l mping G INTERNATIONAL
Issue 6 March 2017
on Black Sheep Productions
plus: Industry News, New
Products, Tree Tents, Company Profiles and much, much more
Inspiration and Information for Glamping Operators
Hello & Welcome
l mping G BUSINESS
Cover photograph: With thanks to Glampinghub.com
International Glamping Business is published by: Maggie Media Ltd 01423 263219 Registered Business: Unit 2, Wyevale Business Park, Wyevale Way, Hereford HR4 7BS Other Publications: Holiday Parks Management www.holidayparksmanagement.com Publishers: Maggie Media Ltd Nina Blanchard e: email@example.com Editor: Steph Curtis-Raleigh t: +44 (0)7887 928819 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Sales: Kathryn Kelly t: +44 (0) 7575 408580 e: email@example.com Nina Blanchard t: +44 (0) 7799 430327 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Design: Dean Coulter Design on Tap www.designontap.co.uk
Spring is here and thoughts are turning to the new glamping season. In this issue we look at two big subjects: booking systems and weddings. The wedding market in the UK alone is worth more than £10bn and the demand for different, bohemian style outdoor weddings is growing. For a glamp site, the possibility to offer a package, including accommodation and perhaps even catering may seem too good to be true. However, there are a number of questions to consider before offering to host a wedding, not least some very strict laws governing the issuing of a licence. That’s before you factor in a demanding bride and the great British weather.
Other Events: The Glamping Show w: www.glampingshow.com e: email@example.com © Maggie Media Ltd. International Glamping Business is published 6 times a year. No reproduction of any part of the magazine is permitted, nor storage in a retrieval system without prior consent of the publisher. No commercial exploitation is permitted. No warranty is implied in respect of any product or trader mentioned herewith. Prizes offered in competitions might be substituted with ones of similar value.
Glamping Business Editor
Contents 04 16 18
Black Sheep Productions ahead of the herd
We are looking at booking systems this month, including systems to help you manage your booking calendar and other systems which will list your property to holiday makers both in the UK and further afield. We interview Ruben Martinez from the largest glamping booking site in the US - Glamping Hub and hear how unusual properties and dogs are key to growth in that market. In addition, we speak to one of the biggest festival and glamping suppliers in Europe - Black Sheep Productions in Belgium about how they have managed to achieve massive expansion without losing their unique appeal or high quality service.
23 25 26
Tree Tents: making the
most of woodland Wedding feature
Kate Morel on weddings
Tying the knot at Barnutopia
Booking systems laid bare
Glamping Hub: Ruben Martinez interview
Rob Farrow on things to consider before starting a glamp site
g in p m l NEWS G BUSINESS
Spirits Intent – Looking for UK Partners
Spirits Intent, creator of nomadic tents, is looking for partners in the UK who are interested in setting up all-inclusive campsite experiences with the site designed from the ground up. Over the years, Spirits Intent has built and supported many of the glamping sites in the UK. “Many times, when we thought the trend was at a peak, it went further, proving that luxury under canvas has a life of its own, it’s here to stay, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to keep it innovating, in order to keep it moving,” says Lucy Friedlander from the company. Now Spirits Intent is working to bring this form of ecotourism to the widespread rural depopulation in Southern Europe by providing a way for farmers to supplement income, and helping other investors to set up sites, therefore bringing people and energy back to abandoned lands. “We are focusing on the mountain lands of Central Italy, setting up a yurt campsite of our own in the Majella Mountains of Abruzzo, acting as a model that can be replicated by others. Our site is called Heartland, and we aim to take people into a tribal experience which is not only living in yurts, but into the tribal setting itself: living around a central fire as a group. Not only back to nature, but back to our real nature, a tribal self, a belonging we forgot we had,” she adds. Lucy believes this could also be a new trend in UK glamping, offering a complete experience, an entrance into another world, modelled around an overall theme: the site, the decor, the tents, the food, even the clothes. One such example is modelled on a Mughul encampment, with a central Tent Palace, taking luxury to a new level, with amazing cuisine, glamorous furnishing, uber camping, the sort only the kings of the nomads enjoyed in their crimson yurts; the original glampers. For more details please visit the site at www.spiritsintent.com
Welsh Legends Inspire Boutique Glampsites The first locations for the highly publicised Welsh pop-up glamping sites were announced last month. They include the Lln Peninsula, Southern Snowdonia and a spot in West Wales. The unique cabins will be built by Epic Retreats in response to the 2017 Year of Legends celebrations in Wales. However, fewer than 200 bookings will be available for the cabins, which will be created in a number of inspirational designs. Inspiration for the miniature hotels has been drawn from Welsh legends and history including King Arthur, the Welsh Dragon and the industrial heritage of the country. Llion Pughe, co-founder of Epic Retreats, said, “The locations we have chosen provide a choice of seascape, mountain and valley, a true reflection of Wales’ legendary landscape.”
Barefoot Caravans have stripped out the interior of their curvy fibreglass caravan to give customers the chance to design and furnish their own.
Barefoot Caravans Go “Naked”
With grey felt walls and white distressed oak flooring by Karndean, the space provides a blank canvas for customers to create their luxury home on wheels, with free-standing or fully fitted furniture, made to their own specification. There are plenty of sockets, and a leisure battery so that the Barefoot can be hooked up to the mains, or used off-grid. Cathy Chamberlain, Managing Director of Barefoot Caravans explained, “We have had numerous requests for a stripped down Barefoot - from budding designers, to people who are looking for a versatile extra room next to their house. There has been interest from Glamping providers too – easy to tow, set up, and very eye catching. The Naked Barefoot gives people the chance to have a fun space to use at home, at festivals or other outdoor events.” Since launching the Barefoot at the beginning of 2016, its eyecatching retro design has attracted a lot of attention, both from new customers and classic caravan enthusiasts. As well as being enjoyed around the UK and Europe by current customers, it has also been used for TV filming, and companies are placing orders to use it for commercial promotions. www.go-barefoot.co.uk
New Norfolk Office and Hospitality Brand for Camp Champ Camp Champ – the Explorer’s Kitchen is delighted to announce that it has opened a new office on the north Norfolk coast at the award-winning Holkham Studios, within the spectacular Holkham Hall Estate. The studios were formerly the estate’s principal farmstead and workshops and have been developed into luxury offices. Camp Champ’s brand representation and sales will be led by the UK Company Director, Oliver Roberts, who will also develop the company’s brand new outdoor hospitality brand Camp Champ Cook – Culinary Escapades. For more details please visit www.campchampcook.co.uk
Enchanted Fable Creations Enchanted Fable Creations is a young Gloucestershire-based business that specialises in producing handmade glamping tent floor covers for bell tents, lotus bell tents, emperor tents, tipis, or any kind of tent provided you supply the measurements! The floor coverings are great for the glamper on the move. They fold up to a small size, so they can easily squeeze into the car in amongst all those fairy lights, strings of bunting and tent furnishings which are essential to a good glamping trip! They are available in a range of colours to suit your tent decor and give it that extra homely feel. The company is currently embarking on a range of patterned options as well. Materials used to create the flooring are lightweight and durable, and are made in two parts which attach together so can be laid after the tent is erected, this also makes it much easier for the coverings to be cleaned or dried as they can be taken apart at the end of your trip. It also gives the option of choosing different colours for each side of your tent floor to create a 'bedroom' area with a different feel to your 'living' space!
All the products are hand made to order, ensuring they are finished off to the highest standard and sent out with the confidence that they will transform your glamping experience and add an abundance of colour and comfort to your tent interior. If you have an irregular size or shape tent then don't hesitate to get in touch and the team will be more than happy to arrange a quote for a custom order. Enchanted Fable Creations can be found on eBay, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and make a range of other unique products. www.facebook.com/enchantedfablecreations
Try Before You Buy With Pod Leasing
Glamping: Escape from the Boardroom Glamping is fast becoming more than just a weekend trend. Businesses are also buying into this escapism trend to give essential reflective or team building time away from the office in order for staff to experience the great outdoors. Home Farm Glamping in Hertfordshire is taking a new breed of bookings in the form of businesses and corporations who want to use the site for team building, or who are offering their staff stay incentives as part of their HR schemes that encourage staff to take positive time out. Jess Gibbs has been offering out Home Farm to businesses to run their team building events and corporate away days since its start up in early 2015. With three yurts and nine bell tents on site, bbqs and campfires next to each tent, fine dining options, open air yoga classes and acres of land and forest to explore, Home Farm has become an essential escape from the city boardroom. Businesses who have used Home Farm include Linklaters LLP, Willis Insurance, Adam and Eve DDB and Beyond Media. Each business used the site to build an experience for their staff that met their specific objectives in terms of bringing employees together, team building and building relationships. Jess says: ‘The activities each group chose were very different but all of them commented on what a great experience it was and how different from any other team away day they had taken part in.’ Jess was a lawyer in London for eight years and, after seeking alternative job satisfaction away from the pressures of her corporate life, she now works between her glamping business and lawyer roles. She says: “People come here wearing their suits, clutching their blackberries and mobile phones. By the end of their stay, they talking to one another around campfires, bonding over adventure trails, and they’ve got muddy wellies on their feet. People are very inspired by the glamping experience and Home Farm is a real escape from the city. We’re here to enable people to disconnect in order to reconnect.”
Why not try a risk-free approach to buying a glamping pod with One Night Stand’s unique ‘Try before you Buy‘ scheme? The company is offering the opportunity for you to dip your toe into the Glamping sector by trying out which pods would work best for your business, if any, before making the investment to buy. This is currently a limited offer, on a first-come, first-served basis. The customer decides on a Pod from One Night Stand which is then leased to them for 12 months. During the 12 months if you wish to keep the Pod, you just pay the outstanding balance of the purchase price and the Pod is yours. The only condition is that you make your mind up within the first 9 months of the lease. At the end of the 12 months, you can also continue to lease the Pod for another 12 months, change the Pod for a different one, start another ‘Try before you Buy’ lease or just give the Pod back. For more details contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Albion Canvas Provides Quality and Tradition Albion Canvas is now into its 24th year of designing and manufacturing stylish tents. The Tsavo safari lodge has just had its sixth birthday but recent additions including Bi-Fold Doors, an improved Loven 8 Range and the new Captain’s Cabin Bed, which keeps this lodge at the top of the game. As of 2017, it is now available in 6-metre width, giving improved access for disabled and wheelchair users. At the company’s workshop in Wellington Somerset, in part of the old Fox’s Woollen Mill, Albion are continuing a tradition in textile manufacture dating back over 300 years. Steve Hansford – Managing Director – commented, “When we started the business, we were considered an oddity; textile manufacturing in the UK was frowned upon, certainly as a new business start-up. We have always based our product range on traditional quality, durability and style. “Our ISO 9000 certification for quality assurance ensures we are constantly monitoring and updating the quality of production and customer service.” Recent additions to the range include the new Kora lodge, and an expansion of the Bell Tent range to include a 6m-diameter version. The new 6m Bell Tent with its wide door design gives easier access and great views. The first of these will be installed at Little Wren Camping in Suffolk. “The Clubhouse is a remodelling of the modern clear span marquee, giving a Safari look to sit comfortably alongside our range of tents. This design goes from strength to strength as an event structure that sits softly in the landscape. Recent sales include Chester Zoo installed in December 2016, Cotswold Farm Park installed January 2017 and The Camp Hill Estate installed in February 2017,” adds Steve. “Due to the high quality design and bespoke finishing, our tents give you the edge in the leisure awards. Industry awards for our customers sites last year included AA Glamping Award for Durrell Wildlife Park, The Devon Gold Award for Longlands, Dandelion Hideaway have won Visit England awards for the past three years and Tom’s Eco Lodge Gold from Beautiful South part of Visit England,” he concludes. www.albioncanvas.co.uk
All-in-one shower solution fits the bill for The Log Pod A great year of contract awards for Saniflo in 2016 culminated in a further deal for the company’s Kinedo range of shower cubicles in December. Off the back of contract success with a number of medium-sized housebuilders, the integrated Kinedo has now been specified by successful manufacturer of quality wooden and camping pods, The Log Pod Ltd. A huge increase in business for the company’s unique sustained seasoned spruce timber pods is behind the decision to select the Kineprime Glass, an all-in-one cubicle package that not only looks stunning but is easy to install and creates a leak-free shower without any tiles or grout. Edgar Wallace, is the company’s Sales Director, he says: “The Staycation trend is predicted to increase in the UK over the next few years. We have already benefited from the rise in popularity of luxury camping, glamping and short leisure breaks. This has increased demand for our pods to the extent that we are moving to larger premises in early 2017. “To improve our production efficiency we have looked at all our processes including the pod’s bathroom. The Kineprime Glass is delivered with integrated glass internal panels, showertray, door and external panels and comes with the shower valve and showerhead as standard, so we save time by buying and taking delivery of the whole shower package. The Saniflo team demonstrated how to erect the cubicle on-site – within a pod – so we will definitely be able to save time on installation too.” The initial order is for 120 of the Kineprime Glass 800 x 800 cubicles with slider door and these will be fitted across the range of static and mobile pods www.saniflo.co.uk
The Backcountry Hut Company, based in Canada, was founded to assist individuals and organizations in the design and construction of affordable outdoor recreation structures. The four cornerstones of the business are: function; quality; sustainability; and value. The hut prototype was created for the benefit of the outdoor enthusiast, outdoor clubs, alpine associations, and backcountry lodge operators. Inspired by the idea of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad of providing affordable welldesigned products ‘for the many people’ – The Backcountry Hut Company provides a turnkey solution to housing through the provision of a flat prepacked assembly system with the following characteristics:
The Backcountry Hut Company
Prefabrication - the ‘ kit of parts ’ hut system is designed as an engineered wood post and beam skeleton that is then infilled with prefabricated panels. A simple nail-on window system is provided. Easy to Assemble - the whole assembly can be erected by volunteers in the tradition of the community barn-raising process. The prefabricated wall and roof panels are sized to be lifted by hand and hoisted into place using a simple pulley and winch system. Modular/Scalable - the basic structural module is designed as a 10 ’ increment. Modules can be combined to create increased floor area for additional sleeping quarters and living spaces. Minimal Site Work - the system is designed to be deployed on any site that is accessible by truck and/or helicopter.
Glamping festival launched The creators of the glawning – the innovative campervan awning based on the bell tent, are entering new territory this year by organising a mini festival dedicated to glamping. Taking place from 19-21 May at Ivy Bank Campsite, near Kirkby Malzeard, North Yorkshire, the event has plenty to keep glampers content, including a happy hour, free food and live music on both the Friday and the Saturday, children’s and family activities and a disco! “Glampfest does exactly what it says on the tin. We're planning a good old knees-up focusing on celebrating the glamping community with good food and great music,” says Sarah Martin, organizer. “We're lining up a hog roast, a giant paella and more. We're also planning on bringing in some great local beers and, of course, cocktails!” www.glampfest.co.uk
Mass Customization - there are a range of possibilities for interior fit-out options and exterior finishes. In addition to ‘backcountry’ applications (i.e. without road/vehicle access), the hut prototype has received considerable interest from private individuals who are looking to erect prefabricated structures on both rural and urban ‘front-country’ sites (i.e. easily accessible by vehicle). The Backcountry Hut Company system affords the opportunity to furnish the modular prefabricated shell with an interior that supports full-time residential occupation. In this scenario the hut works as a small structure that can be understood as part of the Tiny House movement. www.leckiestudio.com
Still time for Spring Showers - upgrade with the Horne Duo Water Technology List. It’s also very easy to operate, clean and maintain –important for a maximised operational life.
The vibrant, yet functional design of the Duo shower column from Horne Engineering has led to its standardisation by a number of leisure operators (Xercise4Less, Fusion-Lifestyle, PfPL and more) and, following its debut at The Glamping Show in 2016, it is also gaining popularity in the camping and glamping sector. With excellent ecocredentials and water saving features, the Duo is eligible for tax relief via the
The adjacent pictures show before and after a recent upgrade of a communal shower area in a council-run sports centre. This Duo revamp was achieved over a single weekend to minimise the impact of closing this washroom area. Rather than messy tile removal, a deep clean and then boarding out with wetwall provides a quick and cost-effective transformation. As a fully pre-plumbed shower assembly, the Duo column is extremely quick and
easy to install upon most surfaces, including wet-wall - hang true, then secure with 3 screw fittings, before simple connection to the pre-blended water supply. The result? Short work for a smart and inviting shower installation that's now a real doddle to keep clean and looking fresh. Perhaps that longed-for upgrade is actually achievable ahead of the spring season – and your clients will love its easy push-paddle operation and 60 second duration. You will love its ease of cleaning and maintenance. For a quick demonstration of its key features, please take the narrated Duo tour at goo.gl/HiGSUw. Horne also have an online Valve Sizing Tool that can help determine the optimal size of thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) for supplying safe and comfortable preblended water to any timed flow shower installation. www.horne.co.uk
Will the countryside win or lose after Brexit? The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) report has called for wildlife and its habitat to be safeguarded as the UK prepares to Brexit. The report suggests that the government needs to take action from the early stages of the Article 50 process in case laws designed to protect the environment become ineffective after the UK leaves the EU. It also warns that farming subsidies, including the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which makes up 50-60% of farm income, could be threatened.
See Your Design Come to Life with Timber Intent Roger Brisley from Timber Intent has been involved in design and architecture his whole career. He spent many years in the drawing offices of architects, engineers and designers before going on to study at Hooke Park College in Dorset, a side project of John Makepeace’s Parnham House. Roger set up Timber Intent to create eco-friendly timber and fabric tensile structures, the range of “Garden Party” and “Skipper” standards can be found on their website along with photos of the many unique, site-specific, installations for their wide range of clients including: The Eden Project, Cotswold Water Park, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Hotel Du Vin, London and Bristol Zoos, Festival and Events organisers, holiday operators and more. “I’ve always kept my hand in at architecture and planning, and have recently found myself getting a reputation for securing planning permission for various glamping businesses, including a difficult site near Teignbridge where foraging horseshoe bats were present,” says Roger. “I’m currently working on a great project in North Devon for just two timber lodges. It’s around a huge pond with decks over the water; access is a bit tricky but it’ll be a fabulous holiday spot and provide a decent income for my client.” The Cocoon glamping tent (pictured) is an example of a joint design with a Dutch Architect to provide truly unique accommodation for a Sri Lankan holiday enterprise and though always keen to work with any operators who have ideas for something new and exciting he has now decided to create his own standard Timber Intent Glamping unit as well. He has promised to keep us informed here, we’ll be the first to show you the design! For further details, you can contact Roger on the following email address: email@example.com or via his website www.timberintent.co.uk.
Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Mary Creagh MP, said: "Changes from Brexit could put our countryside, farming and wildlife at risk. Protections for Britain's wildlife and special places currently guaranteed under European law could end up as 'zombie legislation' even with the Great Repeal Bill. “The Government should safeguard protections for Britain's wildlife and special places in a new Environmental Protection Act.” Creagh added: “UK farming faces significant risks – from a loss of subsidies and tariffs on farm exports to increased competition from countries with weaker food, animal welfare and environmental standards. The Government must not trade away these key protections as we leave the EU. It should also give clarity over any future farm subsidies." Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference 2017, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom vowed to scrap many EU regulations for farmers, including the EU’s ‘three-crop rule’, which ensures farmers grow a variety of crops to help maintain the environment. Leadsom said: “In leaving the EU, we’ve been handed a once in a generation opportunity to take Britain forward; a real opportunity to thrive. I will be looking at scrapping the rules that hold us back, and focusing instead on what works best for the UK: No more 6 foot EU billboards littering the landscape. No more existential debates to determine what counts as a bush, a hedge, or a tree. And no more, ridiculous, bureaucratic three-crop rule.” Leadsom added that her rural development programme supports rural growth, with an additional £120m set to be provided in grants. Farmers have also been guaranteed by the government to receive the same amount of subsidies until 2020.
Snowdonia Scheme Scrapped Councillors and businesses in Snowdonia have opposed a scheme to cut the number of pitches at a campsite and build 25 luxury log cabins. Beddgelert community council voted to recommend Snowdonia National Park rejects Forest Holidays' plan. The company says building cabins while cutting the number of pitches from 195 to 55 would be more in keeping with the area, with less environmental impact. But business say they depend on the tourists from the site in summer. An online petition has received more than 1,500 signatures and another 170 have signed a petition in the village. The National Park Authority will discuss the application on 1 March.
Certainly Wood puts British logs with British fire pits Certainly Wood is the UK’s largest specialist producer of premium British kiln dried logs and kindling producing 20,000 tonnes per annum from the family farm in Hereford. Brothers Nic and George Snell set up the business in 1996 as part of its own farm diversification enterprise and now sells its products throughout the UK under the HETAS/Woodsure quality assurance scheme. “We sell through a range of outlets from garden centres to country stores and wood burning stove retailers, but our most significant growth is now within the
Glamping market,” said Nic. He went on to say “The beauty of kiln dried logs is the fact that they solve so many problems that wood burning can sometimes provide for campsites and campers. Fires and wood are what camping is all about!” More and more sites are now allowing campfires and as more permanent sites appear, wood burning stoves are increasingly essential for the ultimate glamping experience and without wood dried to below 20% moisture content you can expect all sorts of problems. To help campsites that allow campfires Certainly Wood is working closely with another local company – Firepits UK that handcrafts high quality fire pits. “We met Tim and Emma at a trade show many years ago and just had to buy one of their fire pits and now spend many a summer’s evening enjoying the outdoors and cooking delicious food cooked on wood – there is just nothing better,” explained Nic. Certainly Wood is now able to work with
campsites to provide not only kiln dried logs, but also fantastic fire pits. The beauty of fire pits is that they provide the perfect safe solution for campfires and this particular design is exclusive for campsites. Not only does it have longer legs to keep high off the ground, but also a cooking grill and a top cover for protection and added safety. A glamping site offers great business opportunities in itself, but there are very significant opportunities to add value to customers and the business with sales of firewood and rental of fire pits. “Other camp sites that have provided fire pits for their campers have recouped their costs very quickly, easily paid for in one season,” said Nic. For further enquiries contact Hayley Chamberlain at Certainly Wood – 01981 251796.
Eco Camping & Leisure Launch the Inflatable Ladybird Playground Tent Eco Camping & Leisure, creators of quick and affordable camping and leisure solutions made only from natural resources, have introduced their newest innovation to the market: the inflatable Ladybird Playground Tent. The practical, brightly coloured Ladybird Playground Tent is an extremely versatile play space for children, ideal for a variety of outdoor uses. Not only does it provide a safe, fun setting for children to play games, have picnics, read, or nap in all weathers, but it is perfect to accompany a child's first camping experience in the garden, at the campsite or in school. The tent is very portable and can be put up quickly and easily thanks to a fan that inflates the tent in three minutes. It can also be combined with Eco Camping and
Leisure's Climbing Steel Frame for even more playtime activities. It is the first in the company's forthcoming range of Playground tents, with Ninja Turtle and Bee-themed tents also in development. Eco Camping & Leisure offers a unique selection of luxury tents, lodges and residential homes for camping, leisure and residential parks. They come fully designed and furnished to suit your lifestyle needs.
They can also supply an unfurnished turnkey solution if you prefer to purchase your own furniture and make your own decorations. With a portfolio range of products they can also design, customise and build your dream holidaying space at an affordable price and ready to move in a few weeks. All of their products are made of natural resources. firstname.lastname@example.org
Small But Effective Anevay make small woodburning and multi fuel stoves perfect for the outdoor industry and leisure accommodation market. All of their stoves can be fitted in bell tents, yurts, shepherds huts, safari tents and other glamping accommodation. They have a full range of stoves designed for heating small-space leisure accommodation; all of their stoves are designed for cooking on as well as heating, providing a unique experience for visitors. Let your customersâ€™ dream of waking up in
a beautiful yurt and lighting the woodburner for their morning coffee come true! The creators of the original woodburning stove for tents, the Frontier Stove, Anevay got started designing portable woodburners for the humanitarian aid world. Demand for their stoves exploded and they went on to add another four stoves to their range of unique woodburning stoves for camping and glamping. Their top-of-the-range Fintan Stove is among the most efficient of its size, is CE
approved and DEFRA exempt for burning in smoke-free zones. Anevay can supply everything you need for a safe installation that will add thousands of pounds of value to your accommodation experience. The Fintan Stove can also be fitted in the home. They pride themselves on being able to provide a safe, sustainable solution to your glamping offering. A great way to extend the season right through the colder months, Anevay Stoves are incredibly easy to use, efficient and safe. A sustainable company with a love of the outdoors, Anevay plant a tree for every stove they sell or donate to a humanitarian project. Their mission is to encourage people to spend more time outdoors: for a weekend in the woods, an evening cooking in the back garden or a life spent off-grid. The full range can be ordered directly from their website www.anevay.co.uk with free next-day shipping to mainland UK. www.anevay.co.uk
Glampaways Media - A New Dedicated Agency Glampaways Midea is the first dedicated multi media agency dedicated in helping to support the glamping, camping and tourism industries. With four in every ten people having enjoyed a glamping or camping holiday last year and 15 million people choosing a UK caravanning or camping break, Glampaways Media was established to help these businesses benefit and maximise this enormous potential. With a dedicated team of TV and video producers, editors, designers and website and social media experts, the team is on hand to help your business – according to recent figures the number of people taking these kind of British breaks in the UK will grow to 17.9 million this year and the market is expected to be worth 3.2 billion by 2020.
incredible rate, even the smallest of businesses need to ensure they have the basics – a good website, a social media presence, video (yes we did say video) but don’t worry we are here to help,” says Glampaways Media’s Rachel Lord. “We’re a lovely bunch (we’ve been told) and are on hand to help support this incredible industry as it continues to offer families and tourists a holiday like no other. Please contact us to see how we can help your business grow and let us show you free of charge exactly we can do for you.” www.glampawaysmedia.co.uk
“With the digitally savvy world continuing to grow at an
The Romance of a Gypsy Caravan The founder of Greg’s Gypsy Bowtops founded the business after the unprecedented interest he received in a towbow wagon he had built for his own leisure pursuits. Realising there were many who felt passionate about the caravans, he decided to dedicate his time and energy to building them in order to keep the tradition of this rare form of travel alive. Known as ‘Bowtops’, ‘Gypsy Wagons’, ‘Whoopie Wagons’, ‘Towbows’, ‘Romany Caravans’ or ‘Vardo’ (to name a few) these beautiful caravans can be towed by a car. Historically ‘Whoopie Wagons’ became popular in the 1950s when increased traffic started making the roads more precarious for horse drawn travel and motor vehicles were becoming a popular mode of transport with the Romany people. An appealing alternative to a towable caravan, Gypsy Bowtops are supplied with an IVA (Individual Vehicle assessment) certificate after being tested by the DVLA. They are easy to tow and are built, using natural materials, on a brand new caravan chassis. Greg’s Gypsy Bowtops can be hired for private or corporate events, or for glamping accommodation at UK festivals. They can also be bought directly from Greg, from his Bristol HQ, with bespoke commissions available on request. www.gregsgypsybowtops.co.uk
Willerby Helps Create A Home Fit For A Hero Hull-based holiday home and offsite construction specialist, Willerby, has helped a local charity to create a welcoming family home for a vulnerable army veteran and his family in the city. The ambitious project, which was the first on such a scale to be completed by local charity Hull 4 Heroes, took place over just one week and involved refurbishing every room of an army veteran’s three-bedroom bungalow. A team of local volunteers gave up their time to complete the week-long project while a host of companies, including Willerby, donated materials to refresh the tired décor to give the home a new look. Willerby manufactured some of the furniture specifically for the project, free of charge. In addition the company donated soft furnishings including carpets and mattresses and supplied the majority of the paint needed for project. Hull 4 Heroes aims to work with the local community in Hull to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable veterans and was the brainchild of local builder Paul Matson who was inspired after volunteering on the BBC’s DIY SOS Big Build project for army veterans in Manchester. The ultimate goal is to transform an area of the city, creating new homes for veterans and their families as well as building a service centre and café to help them with the difficult transition back to civilian life. www.hull4heroes.co.uk
Cedar Tree: In a Class of its Own “People don’t really know how to classify our product,” says Tony Fearnehough, of Cedartree. “It is halfway between a lodge and a pod, and a different concept to a pod and with a far lower price tag than a lodge, and almost no “planning obstacles.”
Visitors to the Glamping Show will recognize Cedartree’s distinctive cedar cabins, which have a touch of whimsy about them – the little fairy-tale details of window boxes, the attractively-shaped boarding and panelling; the shape and angle of the shingled roof. “They can’t really believe that these structures are actually built on a chassis and in the case of the Nevada (a cross between a cabin and a shepherd’s hut) are actually towable!” adds Tony. The Tony and son Richard team, have been manufacturing cedar buildings for six years, starting out with garden structures, such as gazebos and hot tub and pool shelters before expanding into the cabin business around three years ago. The company has recently doubled the size of its manufacturing facility in Stokenchurch in Oxfordshire, in order to meet the demand from the holiday park and glamping sectors for their cedar lodges. And currently have a very full order book. While touring the factory, the first thing one notices is the smell of the cedar. It is
sourced directly from the largest British Columbia sawmills in Canada, which own their own cedar forests. The wood is floated down the Fraser river before it is cut into boards, which are used primarily for house cladding in the region. They are able to buy the shorter lengths for use on their products. Cedar is ideal, because it doesn’t rot and it ages beautifully. Left untreated, it will fade to a silver grey, if treated it remains red brown in colour. That is the customers’ choice. There were two lodges being prepared in the new part of the factory when Glamping Business visited. They are the larger ‘Virginia’ style, which are 8 metres by 3.3 metres in size. The level of detail is incredible and customers can make their own specifications for the final fixtures and fittings. “We are catering for an upmarket clientele – such as a touring caravan park that wants to attract couples rather than families, and will place our lodges in a beautiful setting where guests can enjoy peace and quiet, without compromising on comfort,” adds Richard. The interiors are indeed comfortable and beautifully laid out – Cedartree
employed the services of an interior designer to help, and the look is Belfast sinks, country modern – with a proper shower room and oak flooring. The cabins are well insulated to floor, walls and roof meaning that they provide snug accommodation all year round. “One of our customers… a leading adult only touring park…. has likened the lodges to a good-quality hotel bedroom and this is the level of comfort that we are aspiring to,” says Richard. Cedartree is not looking for rapid expansion, instead the company wants to continue to provide top quality, hand-crafted lodges to the top end of the market. “We are in a niche market
aiming for quality rather than quantity. Our aim is to build up the brand name, both by our own efforts and by our Cedarlodge Association. Whilst holiday parks and glamping sites are an obvious outlet for our products, farms, wedding venues, stately homes and visitor centres are increasingly realizing the importance of quality and “different” accommodation for their visitors. Not to mention the changes in our society and population profile, all encouraging the trend towards the home based family annexe for all generations.” concludes Richard. cedartree.co.uk
The Black Sheep that is head of the flock
Black Sheep Productions is a small family business based in Overpelt in Belgium, run by just three people and was established in 1999. Up to now, Black Sheep Productions has specialised in renting out and furnishing authentic ethnic tents. For the first few years, the company concentrated on the original Moroccan Caïdale tents, however, the product range has gradually been expanded with new themes and tents. Black Sheep Productions doesn't want to simply be a regular tent rental company. It wants to set itself apart from the current market.
Black Sheep Productions has developed a range of unique sleeping and recreational accommodation, both for permanent and semi-permanent use. “Comfort, look/feel and durability are the three pillars that we continuously kept in mind during development,” says the company’s Julia Baeten. “Customers will find an all-inone formula at Black Sheep Productions. We developed a specific theme for each of our tents, complete with fittings; furniture, decorations, lighting and everything else. We can coordinate and organize your event, both indoors and outdoors, all year round, no matter where or how.” “Over the years we’ve accumulated a lot of knowhow to be a One Stop Shop for not only festivals but also the private sector and the tourism industry,” says the company’s Wilfried Baeten. “We offer a wide range of accommodation, take care of delivery and installation on location and provide the development of overall concepts and after-sales service. We follow and manage the complete trajectory from concept to layout, look and feel, prototype and production. Therefore, we watch over all stages of the process. Due to this process, we can deliver special and authentic concepts and projects time and again. Therefore we are happy to help anyone who wants to develop the ultimate glamping experience, anywhere in the world!”
The company was established following a trip to Morocco. “We ware inspired by the Moroccan Caïdale tents and decided to take one home. The first few years, we focused on renting these tents for oriental themed parties and events. But gradually, our product range has been expanded with new themes and tents. We now offer several different tents in different themes for parties and events and we developed an elaborate range of glamping facilities for both the festival market in de tourist industry,” says Wilfried. “When we started ten years ago, glamping was still an unknown concept in Belgium. In the last couple of years we noticed a swift rise in the amount of glamping at festivals and in the tourism industry,” adds Black Sheep Productions’ Susie Gielkens, the third member of the team. “According to the Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 20132017 compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers, big festivals are getting bigger and the smaller ones will disappear. Bigger festivals are also attracting a different audience and a part of this audience wants a more luxurious experience. They aren’t just looking for unique experiences that equal an exclusive vacation. Therefore, we have noticed an increase in the demand for glamping facilities in Belgium. Our Dream Lodges fitted this trend perfectly in 2014. In fact, we were one of the first suppliers of
exclusive glamping accommodation for festivals to jumped on this bandwagon.” In fact in recent years it has not only been festivals but also hotels, and other tourist attractions that are increasingly looking at glamping. In 2014 Black Sheep Productions developed a range of 300 glamping tents called ‘The Awaiji’. These tents are equipped with a USB connection, a locker, comfortable beds, indoor and outdoor lighting and a wooden terrace.
The 240 Bioko units, which where produced in 2015, are a little less luxurious but were the perfect answer for the rising demand of the market and made investment more affordable for some of the company’s customers.
All of these glamping structures were produced in co-operation with the Dutch company G3, who also manage the rentals, and they tour around the world to all of the prominent festivals that want to offer their visitors a qualitative and tasteful glamping experience,” she adds. As for the domestic market, the most important factor facing Belgian operators is finding the right location. “But that should not be an obstacle for glamping lovers to start their on accommodation area,” adds Julia. “We’ve seen the enthusiasm of not only private owners but also our state and provinces and are convinced that with the right sketches and representation anyone can be persuaded!”
“ Our most prestige glamping project was produced just last summer and was called ‘The Tree Houses’,” says Julia. “During the glampers’ stay, they can sit on their private elevated patio. Just like the ‘Flores’, ‘The Three Houses’ can be locked and glampers have a personal key. ‘The Tree Houses’ have both indoor and outdoor lighting as well as USB connection. Not only can we provide a sleeping place, we also offer a lobby, wellness area, and so on… Everything to make it an unforgettable stay!”
As for the future: the roots of Black Sheep Productions lie in the development of tensile structures. “Beside this, we hope to become the most complete supplier in the Glamping world – not only for Belgium, but all over the globe,” says Wilfried. “We have successfully invented, designed, developed and built several glamping sites in England, France, Brazil, Atlanta, Germany, South-Africa, The Netherlands,… But we also want to remain an approachable supplier for more small events or projects.
Following this, Black Sheep Productions introduced the ‘Flores’. This Hobbit-like sleeping accommodation was a remarkable appearance in the world of festival stays. The Flores is a compact 2person sleeping unit that clearly illustrates the growing importance and success of experience during a festival stay.
Moreover, we are making the environmentally friendly production of our tents a priority. We are using sustainable products, therefore all of our wooden components have an FSC-label. And we’re striving for a zero-footprint.” Certainly the company has been involved in some very exciting developments worldwide. “The projects we've done for Dreamville, the camping of Tomorrowland both in Belgium and in Brazil and the US have been our most exciting projects,” says Susie. “It is very exciting to work for a festival like Tomorrowland that's open to creative ideas and concepts. And off course we’re very grateful to be a steady partner of Chateau Castigno, a renowned winery in Languedoc, France. We’ve developed a patchwork of various asymmetrical canvas constructions that can be coupled together modularly. This unique set of tents can be used as wedding area or any other never seen before event. In 2018 we’ll even have a top Chateau Castigno glamping site ready for use in Uruguay!” www.blacksheepproductions.be
Jason Thawley, Innovation Director and Co-Founder of Tree Tents International, considers why woodland is so hard to manage and make a commercial success of, and what the options are for making it work. Using remote or difficult to access land can generate income. Finding new ways to integrate timber products into modern, functional design is the ideal way to keep alive and incentivise good woodland management and use.
There is a commonly held misconception that woods are wild places that don’t need to be managed or maintained; many of us simply accept that a natural equilibrium exists in areas of woodland and forest that ensures the cycle of growth, death and regrowth is in perfect balance.
Storms and fire naturally create gaps in the undergrowth to enable seeds to germinate and woods to be renewed. However, an area of woodland needs to be vast to be truly independent and simply no longer exists on a large enough scale in Britain and many parts of Europe. As a result, plants and animals have adapted to actively managed woodland, which means woodlands can no longer be left to their own devices if we wish them to continue to be diverse and healthy habitats. There has also been a tendency for landowners to overlook wooded areas because there was no obvious use for them, and in turn they have low expectations of any worthwhile financial return. However, things are starting to change. Of course, woodland owners and forestry contractors can apply for grants to improve forestry productivity through the Countryside Productivity Scheme. However, woodland areas also have a high capacity to absorb lots of people and activity and there are many ways to make the most of them while still respecting and nurturing the environment. Development should be sensitive so as not to destroy the natural habitat of the wildlife that exists there, and diversification and development should also be seen as an
opportunity for enriching the sites, not just a making a profit. Potentially profit-making activities range from agroforestry to practicing survival and foraging skills, mountain biking, treetop adventure parks, wildflower tours, fungal forays, drone racing, paintball, and of course, glamping. According to Tim Bullen, owner of The Secret Campsite, many people buy small parcels of woodland as an amenity, but unless they are on a sufficient scale they are extremely difficult to make enough money from to cover ongoing management costs. To generate a return therefore requires a different approach. He says, one of the main problems with woodland depends on its classification as ‘ancient’ or ‘semi ancient’, which can restrict what you are able to do with it. “When these habitats are factored into a plan it can enhance the opportunity without compromising what is there too badly and in some cases enhancing it,” he explains. Accessibility to services such as water, power and sewage may mean a restriction on activities, but these can be managed in an environmentally friendly way using natural sewage treatment, solar energy where possible and even boring holes to extract water.
Other potential pitfalls that he advises landowners to be aware of include: ! Neighbouring landowners who may object to the changing use of land that borders them. ! Scope for access from a highway, which can significantly restrict the activities possible; planners like to have clear line of vision on roads and a plan to avoid mud being spread onto public highways from vehicles leaving the neighbouring land. ! Health and safety issues surrounding tree management and the risk of falling limbs.
Make woodlands pay Representatives of Confor, a not-forprofit organisation that works and lobbies on behalf of the private forestry and wood sector, met late last year to discuss how the forestry sector should be prepared to challenge conventional thinking and put the customer first if it is to make woodlands pay. According to Justin Mumford, a forestry specialist, woodland owners are becoming increasingly savvy about marketing and “a good quality brand and delivery to the end user allows you to gain a premium price”. However, he warns that in order to reap rewards and save money further down the line on planting, maintenance and thinning, owners must invest early in mechanisation, plant protection and especially infrastructure. He also stresses the growing importance of deriving an income from trees via recreational opportunities, such as paintball centres and the Woodland Carbon Code, which has placed a new value on timber. Tom Dixon, Managing Director of Sawday’s Canopy & Stars believes opportunities abound for businesses willing to look beyond convention when making woodlands pay. “Society tends toward a narrow view of land use, leading us to the traditional fell and sell approach to forest management. However, by nature, woodlands are holistic, ever-changing and multidimensional systems – and landowners would do well to mimic that approach." “There is an insatiable appetite for
remote hideaways that allow people to switch-off from the world of constant connection. Treehouses, hidden deep in the wildest woods, are amongst the most in demand spaces on our site. There's something very special about staying among the trees – being part of nature without disrupting it." “This harmony with the natural surroundings is great for guests, and even better for owners. We have seen successful glamping spaces run in unison with other activities, activate land thought previously unusable or replace more traditional approaches – helping owners run a multi-dimensional business that is good for people, planet and profit." An increasing variety of structures, such as cabins, hideaways and summer homes, offer imaginative ways to make the most of a woodland landscape and encourage people to grasp the opportunity to escape from the every day. Whether light and minimalistic or dark and cosy, remote shelters can bring calm and balance and with the right concept, furniture, décor and atmosphere, even small or basic designs can become stunning sanctuaries. Of course, the ideal choice is a structure that interacts organically with the environment and exists in perfect harmony with the surroundings. Forested areas provide a unique and magical environment, but when choosing woodland structures it is important to consider that you will often be dealing with difficult ground that can range from flat to sloping. Choosing a structure that is suspended between the trees can be a solution - flexible design allows installation in areas that were once believed to be economically unviable.
plastic injection mouldings. Other eco-friendly options include timber structures made from sustainable ash with a marine grade fabric cover. Integrated clear skylight panels bring in natural light and allow for stargazing at night, and a fully glazed front entrance affords uninterrupted views of the surrounding environment. Built from timber laths woven into a diagonal lattice mat, they have no structural strength when laid flat. However, when formed into curves, the grid locks into a rigid shell. Using remote or difficult to access land can generate income. Finding new ways to integrate timber products into modern, functional design is the ideal way to keep alive and incentivise good woodland management and use.
Making it work According to Tim Bullen, working with a partner who has a track record in the sector and is aware of all the inherent obstacles and opportunities, removes most of the risks associated with a new venture. It will also provide for a secure, realistic and long term income for the land owner. “Establishing the business will still require a managed level of investment from the land owner, but this will be based on the framework of an established business model with realistic caps imposed,” he concludes. treetents.co.uk
Structures that have been designed to fit in with their environment should use low impact products to provide shelter from the elements and a comfortable place to sleep, offering up the great outdoors on a plate and enhancing it. A ‘tent’ that is positioned among the branches of a tree and actively moves with it mimics the structures that animals and insects may make for themselves. Eco-friendly recycled plastics and wood variants are used to replace the standard
Coirstore imports coir matting direct from the manufacturer and therefore can offer premium quality coir products at cheaper prices than most of its competitors. Ideal for Bell tents, Yurts, Tipis etc., its range of half moon mats are very popular. Constructed from 100% unbleached and natural Vycome yarns in either Panama or Herringbone weaves, each half moon is hemmed and machine stitched. There is no latex backing so the mats can be laid either way up. Half moons are now available in 6 diameters sizes and even a choice of weaves for popular 4m & 5m structures. This year Coirstore is importing 10.5m diameter matting to suit larger Yurts & Tipis. Unlike the smaller Tipi and Yurt matting they offer, which comprise of 2x Half Moon mats. These 10.5m diameter Tipi matting comprise of 5 separate pieces, when laid together form the full mat. Each of the 5 mats are a maximum of 2.2m wide which allows for some overlap, and
compensation in structure variation. For marquees and bigger structures Coirstore currently offers 2 specifications of matting; M4A4 & M2BV3. High quality Anjengo/Vycome yarns in Herringbone weave, and 100% Vycome in Panama weave. These mats are available in 9m, 10m and 12.2m lengths. Another new addition to the range of products this year is 3m wide mattings, suitable for Gazebos & Party Tents. These mats enable the floor area to be covered with one go! The team welcomes early contact with its customers to fully understand their requirements. This way they can offer advice and a variety of solutions to suit every situation. Coirstore provides free delivery on all orders within the UK mainland and also delivers throughout the British Isles, Europe and further afield if required. They aim to dispatch orders within 24 hours or at our customerâ€™s convenience. www.coirstore.co.uk
l mping G BUSINESS
A Slice of the Wedding Cake… What could be more magical than a glamping wedding? No expensive transport costs to take guests and bridal party to and from the church and the reception and the hotel rooms on site for added convenience. It is easy to see why glamping and weddings have formed a lasting union in recent years.
With the UK wedding market worth over £10bn, this is a big market for glamping operators to tap into. The average UK couple will pay venue costs of over £2,500, catering costs of £1,500 and church fees totally £350. For a glamp site to offer the venue, the catering and the hotel rooms for guests, one weekend can prove to be very profitable indeed.
However, there are pitfalls that sites would be well to consider. Firstly, there is the law. Outdoor weddings are legal in Scotland – but they are not in the UK, unless the ceremony takes place under a fixed roof – a marquee or any other type of canvas tent does not count. Your venue will have to be licensed before you can offer weddings, which is a complex procedure, involving health and safety. The council must be happy that the premises are ‘seemly and dignified’ and that they will be regularly available for marriages or civil partnerships.
specified area one hour before and during the proceedings. You also need to make sure that the proceedings:
The premises must also have all the necessary fire and safety precautions and you must appoint someone suitable to make sure all conditions are followed and give this person’s details to the council after you get the licence
It is worth remembering that the first weekend in August is the most popular in the year for weddings, with 10,000 taking place on that weekend alone on average. Consider your neighbours – an outdoor wedding is likely to be a great deal noisier than regular glamping guests and there is likely to be live music or a disco which will go on until the early hours.
In addition, you need to make sure that the superintendant registrar or local registration authority or registrar has approved all wedding or civil partnership arrangements before the proceedings take place, make sure your premises can be inspected at reasonable times and display a notice that the premises are approved 1 hour before and during the proceedings Other requirements include the specification that no food or alcoholic drinks be sold or consumed in the
! only take place in the specified area ! don’t have any religious content (eg music or readings) ! are freely open to the public There may also be other specific requirements for your grant of approval (eg your council may ask you to provide space for car parking).
Other issues to consider are the hiring of generators, toilets, lighting and outdoor furniture – it is unlikely you will have enough! For couples who are looking for something more personal, or completely out in the open – the better option may be to hold a blessing rather than a legal civil ceremony.
Mobile Catering with a difference… We’ve all heard about the ‘street food revolution’ - with seemingly every town centre and disused car park filling with all sorts of off-the-wall food stalls it’s hard to avoid. What perhaps fewer people know about is what all these traders are doing when they’re not serving up on the kerbside. More and more street food businesses are looking to cater at private events and also in recent years there have been increasing numbers who are tailoring their offering to specifically suit weddings and other private gigs. If you are planning a street food wedding there are plenty of options to consider. First off you might want to offer your guests a glass of bubbly as they arrive. The small Italian threewheeled Piaggio vans are perfect for serving prosecco or champagne. If you want a little more variety then why not get along a full mobile bar? There are all sorts of brilliant bar conversions including The Roving Caravan Co in Wales or The Swig and Filly who serve from a beautiful vintage horse box. For food, you might want some classic American barbecue: Smoke Catering in Bristol can bring along their huge smoker to events. Wood fired pizza is another great option and there are setups up and down the country including Baked in Brick and their Mini Cooper pizza oven or Pizza Pickup who have converted an awesome classic VW. If your party is stretching on into the evening and you want to keep your guests awake then why not consider a barista service like The All Terrain Caffeine Co and their brilliant Land Rover Defender. Late night snacks can be taken care of too; grilled cheese sandwiches from a trader like Mr Croquewich are bound to go down well! All these options and hundreds more can be found on Cool Caterers. coolcaterers.co.uk
Why Glamping and Weddings go Hand in Hand Some years ago, when I ran my business designing historically inspired wedding tiaras and dresses, most weddings tended to follow a prescribed format. Starting with a church service and followed by formal photographs, the party would then move on to a hotel reception with speeches, a disco and of course, ‘Dad dancing’. There were a few exceptions of course (not to ‘Dad dancing’, that applies to every wedding!) but the ratio of traditional to unusual made a strong shift as more couples sought out ‘something different’. Brides and Grooms were shaking off old-school traditions in favour of self-expression and creating their own fun and quirky themed events. Along with this nuptial move from formality to personality, a buzzing and influential festival scene has since flourished and glamping has now become a mainstream destination option. Now, if we stir in the current ‘back to nature’ leisure movement and maybe a dash of eco-awareness, it’s easy to see how the wedding landscape has, literally, been transformed. It might not rhyme, but Glamping and Weddings really do go together ‘like a horse and carriage’. There are so many new and exciting opportunities to create amazing wedding spaces, it’s no wonder they are increasingly popular with couples still looking for that ‘something different’, I can feel the starch draining from collars, as cute, flirty cupcakes replace uptight sugar-iced towers! Whether the wedding in question is festival, vintage or country-chic in style, a glamping venue can easily adapt to suit,
and provide everything required for a fabulous event – food, dancing and accommodation. So, if you think you can handle the stress and pressure of delivering a couples ‘Big Day’ expectations, it can be a strong diversification model, a great U.S.P, provide a good income, and give you heaps of feel-good satisfaction to boot.
Practicalities As usual a few practicalities need to be considered: will the local supply vs demand ratio support the business? Is the location itself suitable? Are neighbours too close by? Is the road access suitable? How close is the nearest registry office, church or licensed venue? How will you finance it? Things like planning permissions, change of use, event licensing and insurance also need to be considered (I can recommend people if required). And last but not least – do you and your team have the personal skills and temperament to deal with logistics, work long hours, keep calm and still smile at guests knowing you’re on your way to clear a blocked toilet?
Site Appeal Practicalities aside, you know what I’m going to say, don’t you? You’ll need a cracking U.S.P. I know, I know - I wish I could change this record too, but it’s so important. Can you create a venue with that wow factor? If the site has sweeping views, a lake or other stunning backdrop or feature then you’re off to a head start. Otherwise you are going to have to create something all your own, look locally for inspiration, I find it’s never that far away.
Glamping Guru Kate Morel has spent years working closely with many landowners and organisations, providing advice and support to new and existing sites. This, along with experience in property restoration, design and hospitality, gives her a unique set of skills and perspective on creating glamping developments . She can be contacted at email@example.com For a little diversification inspiration (try saying that after a few glasses of bubbly!) check out Browning Bros Wild Weddings, because I think they’ve totally nailed the contemporary glamping wedding, on their Essex site. Like any other wedding venue, the site needs to be as close to perfection as we can get it. It’s a key factor, and quite right too! Our clients are paying a premium, an eye for detail is required and a flair for design. If this isn’t your strong point, bring in someone. And remember, hosting weddings is hard work and stressful, yes, you’ll read everywhere that it’s a lucrative business but you’ll work for it. It’s a huge responsibility.
Pockets of Magic Of course, what I am really talking about here, is an ability to make it all look effortless, whilst we create a special atmosphere and stress free experience for guests. And in turn, create amazing memories - isn’t that what the best weddings and holidays are all about? When we look back and smile even without having a photograph, because someone created a unique space in which we could relax and experience something unique. Hospitality is changing, it’s becoming less about high thread counts and more experiential - about creating emotional connections and memories. I call them ‘pockets of magic’. Do get in touch, if you feel I could help you create yours.
For Better, For Worse Five Steps to Tying the Knot at Barnutopia We set up our yurt glamping site with three yurts in 2015 and have since added two stables, a cabin and a bunkhouse. To date, we have earned well over one hundred five-star reviews from satisfied guests. During our first jampacked summer season, a guest asked us if she could hire our long barn for her wedding. At the time, that really was a romantic dream. The barn was full of junk with broken windows and a leaky roof. But the spark was ignited and, for better or for worse, we decided to set up as a wedding and event venue.
The stunning views of the Shropshire and Powys hills are the perfect backdrop for a picturesque wedding. However, great photo opportunities arenâ€™t enough. We knew that we had to make a real commitment if we wanted to be successful. In the autumn of 2015 my husband and I vowed to make it happen.
1. Get Planning Permission
By Katrina Boydon, Owner, Barnutopia Glamping, Camping, Weddings & Events www.barnutopia.com
2. Ensure the buildings and facilities are fit for weddings
We submitted our planning application in October 2015 and received notification that we could expect a decision by December 31st. That was just the beginning of a long and mostly happy relationship with the county planning department. We communicated often and provided additional information, plans, drawings and statements promptly. The process may have been completed faster if we had used a consultant, but we felt encouraged and supported by the officers and staff at Shropshire Council and weâ€™re very sure it was cheaper doing it ourselves. Nine months later we were granted full planning permission to expand our glamping site, add a tent camping site and convert the long barn into an event venue for up to 120 guests.
It was love at first sight of Tanycoed Farm but, oh man, she came with a lot of baggage. As with any relationship, it serves no purpose to dwell on the past and we looked to the future. She cleaned up well as a glamping site but, just like brides the world over, for a wedding, she deserves a special makeover for the big day. The cleaning, repairing, painting, decorating, modifying and making good is in full swing even as I write this article. We have installed a sewage treatment plant and rainwater harvester and next on our list is a bathroom block. We plan to add a couple more glamping units and fence off part of our pasture as a car park. The challenges of completing the work are compounded by continuing to receive glamping guests but with careful planning anything is possible.
The powers-that-be are not out to thwart your plans.
A wedding venue can be rustic but not ramshackle.
3. Engage in Marketing and Promotion Promoting a wedding venue before it’s ready is a bit like selling a house that hasn’t been built. Some couples can see past the peeling walls and muddy drive but others can’t. We won’t engage in any major paid marketing until we are a bit further on with our refurbishment. However, we add wedding venue-related content to our website regularly and take advantage of unpaid directory listings, Facebook and other social media platforms for free advertising. We take the time to create and post eye-catching visuals. As ever, pictures promote what a thousand words can’t and local reception has been enthusiastic. We have received over thirty-five wedding enquiries to date. We speak to our in-progress and planned improvements when couples visit to inspect the venue. Promote what you have and not what you will have.
4. Apply for Premises Approval Our local county registrars proved extremely helpful. It seems approval is for individual rooms, barns or wedding arbours. There can be several approved spaces at a venue, but each must be under cover with room for a table, two registrars, two witnesses and the bride and groom. Couples getting married outside, truly outside, are faking it. The actual legally binding ceremony must happen in one of the approved covered spots. There is a non-returnable fee (ouch!) after which the application details are posted on the county website
so that members of the public can object or forever hold their peace. We need to produce fire risk and health and safety assessments but cannot do that until we have completed our renovations. We won’t be granted a approval for wedding ceremonies until we have done so. Submit your application at least four months before the first wedding ceremony.
5. Book Some Weddings For some couples, the unfinished barn and empty stables destined to become a bathroom block are too daunting. We understand. Like marriage itself, there’s an element of faith in believing that with work and commitment things will only get better. However, of enquiries received, some couples went ahead and booked their weddings and have this to say: "We fell in love with Barnutopia the moment we arrived there. The surroundings are beautiful and the barn had the rustic country effect we wanted for our wedding. Mr and Mrs B were so helpful, and willing to make the day personal to us, enabling us to add our own ideas of afternoon tea and an outdoor ceremony on hay bales! Even though the barn wasn't finished when we visited we could see that already it was a fantastic venue. The glamping on site was an added extra which means that our closest family and friends can stay the night. A perfect venue for a country wedding with a difference!! Can't wait to spend our wedding day at Barnutopia!" H&R, Bride & Groom To Be, September 2017
“Barnutopia offered just what we were looking for in a reception venue – somewhere to celebrate outdoors with friends and family in a relaxed way. Katrina & Steve were so passionate about the project when they showed us around the site and they did such a great job of talking us through their ambitious plans that it didn’t matter that it’s still a work in progress. It already has all the key ingredients for a fantastic party: beautiful location, facilities (toilets, kitchen), outdoor space for games in the daytime and campfires at night, and an indoor space for sheltering if the weather is unkind and for partying into the night. It’s also great that we can make a weekend of it and people can glamp or camp on-site, so we’ll get to spend more time together as a group. I’m also really excited about decorating the site and party barn!” - T&A, Bride & Groom To be, June 2017 “ … because of the beautiful views, the outstanding hospitality and because it’s right on the Wales-England border. Perfect for us two. It’s just an idyllic part of the world for us.” - M&K, among our first glamping guests, came to a party in the party barn and Brides To Be, June 2018 Believe in your vision and others will, too.
Farm Foods Vending Machines: Per fect for glampers Just over two years ago Scottish farmer John Retson wanted to find a machine to sell some of his eggs to the local public. He didn’t fancy using an honesty box system as this could be unreliable. He found a machine manufactured by Rosler in Germany and it was such a huge success on his own farm, that he decided to become a distributor for the machine throughout the UK. He first unveiled it at the Pig and Poultry Fair last year to great acclaim and there are now 18 machines in operation and working very well for the farmers that took the bold step and invested in this new idea. “They are selling eggs, vegetables and even jams and honey and are getting great positive feedback from the customers that are using them,” says Stuart Retson, Director of Sales and Marketing. “The machines have increased sales in every site they have been installed and proved a real hit. On more than one occasion the machines have made the local press. One machine
even made the national TV and radio news due to it being the first in a major city shopping centre, which was excellent exposure for the vegetable company that had installed it. Since the success of that machine, the vegetable company in question has went on to buy a further three machines for other sites and are looking to expand some more in 2016. There are a further two customers who, after the success of their machines have now ordered a second, proving that these machines really do work well. JSR Services are keen to expand into the glamping sector as the machines can be used to sell really anything. There are 7 different locker sizes so they can house anything from a jar of jam up to a 25kg bag of potatoes and can be built to specific needs. They would be perfect for selling firewood for example or even beer or champagne! “We can build them
chilled or non-chilled depending on the produce you are looking to retail,” adds Stuart. The Retsons are the only sellers of the German-made machines in the UK. Stuart concludes: "These machines are very reliable. They take coins and notes and give change. They are widely used in other countries so we are excited about introducing them here. The possibilities are huge." Find out more about the innovative business at www.vendingbyjsr.co.uk
Renewable Fuel Specialists Biomaster Energy Ltd is a UK-based biomass fuel distribution company, supplying renewable fuels such as wood pellets and wood chips into a variety of sectors, such as large-scale power stations and CHP (Combined Heat and Power) to smaller projects such as schools and farms. Following the announcement of OFGEMs plans to have an authorised suppliers list, Biomaster Energy was awarded authorisation by BSL in November 2014. All their fuels are ENPlus certified and meet the necessary sustainability criteria. This means all Biomaster Energy customers quality for their RHI tariff payments. Wood fuel customers in the UK have suffered several temporary fuel shortages in recent years through mechanical breakdowns and large fires at UK wood pellet manufacturing facilities. Biomaster uses a variety of premium quality fuels from manufacturers in the UK and overseas, thus reducing the risk of supply shortages to customers. Biomaster, offers customers a full energy consultation where they take a snapshot of existing energy costs and suggest
additional ways they can reduce their energy costs and consumption. In addition to biomass fuel savings, Biomaster Energy can offer alternative Electricity and Gas prices from the whole of market, which can save clients thousands. Also Biomaster has teamed up with experienced and reliable MCS accredited Solar PV installers who offer a tailored solution. firstname.lastname@example.org
Glamping Product News
Quality commercial furniture for outdoors and indoors
Pioneering Canadian Cabins
The LeisureBench range of outdoor furniture is extensive, and some is also suitable for indoor use. Firstly, the stunning range made from Grade ‘A’ premier teak, includes an extensive range of benches. For an even more comfortable relaxed experience, there is the Oasis Rattan collection which is modern, durable, very strong and is virtually maintenance free. This range is suitable for outdoor or indoor use. If you require furniture that is easy to move, you might consider the aluminium range. It is both lightweight and weatherproof. The hardwood range is carefully selected from trusted and certified sources and the heavy duty picnic tables are available in round and ‘A’ frame designs. LeisureBench’s range of furniture made entirely from recycled plastic is tough, long-lasting and good for the environment. For those wanting a splash of colour, the company has introduced the Retro steel collection. The chairs are available in an exciting colour range and are made from extra thick plate for commercial strength and durability. Unlike most on the market, the steel has been electrogalvanised before powder coating, which helps to prevent rust. Again this range is suitable for outdoor or indoor use. New products for 2017 include fibre cement furniture: 2016 saw a significant increase in the demand for rustic industrial-style furniture. The new Fibre cement range is the next generation along this theme. Suitable for outdoor or indoor use, it comprises a table and bench set made from a composite material renowned for its strength and durability, with natural acacia wood legs. Rattan planters are designed to complement your Rattan garden furniture and suitable for outdoor or indoor use. They are available in various colours and sizes, some of which include self watering technology. The Madrid Set is made from quality water-resistant resin in a continental style found extensively across Europe, this table and chairs set is suitable for outdoor or indoor use and benefits from the aesthetic appearance of Rattan, but with more durablity. Finally, Neptune chairs are mix and match designer chairs which are currently on-trend. The new Neptune range comes in a variety of colours and is suitable for use outdoors or indoors. It combines the look of a designer chair but built to last due to its sturdy robust polypropylene construction. The company also stocks a wide range of accessories, including parasols, cushions and jumbrellas etc.
The Little Cabin Company was set up by UK expats to Canada who noticed a distinct lack of Glamping options in the country. “The Canadians are better at camping that the Brits are, and used to roughing it more, it is not unusual to have only drop toilets rather than flushing ones and to have to pump your own water from a well or even bring in your own to a site as many don't have drinking water. Rarely, unless you are in a big commercial RV park, is there a shop, and the closest one might be a good 45 minutes drive away, and that would be close,” says Jude Smith. In fact, there are only about 40 glamping options in BC and less in other Canadian provinces. So Jude and team decided that tents, yurts and domes were not the best option for a winter that gets to -30 often and lower at times but gets hot in summer, plus where you get 30+ feet of snow over the winter. Instead, a highly insulated cabins seemed a much better solution, so they went about designing it. “In the process we liked the guys we were working with and deiced that they had the construction knowledge to help us build what we needed. So we formed a business partnership and The Little Cabin Company was formed. We launched our first model, The Cobby in May 2016 and are busy talking with National and Provincial Parks as well as many private owners about getting them 1-20 cabins to launch their glamping business,” adds Jude.
LeisureBench can deliver nationwide and guarantee delivery from stock mostly the next day, but always within five working days.
The Little Cabin Company offers the full package from bespoke design of the cabins, right through to marketing and PR support, web design and booking websites.
Attracting customers and managing their bookings and requirements is arguably as important as the accommodation you offer. However, there is a plethora of third party websites and management systems on the market. Glamping Business rounds up the market leaders around the globe.
Dutch Specialist Expanding “Discovering and sharing glamorous camping destinations with the world, that’s what we at Glampings love to do most. Our team is always on the lookout for glamorous accommodations, unique locations and inspiring hosts,” says Sven Schuurmans of Glampings.com What about an adventurous tree house? Or a luxury lodgetent decorated in Van Gogh style? Sven Schuurmans, the driving force behind Glampings says: “Discovering new and unique glamping experiences always makes me excited. I’m happy to share these beautiful glamping sites with as many people as possible, which is why we collect them all on the Glampings website. It’s our mission to make ‘glamping’ the new camping by offering a complete platform for glamping fans, hosts and suppliers.” The combination of travel and online marketing has been the company’s driving force for over 10 years. Projects for large tour operators and the development of successful online platforms such as Supertrips.nl and Geefeendroomcadeau.nl (Give A Dream) resulted in the creation and subsequent launch of Glampings in 2015. “At the moment we focus on the Dutch and Belgium market with a collection of more then 300 different glamping accommodations, spread over 15 countries. Soon we will launch the German and English version of Glampings,” adds Schuurmans. “Our fully optimized website performs excellently in Google. With leading positions in The Netherlands and Belgium on search terms associated with glamping we ensure optimal visibility. We actively engage our target audience with search engines, paid Google Adwords advertisements and the well-known social media platforms. As a result, thousands of glamping fans find our Glampings website each month,” he adds. Vistors to the site can click directly to the website of the accommodation. This way they always have the most accurate information, insights in availability, prices and personal contact with the host. With this method the visitor always gets the best price, and the hosts doesn’t have to work with an extra complicated booking system for updating their prices and availability. www.glampings.com
How you can take advantage of consumer booking behaviour Hotels have been connected to online booking facilities for years. Anytime Booking has been saying from the start that technology, online presence and connectivity need to happen for camping, glamping, holiday park and self-catering cottage holidays and this is still a huge issue today. Discerning travellers, holiday makers and family adventurers want to be able to browse for outdoor holidays, as for hotels, on their laptops, iPads and smart phones and get attractive results – a responsive website, engaging copywriting, gorgeous photography and an online booking system for them to be able to book there and then. No waiting till reception office hours, no phone calls and no paper booking forms to send in the post with a cheque – that’s so yesterday! “We still find that so many campsites and glamping sites don’t have websites – and if they do, they’re not mobile-friendly - let alone an online booking system. Which means that time and again these holiday spots will pass under the radar. Did you know that Google now penalises websites by pushing them down their search rankings if they are not mobile-friendly? Get visible, get online, get a booking system, and get connected to sales channels that will work for you – like Caravan Sitefinder or Pitch Up, Booking.com or Airbnb. If you don’t, your park may well underperform,” says Anytime’s Vanessa Glossop. Increasingly, industry data suggests that booking behaviour is changing and that 2017 is the year where we will see more holiday bookings being made on mobiles and tablets than on home computers. Consumers are ready to complete their entire ‘search to booking’ journey on their smart phones and you should be facilitating this shift in booking behaviour to stay ahead, reduce booking turnaways and increase your occupancy and revenue. Join the online revolution! Anytime Booking is here to help. www.anytimebooking.co.uk
An end-to-end solution Officially launched last month, www.CampStead.com is an easy to use comparison website, which will allow customers to book their ideal getaway in a matter of minutes. They can compare locations, prices, facilities, and customer reviews, all with the click of a button. The website also allows customers to book a wide range of individual extras, such as a bottle of champagne in an outdoor hot-tub, kids activities, such as bikes or tickets to attractions, or fire pits. CampStead.com was developed after the great success of CampManager – a Park Management System, used by hundreds of holiday parks and glampsites throughout the UK and Ireland, and highly regarded within the industry. CampStead is unique from other comparison based websites as it provides a complete end-to-end booking process, not only for
the holiday maker, but also more importantly for the site, bypassing complicated and costly channel management systems, linking directly with the campsite owners’ reservation system. Andrew Norris, Managing Director at CampStead states “We have high expectations for the success of CampStead.com, having worked for the industry for over 10 years specialising in online booking. We know how customers interact online, and what they want. With CampStead, customers will enjoy organising their next getaway, without fuss or frustration. Since customers can tailor their experience, CampStead truly has something for everyone. That’s what makes us unique”. www.CampStead.com
Trust in CampManager With over 10 years experience in the holiday park and glamping industry, and with over 300 sites using its system, CampManager has become one of the most trusted and essential tools for any campsite or glamping business. CampManager is a web based management and booking system that operates off one platform allowing you to check availability in real time, and take bookings and card payments from any locations without worry of overbooking or duplications. CampManager can be used from your PC, tablet or mobile device, allowing you to manage your bookings while on the go. CampManager’s online booking system integrates seamlessly into your website. They design your online booking pages in the same style as your website providing a seamless and consistent booking process for your customers, leading to an increased number of online bookings as customers feel confident and secure knowing that they are not being redirected elsewhere. These booking pages will also be made responsive, providing a native experience for users on a mobile or tablet device. When a booking is made, the customer will instantly receive their booking confirmation by email, with receipt of their payment. CampManager automates many repetitive and time-consuming tasks such as sending out balance reminders, invoicing and processing payments, allowing you to spend more time on other things. CampManager will help you get more bookings, increase your exposure and maximise potential booking opportunities by linking in directly with many third party websites, such as Booking.com, AirBnb, CampStead.com, Pitchup, etc. This means that your allocation is automatically synchronised between all these 3rd parties, so if you receive a booking on one, it will instantly update the others, preventing overbooking. You can also manage your allocation within CampManager, which will help cut down the amount of commission you are handing out for stays at times you know you can fill yourself.
Campsited - The easy way to get more bookings Campsited is bringing a fresh slant to online bookings for glampsite owners. Their consumer facing campsited.com, optimised for desktop, tablet and mobile, allows people who love glamping and camping to find and book great sites. It’s free to list on Campsited.com. Glamping sites have the flexibility to choose instant bookings, where they allocate availability. Or they can choose booking requests, where allocations aren’t required, and site owners can accept or decline bookings depending on availability. Sites pay a fee of 10%, only when they receive or accept bookings. Bookings through Campsited.com were up 840% in 2016, and the company has plans to increase bookings by a further 2,500% in 2017. “We’re absolutely committed to doing two things” says founder Finán O’Donoghue (pictured).“The first is to make it easier for people to find and book great glamping and camping sites. The second is to make easy-to-use online booking technology that helps glamping sites grow their businesses, while saving time and money.” Campsited also offer glamping sites a free booking and payments system, which allows glampsite owners to process phone, email, and walk in bookings, and payments, for free. www.bookings.campsited.com
GemaPark Peace of Mind
GemaPark is a web-based booking system that allows you to easily manage bookings and availability for your park or campsite and take online bookings from your website. It comes from Netguides Limited, a leading industry solution provider who pride themselves on their levels of customer support. Dawn Bee, Managing Director, says “There are many ways to build your own website and set up your own systems but we appreciate not everyone has the time or inclination to go it alone. Netguides GemaPark solution comes with full setup
and online support included in the very reasonable price. If you choose GemaPark you have the peace of mind that you and your staff will be helped to achieve the most productive result in the shortest possible time, leaving you free to get on with the rest of your business.” This season Netguides have introduced many new features to GemaPark including improved booking widgets to make online booking even easier for customers. Netguides can help you with all the customer correspondence, customising emails to suit different types of customer and encourage repeat booking. Once this is setup it’s all
automated by GemaPark so it happens for every booking. GemaPark’s interactive availability chart allows you to easily see the bookings and availability. From the chart you can move or edit bookings, search availability for different criteria and see if any payments are overdue. They also provide a comprehensive range of financial and management reports to help you run and grow your business. As a web based system you can access the GemaPark from any location and any device as long as you have internet access, meaning you can be in control anywhere in the world. GemaPark is competitively priced for both smaller and large parks. From 3 units to 3000 units they can meet your needs with the correct solution and friendly support. www.gemapark.co.uk
European Specialist is Looking for UK Sites
One of Europe’s largest booking sites is looking to sign up UK partners. The Campingbooking.com site now lists more than 15,000 camp and glampsites and holiday parks in 20 countries and has succeeded in creating a one-stopshopping interface for customers to search, find, book and pay for all available accommodation and pitches throughout Europe. The site also attracts English visitors and from this year the website will also be available in English, making a total 7 languages. Campingbooking.com was created from a merger with CampingNavigator, which is a company with a 30 year history – starting out as a traditional
camping guide, before moving online into a marketing platform directing traffic to campsites throughout Europe for keen campers providing their own caravans or tents. With the increased focus on glamping and accommodation rental in the company’s core market, they decided to create one strong digital ecommerce product with Campingbooking.com. “For Campingbooking we are building the ultimate booking website for all 23,000 campsites in Europe. With the two websites combined we think we can serve our camping partners and consumers best,” says the company’s sales manager, Mattia Conti (pictured). Now the company is looking for
partnerships with UK, Irish and Scottish camping and glamping operators on its platform. The site has more than 600 campsites online, but no promotional premium partners signed up. “Be the first and benefit. We have strong volume for your domestic market and growing interest from the Dutch, French, Danish and German market. We can work direct or through Anytimebooking, Ctoutvert or other channel managers,” adds Mattia. “Glampsites and holiday parks in the UK could benefit from the huge quality traffic that we can deliver and we can provide full statistics to prove the traffic levels.” campingbooking.com
Glamping States of Mind
Glamping Business interviews Ruben Martinez (pictured) co-founder of Glamping Hub, the leading US online glamping booking service and sister site Glamping With Pets. How did you get started in the industry? My business partner and I started with the idea of Glamping Hub in late 2011 when we recognized that there was a momentum shift with the term glamping online and that no one in the US was going after this market in a targeted manner. So we started with a listing service that eventually grew into the website that you see today. It's been interesting because Americans in general are passionate about the outdoors and spend an aggressive amount of money on outdoor recreation every year but the term glamping was new to them unlike in the UK. Therefore we needed to introduce it to them in a way that made sense and didn't make them feel like glamping was only for a subset of individuals and was too exclusive for their taste. We focus on technology and providing a seamless booking experience centered around user experience and we
understand that many of these accommodations are the destination and can also provide experience such as hiking, biking, wine tasting, river rafting that can elevate their experience to become a once in a life time vacation every time they go away. As we now head into 2017 it is clear that this will be our biggest year yet with growth exceeding 100% YOY especially in our main markets California, New York, Washington, Texas and Oregon. And there is also a big demand with corporate retreats and weddings that we are able fulfill. We created the technology for the We Works 4,000 person corporate retreat in New York that allowed them to seamlessly coordinate this massive effort.
How do you think the US concept of glamping differs from the European model? The idea and concept of glamping is still relatively new in the US. While it is well known in Europe we are still scratching the surface regarding the market opportunity because of the purchasing power that the US consumer has. More and more Americans are changing the way that they vacation and our site is proof that this shift is happening at a rapid rate. The US is a country of 319 million people and 3.8 million square miles of beautiful landscape. So that means landowners and business owners are seeing the great revenue potential in starting a glampsite.
The combination of new glampsites opening up daily and new customers coming to our site looking for a place to book is a very good sign and the reason we are so optimistic and why we think we are still a lot of room for growth. I would say the main difference is that some European markets have come to their market maturity while the US and Glamping Hub is not dealing with a saturated market, so there is room for accommodation owners to be creative and capture their desired growth.
You mention that you didnâ€™t want to focus on exclusivity rather an outdoors experience - what are the most popular locations on your site? The two most popular states for Glamping on our site are California and New York. Itâ€™s the combination of having big natural parks and extremely large urban cities in close proximity such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. The fact is that a majority of our sites have some kind of outdoor activity that naturally goes with the accommodation. Everything from mountain biking, river rafting, rock climbing, fishing, hiking, you name it. And we do a really good job of having properties that have a combination of uniqueness in structure and outdoor landscape. We really want people to feel like they have a chance to take a once in a lifetime trip every time they book with us.
Pods, tents, yurts, treehouses or cabins? What has been the biggest trend in accommodation? Right now in the US the tree house is our most popular accommodation. The West Coast in particular is home to some of the most beautiful tree houses with the most spectacular views.
Is glamping being embraced by other more traditional hospitality industries like holiday parks or hotels? Yes, bigger hotel chains and ranches are picking up on the trend and experimenting with glamping. They often have the capital and the land to give the guests something different without having to go all-in. They will often start with a few tents or cabins to figure out if its a viable option for them and go from there. Guests like having the brand recognition and a staying with a brand that they trust while experiencing glamping for the first time.
You mention corporate retreats - what would that entail? How big are we talking? The last corporate retreat we participated in was for 4,500 people, so they can get pretty big. Companies approach us because they are tired of doing the golf/hotel retreat that they do year in and year out. And they feel like a glamping retreat will allow for an environment that promotes team-work and get people out of their comfort zones a little. We can set up and organize hundreds of tents and additional facilities anywhere in the US. We can offer everything from the tent accommodation, property choices, catering options and we can build the booking software that is often necessary when you are trying to organize
What are the special demands around weddings and how are you catering for them? A wedding is a very personal and emotional event. And it is also an opportunity to create powerful memories by having a unique glampingstyle theme. People usually approach us because they want to try something different during their wedding weekend
and want to have their guests stay in glamping tents after the ceremony. They usually come to us with a vague idea of what they want, because they don't know what is possible, and we help connect the dots and give them a truly unique wedding experience. Itâ€™s important that we give the bride, groom and family as much support and information during the planning process as possible. And because we have hosts and properties all over the world we can give them the options they need to make the best decision for their event.
What advice would you give to operators just looking to open a glamping site in the US? I think the most important concept for new properties owners is to find a decent blend of uniqueness while highlighting the attributes of the surroundings.
You have a dog-friendly site, how important are pets to the industry? We have found over the past few years that pet owners are a crucial part of the glamping community. Pet owners in the US spend about $60 billion dollars on their pets each year, so there is obviously a great deal of potential in this market. And glamping accommodation really goes well with the lifestyle and intentions of pet owners. The properties are out in nature so their dogs can have open space to do what dogs do best and the dogs can usually participate in the excursions and activities that the owners are doing in the area such as hiking. The pieces are already there, and as a dog owner myself who has had to go through the issue of trying to find petfriendly accommodation online for years I can tell you that we are really addressing a need that is out there and as largely gone unnoticed. Pet owners want to go on holiday but are tired of paying high boarding and kenneling costs and are tired of asking their friends and family to watch their pet again. What we offer is a option for pet owners that never existed and its making a significant impact in how they are booking their vacations. glampinghub.com
Inn Style - the perfect booking system for your glampsite Inn Style provides a slick, beautifully designed, frictionless booking experience for glampsite owners and their guests. As holidaymakers move increasingly to mobile phones and tablets, to make online bookings, Inn Style can help you keep pace with their expectations. The Inn Style booking engine is all a glampsite owner needs to take online bookings, manage the diary, distribute availability and process secure payments online. It’s a well-designed and intelligently built system, packed with features to automate much of your administration and to make the guest booking experience slick and easy. Inn Style is a cost-effective way of getting your business online - they even include a
free, secure, mobile-friendly website with every subscription - if you need one. A recent feature that Inn Style has released, safeguards glampsite owners from exceeding their legal occupancy limit. When a new reservation is in progress, the system interrogates all booking data to calculate the current campsite occupancy on each of the days being requested. If the new enquiry doesn’t break the limit set, then the booking is accepted. “With the volume of bookings we receive, keeping tabs on the number of adults and children on-site on any one day can be very difficult. Rather than having to err on the side of caution to avoid accidentally exceeding our numbers, we can now rely on Inn Style to prevent bookings that would land us in hot water. It’s a real relief!” commented Lucy Honeychurch, Higher Town Farm, Looe, Cornwall. Inn Style offers an instant trial of their system - free for 14 days. You can follow the link on the home page of their
website www.innstyle.co.uk and see whether it’s right for your business. They have all inclusive pricing and they don’t tie you into lengthy contracts. So sure are the Inn Style team that you’ll like their system, that they offer a money back guarantee if the booking system doesn’t pay for itself. Always on hand to help you, the Inn Style team pride themselves on being small, but packed with experience in the travel & tourism industry, as well as design & technology. As a result, they have the expertise to completely understand the needs of owners, guests and developers and are on hand to help you every step of the way. “Guests expect us to deliver amazing accommodation. We want to provide a fabulous service and make sure the stay is memorable for all the right reasons. It’s imperative that the booking system reflects our same high standards and those of our customers. Inn Style effortlessly does both.” says Mark Sorrill The Pop Up Hotel.
y r a i d r u o y r o Dates f
22-23 April, 2007 EAST ANGLIAN GAME & COUNTRY FAIR
13 May, 2017 AYR COUNTY SHOW
The East Anglian Game & Country Fair is an annual two day, family event. This year the 14th show will take place on the Euston Estate near Thetford, just off the A11, by kind permission of The Duke and Duchess of Grafton. This year the organisers have added a 'Glamping' option in addition to its regular camping. www.ukgamefair.co.uk
Ayr County Show is held annually in May at The Racecourse, Craigie Road and offers a great day out for the whole family to enjoy. Attractions include trade stands, food and crafts as well as livestock. http://www.ayrcountyshow.co.uk
24-26 April, 2017 FARM SHOP AND DELI SHOW
13-14 May, 2017 Nottinghamshire County Show
NEC Birmingham At the Farm Shop & Deli Show you'll find all the big ideas, innovative suppliers and exciting products you need to make 2017 a year to remember! www.farmshopanddelishow.co.uk
One of the first County Shows in the season, promoting farming, food, rural life & heritage in Nottinghamshire & beyond. Takes place at Newark Showground. www.nottinghamshirecountyshow.com
1 May, 2017 North Somerset Show Established to further agricultural development by communicating agricultural issues and providing a showpiece to the local, general public. To this day these aims still ring true. www.nsas.org.uk
18-20 May, 2017 DEVON COUNTY SHOW Farming is at the very heart of the Show â€“ stockmen and women from the county and beyond will be competing in the show ring and agricultural machinery and suppliers will be out in force. www.devoncountyshow.co.uk
7 May 2017 SOUTH DOWNS GREEN FAIR
19-21 May, 2017 GLAMPFEST
At The Sustainability Centre. Whether you are looking for a family day out with a difference, or to connect with other local people involved in practical sustainability, or want to enjoy good music with beer and food thrown in, it's a day that promises all of that and more. www.sustainability-centre.org/the-south-downs-greenfair.html
Glampfest is a family festival run by glawning (www.glawning.com) to celebrate all things glamping. So if you love to camp in style why not come and join the fun? There will be great food, great music and fun family activities to keep you entertained. http://www.glampfest.co.uk/
10-13 May, 2017 BALMORAL SHOW
20 May, 2017 THE OTLEY SHOW
This is Northern Irelandâ€™s largest agricultural event, featuring more than 700 trade stands and over 40 catering vendors. A huge number of events for all the family including show jumping, livestock competitions and more. www.balmoralshow.co.uk
Spanning over 200 years, Otley Show has grown to become one of the most important agricultural shows in the North for livestock and handicraft exhibitors to compete in, including a wide range of competitions for children. It is a great day out for all the family. www.otleyshow.org.uk
How to get started in Glamping A question I get asked a lot is "When is the right time to start a Glamping site?" The answer is a simple, monosyllabic response and yet so complex that we could fill a book let alone this article. The short answer is "now". This is simply because whether I'm asked the question in July or January, there is an enormous amount of preparation to be done long before anyone can actually stay on a site. I always view the beginning of a site like the first enquiry for a booking; put in the hard work early on and the actual event should be smooth, seamless and enjoyable. Being part of a holiday industry family; I have been privileged enough to see first hand all the different aspects of a holiday park for almost four decades. As such it can be easy to forget that those wishing to enter the industry, may be viewing it from a different perspective. Broadly speaking, the Glamping industry in the UK can be divided into five sections: 1. Franchises where you have land and buy into one of the existing brands. 2. "B & B" style where you have one or two units as additional income in the back garden. 3. Diversified campsites, family owned sites, which also provide Glamping. 4. Big corporate holiday parks that also provide Glamping 5. Dedicated Glamping sites.
It may sound odd and perhaps even obvious, but the first thing to work out is which one of these your Glamping site will be. Making such a decision will also set you on the right track for your marketing and promotional strategy, but more of that later in a future article. There is no point having one yurt in your garden and trying to compete with the events programme and activities available at a large corporate holiday park. When people ask our advice; if a site is a first venture into the glamping industry, whether it be two shepherd's huts in a field or a one hundred acre holiday park development, we always feel the most important thing is to make sure that everyone has a clear view of 'life on site', before getting into specifics regarding a particular location. Like all hospitality jobs; providing accommodation is a calling, a way of life that should be embraced entirely if you wish to be successful. This needs to be reflected not only in attitude but also in budgeting. The level of service is all important and this is why we are in full support of the AA's new Glamping rating system. Whether you have two tents or two hundred, your guests will want to be met on arrival and checked into clean accommodation; A pretty simple requirement you would think. It wasn't until the AA started discussions about the new rating system that we heard some horror stories about sites that felt it was appropriate to just "give all the accommodation a good clean at the beginning of the season". At a recent seminar I shared with my audience a few of our experiences of running sites, one example of which was the midnight call to help guests light their fire.
Rob is from a family that has been operating holiday parks for over half a century. He cut his teeth in the familyâ€™s touring caravan dealership, before running their hire fleet, then their Holiday Park in Dorset. He first provided Glamping holidays back in 2006. Since 2010 he has dealt solely with Glamping; first on the Family Park, then bespoke delivery to other parks, followed by consultancy services on creating Glamping sites and pop-up sites for events. Rob also owns and operates Glamping sites throughout the South West. Rob is the General Operations Director of Country Glamping Holidays www.cghe.co.uk his glamping sites include Dorset Country Holidays www.dche.co.uk and Woodland Escape Glamping Holidays www.wegh.co.uk So, before you rush out and buy those yurts, my recommendation is to sit down and ask why you want to get into Glamping. I once had a consultancy client tell me their reason was to 'make money'. We discussed what would be required to run a Glamping site properly and he concluded he was happy to stick to dairy farming. Running a Glamping site can be the best job in the world. But like all emotionally rewarding jobs; teacher, nurse, carer, we aren't the ones taking home large financial bonuses. Once you are clear on your reasoning, the next phase is to do your homework, which we will cover in our next issue. Happy Glamping.
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Published on Feb 28, 2017
Spring is here and thoughts are turning to the new glamping season. In this issue we look at two big subjects: booking systems and weddings....