their environmental footprint, so offer them recycling options, items to borrow instead of buying, build structures using sustainable materials, and stock/recommend local food and drink options.

3. Build your business plan

A clear plan is essential for success as the owner of your new venture. It will assist you in identifying your business' specific needs and uncover some unknowns. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. Include a company & industry analysis
  2. Operations plan
  3. Revenue management
  4. Marketing Plan
  5. ROI (Return On Investment)
  6. Invest in acquiring insurance for your site

Once you have thought everything through, a business plan is essential for securing funding and obtaining planning permission. As well, it will help you identify possible problems and opportunities that may occur during the process. Starting a glamping site can cost you thousands of dollars. If you want to find out what profit you can make from it, how long it will take you to build a profitable site, create a business plan first.

If you need some assistance, this template will help you get started on developing your business plan.

5. Costs to Consider

It's now time to determine how much you will have to spend on setup and operation. The startup costs for a glamping business are significant, but they can be managed. The main expenses are purchasing land and tents initially. Some business owners get into this business because they already own land. Our advice is, for business owners who don't already own land should look at remote locations where property costs are normally lower.

The following expenses should be considered:

  • Cost and number of glamping structures you will need to start with.
  • The cost of buying, renting and maintaining the land where you will be based.
  • Cost of installing electricity, sanitary facilities, and waste disposal facilities.
  • Costs associated with furnishing, linens, heating, and lighting.
  • Any extra costs related to setting up and maintaining any extra features, like hot tubs, saunas, lounge rooms, etc
  • Depending on your location, storage facilities for tents during cold weather should be taken into account. (Comparatively storage is usually inexpensive)

7. Ongoing expenses for a glamping business

To ensure your glamping business stays flourishing, think about any safety measures and regulations you’ll need to put in place, how you’ll clean the site and keep everything looking fresh, and whether you’ll need to employ staff to help with the running of the site. The fact that you have chosen a luxury or semi-luxury business model means that these costs need to be taken into account, which will allow you to optimize your nightly rates accordingly and drive brand image as well. For more tips on cleaning read our article: Vacation Rental Cleaning: Tips & Tricks

4. How to Find a Potential Glamping Site

The search for the exact ideal location has now begun! Consider these factors when choosing your “Glamping Site”

  • If you are selecting a site, try to think of reasons why customers will enjoy it. Is it a great view? What cities or major attractions are nearby? Does it have neighboring hiking trails or boating escapades?
  • The idea of glamping getaways is to completely switch off, so a quiet site away from traffic noise is ideal.
  • The site should be relatively easy to reach, complete with accessibility and parking provisions.
  • Sites should be level, well-drained, and protected from the elements as much as possible.
  • The site should be far enough from neighboring structures to allow guests some privacy.
  • The site should have running water; decide if you will use mains supply or an independent supply, such as a borehole? Would you prefer septic tanks, reed beds, or direct disposal of sewage?
  • For your site, you will need power - how much depends on your chosen accommodation, but you should plan for about 15-20kW per cabin. The ability to get electricity directly from the grid may vary depending on where you live and whether you opt for local green energy or LPG bottled gas.
  • Remember, the glamping site should provide an extremely safe environment where guests can feel comfortable and enjoy themselves.

5. Planning and constructing the Glamping Site

Think about how you'll set up your site. You should incorporate the following basic components in whatever structure you envision: Once your site location is sorted, sketch out the services and facilities that you will offer

  • Number of Structured Units
  • Toilets and shower cubicles
  • Communal areas such as kitchens, dining, swimming pool, etc.
  • Lounge areas, etc

It's best to think ahead and allow space to expand. If your business takes off, you'll have the option to grow.

  • Create site checklist Organize and list everything that is needed to build the glamping site. Glamping amenities include furniture, lighting, heating and gas storage, as well as electrical infrastructure, waste disposal facilities, fire safety measures and gas storage. Click here to see a complete check list.

6. Types of Glamping Site Structures to choose from

Choose from a wide range of glamping structures, so you can find one that fits your budget, location, and style. Typical structures include:

Yurts Circular tents, traditionally used as a home by nomads in Central Asia.

Tepees Tents shaped like cones made traditionally of animal skins but now more commonly of canvas.

Bell tents These tents are shaped like cones or bells and have a central pole supporting them.

Safari Tents Safari tents are larger structures, based on those used in Africa.

Glamping Pods Usually consist of a small, curved, wooden structure.

Treehouses Structures made of wood in the trees that children (and adults) will love.

Bubble domes Often transparent, spherical structures

Shepherd Hut Shepherd huts, once used by shepherds during lambing season, are usually a wooden structures with a kitchen, dining area, and a bedroom.

9. Getting Planning Permission for Your Glamping Site

Apply for any planning permission you might need at your local authority before you begin. Permissions are occasionally needed, although the paperwork for semi-permanent tents should be considerably less than for permanent constructions.

Your luxury campsite must have planning permission before it can be licensed. Please note that each country uses different criteria to decide whether to grant a license. These factors may include the type of accommodation, location, road accessibility, traffic flow, topography, the economic size of the site, and impact on infrastructure.

1. Stages of planning applications

  • Contact your local council for an initial conversation.
  • Having some form of plan would be beneficial at this stage
  • Begin speaking with design teams or architects.
  • It would also be useful to compile a list of preferred suppliers.
  • Submit your plans to the council.
  • It can take up to approximately 8 - 12 weeks for a decision to be made

2. What can affect the approval of a planning application? Various reasons can contribute to the rejection of your request, and some of these reasons can be specific to your local authority. Here are a few common reasons for this:

- Location - If the land is part of a green belt, a national park, an area of outstanding natural beauty, or a heritage site.

- Nearby properties - If a property on the land is listed this can affect approval.

- Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans - Community directives are created by communities to enable them to have a say about planning and development of the local area. In order to qualify for planning permission, your venture must fit into their vision. For example, if your project satisfies their criteria, you will not need it.

3. Land License It will depend on the number and type of units, spacing between the units, washing and sanitary facilities, drainage, water, and waste systems, gas storage and fire safety, access roads and footpaths, electrical installations.

Find out more by talking to your local authority for advice and to find out the rules pertaining to your area. Set up a glamping site in accordance with local laws and regulations. Read more here.

Pro tip : It’s wise to talk to an industry expert about planning permission and to apply for it before you purchase land.

10. Create buzz around your Glamping site

How does glamping appeal to people? Now you just need to meet the demand for the feeling of escape, luxury, and spectacular views! Having said that, Glamping is gaining steady traction on social media and viral marketing. This is a good time to put your glamping site on the map.

Create profiles on social media platforms you think your target audience will use and begin posting regularly. Ensure your posts include CTAs (Calls To Action) and great photos to show where you are and when you are open. An online booking link could be included here, that would direct them to your booking page.

Additionally invest in creating your own direct booking website as well as invest time to list your glamping site on Airbnb, Google Business,Google Vacations, Booking.com, Glamping Hub, Cool Camping, VRBO , etc. For a host of vacation rental site resources, click here to find out more. Related articles: How to host a tent on Airbnb What types of properties can I advertise? - VRBO

Hostaway is the world's leading vacation rental customer relationship management software, perfect for those with 5 to 1,000+ listings. We make it easy for you to get more out of your business while spending less time on tedious manual tasks. Our dedicated team brings their deep experience of the sector to the forefront, giving you continual insight into how best to run your business anywhere in the world. Get in touch today, for a demo, and a member of our team will be in touch.

Click here to watch our video

Here are some of your FAQ’s on the business answered!


How does a glamping business make money?

A glamping business makes money by charging guests for use of a tent. Most glamping businesses have nightly and weekly rates, and they charge different rates for differently sized tents.

How much can you charge customers?

On Glamping.com, rates in the U.S. range from $50 to $3,000 per night. At the low end, sites are basic and include few amenities. At the high end, rates are for large lodges or extravagant tents. They also often include activities.

How much profit can a glamping business make?

Because a glamping business can charge significant nightly rates and have low ongoing expenses, this type of business can earn a significant profit. Under Canvas, for instance, has an annual revenue of $8 million.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Activities add to the revenue of glamping businesses by diversifying bookings. These may include on-site or off-site activities. On-site activities typically command an additional fee, while other companies' activities may result in a commission. Glampers may enjoy tours, outdoor activities, and romantic events.

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