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Issue 8 July 2017




plus: Staffing,

Glamp site infrastructure, Canvas and Tent Europe, TMI Conference 2017, Glamping Trends

Inspiration and Information for Glamping Operators

Welcome to

Hello & Welcome



Cover photograph: With thanks to Epic Retreats

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 Publishers: Maggie Media Ltd Nina Blanchard e: Editor: Steph Curtis-Raleigh t: +44 (0)7887 928819 e: Sales: Kathryn Kelly t: +44 (0) 7575 408580 e: Design: Dean Coulter Design on Tap Other Events: The Glamping Show w: e:

© Maggie Media Ltd. International Glamping Business is published 5 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.

Choosing our cover picture is always one of my favourite jobs and this month there was no contest – it had to be Carwyn Jones’ Dragon’s Eye, created for Epic Retreat’s ambitious pop-up glamping project to celebrate Wales’ ‘Year of Legends’. Carwyn, who will speak at this year’s Glamping Show in September alongside our very own agony aunt Kate Morel, also won the recent Cabin in the Wild series on Channel 4 last month – many congratulations from the International Glamping Business team! Fewer than 200 bookings are available for the 8 cabins that make up the Epic Retreats popup glamping project; creating a must-have event which has put some of Wales’ most

Contents 05 News

16 20 23 27

Why Glamping is Definitely Sustainable

Rural Tourism: Trends and Pitfalls

Glampsite Infrastructure

Canvas and Tent Europe Interview

beautiful landscapes in the international press, both trade and consumer all year. It’s a clever move by the Welsh Tourist Board.

Last month, I learned more about how the regions of the UK market themselves to the public at the Tourism Management Institute Hot Topic Event, where I spoke about glamping. You will find more about the trends in rural accommodation in my report in this issue. Two days later, I was on Eurostar, bound to Brussels to see Marc Van Den Bosch and team create one of the biggest safari tent glamping installations in Europe, an impressive feat. Glamping comes in many guises, but as the cover suggests – it is always magical!


International Glamping Business Editor

31 32 34 36 39 42

Making the best of Firewood

Staffing Your Site

Ask Kate

Glamping Show Preview

Product News

Final word: Le Monteil Revolution





Glamping News

g in p m l s ew N G INTERNATIONAL


Dorset parks' new star attraction for glampers Three top Dorset holiday parks are making the most of the demand for ‘Dark Sky Tourism’ with increased investment in glamping tents.

The stylish and eye-catching tents provide a generously sized living area, heating, lighting, and full-size beds with duvets and pillows provided.

Golden Cap, Graston Copse and Sandyholme, part of the West Dorset Leisure Holidays group, have this year added a Clear Sky Safari Tent and a Lotus Belle Stargazer Tent to each site, in addition to its existing glamping pods.

West Dorset Leisure's James Cox said “The new tents were chosen to make the most of the clear night skies and little light pollution on the Dorset coast, which means you can see the Milky Way with the naked eye from March to October.”

The Stargazers feature a clear roof, so that holidaymakers can enjoy a canopy of stars above their heads inside the tent, making the most of Dorset's celebrated clear night.

Mark Scott Clear Sky CEO said “we are very pleased to be working with West Dorset leisure parks, their approach to quality and their reputation for superb holidays fits very well with our brand and

the quality of our tents. As the largest supplier of glamping tents to the UK holiday park industry we have been able to provide the best back up and industry knowledge to make sure their introduction of such an innovative product to the range of accommodation goes as smoothly as possible.” The Safari Tents cost from £60 to £105 per night and sleep up to 4 people with hob, fridge, heater, beds made up, private decking. The Bell Tents cost from £45 to £75 per night and have clear roof and sleep up to 4 people with electric points and beds made up.

Insurance That Grows With Your Site Friar Best Insurance Services Ltd arrange specialist insurance cover that can grow with you as your business grows. The company is committed in providing a first class service to its clients by maintaining the personal touch that is often lacking in today’s business world. “At Friar Best we appreciate that for start-up businesses, there are considerable financial constraints, while it is still vital to ensure that a business has the protection necessary to secure its future, and long term aims and objectives,” says the company’s Julie Friar.

In addition to the various liabilities business owners are exposed to and therefore requiring vital insurance protection, covers are arranged on all types of accommodation structures, site facilities, and loss of income in the event of a claim. Site owner’s accommodation, self-catering units and B&B accommodation all catered for. The insurance arranged can be as diverse as your business.

“Insurance covers are tailored to the needs of individual business owners, ensuring you have the right insurance to protect your specific business and livelihood.”

“If the worst should happen, then we pride ourselves in providing a first class claims service to enable you to get your Business up and running as soon as this possibly can,” she adds.





Glamping News

Claim Your Free Directory Listing In March 2018, the industry’s leading trade publication, International Glamping Business Magazine, will publish a Suppliers Directory for glamping operators. The Directory will list everything that a glamping operator could possibly require, from accommodation, through to bathroom fittings, firewood, interior design accessories, food and drink and more. The Directory will be unique in that it will list suppliers under product headings and by region, so glamping operators can source locally made goods and produce. If you would like a FREE Directory listing, contact and we will email you details.

HotelsCombined recognize Camp Katur among best hotels in UK

HotelsCombined, the Australian-based hotel meta-search company, has started an extensive survey covering different types of accommodation within the United Kingdom. This survey is based on gathering data from millions of guest reviews, and translating them to an official Recognition of Excellence. The HotelsCombined Recognition of Excellence is not a ranking list but a group of outstanding accommodation chosen based on a strict set of criteria. Camp Katur owner Kerry Roy said: “We are over the moon to receive the award for Recognition of Excellence particularly when awarded by such a large international hotel service provider. Our team works hard with a lot of passion for the business to keep standards high in what is a fast expanding market “We are thrilled to be working with the best hotels in the United Kingdom and Camp Katur is certainly among them” said Paulina Krolikowska, market manager of HotelsCombined United Kingdom “What is different about the Recognition of Excellence is the way information is gathered and analysed: it all depends on the guest and his or her experience with that particular accommodation.” “With HotelsCombined 30 million people are finding the best deal available on-line every month. With this award, we’d like to make it even easier for every traveller to identify the best hotel for customer service and therefore the best value for their money”.


Durrell Named First Ever AA Glamping Site of the Year The nation’s best caravan and campsites are celebrating as the AA announces the winners of the AA Caravan and Camping Awards 2017. Among this year’s winners is Durrell Wildlife Camp, Jersey, which was named the first ever AA Glamping Site of the Year. Part of the Durrell Wildlife Park, the camp consists of 12 canvas geo domes set in a beautifully landscaped area. Each unit, named after different Lemur species, is sited in its own separate area offering good privacy. Inside is a king-size bed, two singles, a wood-burning stove and clothing storage space. Set on wooden decking, they have their own additional pod with high quality toilet, washbasin and shower plus a spacious fully-equipped kitchen. Smaller tipis are available for extra children or friends. Guests have complimentary access to the Durrell Wildlife Zoo and have use of the zoo’s excellent Café Firefly, which serves breakfasts, lunches and early evening meals, plus takeaway pizzas and Thai food. They can also expect a remarkable level of customer service from a dedicated team, who go out of their way to ensure guests enjoy a complete holiday experience. All the winners appear in the new AA Caravan and Camping Guide 2017. Over 860 campsites in the Guide have all been visited by one of the AA’s qualified Campsite Inspectors to look at touring pitches, facilities and hospitality before grading the site from one to five Pennants, including the Gold Pennants awarded to the best parks.




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Glamping News

Flap-free Scottish glamping on rise, say parks

"Camping holidays were very popular then and remain so today, but for some people the realities of erecting a tent and packing it away afterwards can take the edge off the experience," he said.

Wood Leisure, which has five top-rated parks in popular Scottish visitor locations, believes that young couples and families especially are helping to spearhead the boom in glamping holidays.

"Glamping still provides that wonderful sense of being out there in nature and coming closer to the sights and sounds of the countryside, but without the drawbacks.

The family-run business has made substantial investments this year in installing new glamping pods at most of its parks, and it reports that demand is strong. Operations manager Bruce Thomson said that holiday trends have undergone significant changes since Wood Leisure first began in business 35 years ago:

"For example, tents let in light which could mean your body telling you it's time to get up rather too early in the morning – and, of course, that's also time for the dawn chorus. "Our glamping pods are lightproof and virtually soundproof, so guests can enjoy their richly deserved lie-ins without interruption!" added Bruce. The group's pods sleep between two and six people, depending on the

model, and are equipped with various home-from-home comforts which visitors won't have to pack. At its Deeside Holiday Park in Aberdeenshire, stylish two-person pods come with a pull-down double sofa bed, en-suite shower, and kitchenette for preparing food and drinks. For larger groups and families, Lomond Woods Holiday Park in the heart of the Trossachs area by Loch Lomond has glamping pods comfortably sleeping four people.

Anytime Integrates with IDS Barrier Solution Anytime Booking is now integrated with IDS Group’s barrier and ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) solution. Working with multi-award winning Padstow Touring Park and IDS Group, Anytime has developed a simple access control solution from within the booking system for holiday park and campsite owners who want to fully control who is on site. Tas Kyriacou, Head of Business Development IDS Group said, “The Anytime Booking software is an excellent tool which is widely accepted in the industry, so it extends the scope of our offer. Together we now provide a onestop solution for customers who want to increase their business efficiencies. Holiday parks who utilise Anytime software can commission our barrier and ANPR system to seamlessly work in tandem. This first project with Padstow Touring Park gave us the opportunity to work together and take advantage of the benefits of both systems, making life easier for staff and customers.” Philip Barnes, Padstow Touring Park Director said, “We feel the barrier system is invaluable to our business and having the link between the Anytime platform and the IDS barrier makes booking in faster and cuts out some of the human errors. We are always looking to improve existing systems and to stay ahead of other caravan sites where we can; we feel that we can work with Anytime and IDS Group over the coming years to keep moving with the times and give customers what they want whilst making things easier for the staff to use.” Vanessa Glossop, Communications Director, Anytime, adds “It is fantastic to be working with IDS Group to give customers like Padstow Touring Park more benefit to the technologies they’ve invested in. While IDS Group can efficiently restrict and manage vehicular access to our customers’ premises with their barrier system, a car registration entered at the point of booking in our system is automatically recognised by the ANPR camera as visitors approach for their holiday, giving them immediate access. The partnership gives further edge to our offering as a booking management platform for holiday parks and larger campsites.”

Outstanding Addition to Belgian and French Zoos Outstanding’s safari tents are mostly found in campsites or holiday parks all over the world, however, recently the company has been involved in a couple of very unusual installations. They have built their safari tents in the middle of two zoos. The first tent is situated in the Zoo Planckendael in Mechelen, Belgium. Surrounded by camels, this safari tent is used for workshops and educational purposes. Then, less than a month later, the Outstanding building team found themselves in the middle of the Thoiry Zoo in Paris, Zoo. These safari tents are used for catering purposes.





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Glamping News

Pippa and James Choose Glamping for Honeymoon Pippa Middleton and James Matthews spent part of their lavish honeymoon at Longitude 131, a five-star glamping hotel in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which enjoys fabulously unimpeded views of Uluru. Longitude 131 is one of Australia's most exclusive resorts, comprising 16 luxuriously furnished tented pavilions featuring Aboriginal art and memorabilia, each one with its own private terrace looking out towards Uluru.

Norfolk Mobile Glamping Service Launches

A daybed and outdoor fireplace gives guests the option of sleeping out under the stars, while a complimentary minibar ensures constant refreshment. For utmost privacy, guests seeking solitude can opt for the Dune Pavilion, a contemporary suite set apart from the rest of the camp which comes with its own plunge pool and selfservice bar and which costs around £1,500 a night.

Corporate Mid-Week Glamping Retreats

Husband and wife team Mark and Gin Wilson-North have launched dedicated walking and glamping tours in Norfolk. The MarGins service involves set routes on the picturesque Norfolk Coast Path, with the couple setting up tents along the way and delivering food and luggage. Every day, MarGins follow their guests along the route and assemble their glamping tents ahead of their arrival in a number of participating campsites. MarGins’ three glamping tents have separate bed and living spaces and feature a padded bed with mattress topper, hot water bottles, an electric cool box and gas burner. The couple use local food and drink producers and provide their guests with a breakfast hamper with Norfolk goodies like granola, fruit, meats, bread, tea and coffee. There is also the option of an evening platter with local cured meats and cheeses with wine pairings from TFW Fine Wines.

Home Farm Glamping, London's nearest glamping site, is offering a new style of mid-week corporate event hosting for city firms. Linklaters LLP has used Home Farm Glamping, which is located in farm land in Elstree just five minutes from the end of the Jubilee and Northern Lines, as their corporate retreat, taking 60 colleagues from the city on the tube to the glamping base in Hertfordshire. Home Farm Glamping offers event space and overnight glamping for corporate retreats during April and September. 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. Elisabeth Johnson, Managing Associate, Linklaters LLP, says the event was a world removed from their normal office environment. ‘We had a fantastic working event day and overnight stay at Home Farm. The journey up from the city was very easy and people had a variety of routes and options (two tube lines and the overland from Farringdon), which was really handy.”





Glamping News

Woodland Tipi and Yurts chooses CampManager

F.Domes: Make Yourself at Dome!

CampManager is an online booking and management system that is simple and easy to use and for any size of glampsite, campsite, Holiday Park or caravan park. Woodland Tipi and Yurts have been utilising the numerous features within CampManager to manage their glampsite more efficiently and to generate more bookings. With CampManager, customers can check realtime availability 24/7 and can securely book directly through Woodland Tipi and Yurt’s mobile responsive website. The online booking pages are designed to match the look and feel of the website providing brand consistency. With CampManager the process of taking bookings either online or via the telephone is greatly simplified with the easy to use online booking platform. Bookings can also be easily managed and amended through the flexible booking portal. Niall Norris from CampManager comments. “CampManager offers a complete end to end process for efficiently managing your glampsite. The portal gives access to a wealth of information; glampsites can quickly see all their bookings in one place, print off arrivals lists and create marketing emails. CampManager can also integrate with other 3rd party booking websites such as Pitchup,, and more.” Julia from Woodland Tipi and Yurts comments, “CampManager has made my life much easier. The system does all the work and automates many of the time consuming daily tasks such as invoicing, booking confirmations and balance reminder emails. We have greatly increased efficiency which saves us time and money. We like the fact that the system is web based so we can log in from any location and any device with internet access.” Another feature of CampManager is that glampsites can easily attract more customers by creating discounts and special offers quickly and easily through the system. This can help to increase occupancy and revenue. The system also provides Woodland Tipi and Yurts with the ability to take card payments and provides customers with the capability to make balance payments online.

F.Domes Glamping provides a unique possibility to design your own ideal luxury accommodation to perfectly fit your own idea of the great outdoors. F.Domes Glamping domes offer deluxe outdoor lodging to a luxury hotelstandard. They are designed and engineered to provide the maximum comfort while allowing unprecedented closeness to nature. The domes are equipped with heating and cooling accessories, as well as a plug and play bathroom module, with extra large panoramic window. In addition, F.Domes Glamping domes are made of fully sustainable and recyclable materials, which makes them the most eco-friendly choice one could opt for. Their geodesic dome construction combined with the highest quality materials give them extreme longevity and durability, keeping the need for maintenance to a minimum. Well-insulated, with heating and cooling devices, F.Domes Glamping domes are true all-year, all-weather and allclimate structures. Also, thanks to an extra rigid framework option, the structures can be installed even in locations with extreme weather conditions, as they withstand heavy snowfalls and winds exceeding 240 km/h. For those who want to enjoy the adventure of designing their perfect glamping dome, F.Domes has prepared a pioneering tool, which enables its customers to create domes that match their needs and ideas in the best possible way. A unique dome configurator on the F.Domes website allows to choose and change a whole variety of features and see them on a lifelike 3D model in the real time. The configurator provides the choice between six nature-inspired color variants of the outer cover, which is both a very practical and aesthetically appealing solution that lets the dome blend with the landscape. In addition, customers can pick their favorite color of the insulation liner, curtains and the covering of the bathroom modules, as well as framework’s finish, entrance type and additional equipment.





Ashwood Shepherd Huts are an established family run business who's fundamental goal is to build each and every customer a bespoke and unique hut tailored to their individual requirements. Over the years Ashwood has evolved with the ever growing glamping market to produce huts which encompass the romance of the shepherds hut, but with the added luxuries we've all come to expect with modern living, such as underfloor heating, flushing toilets, hot showers and even beautiful hand crafted roll top baths! Of course, with each hut being unique, these are only a few design options. The list is almost endless. Here at Ashwood, we love the challenge of creating and bringing to life each and every vision and idea.

16 Jamie Mandeville 01823 461638 07973 482031


Why Glamping

is Definitely Sustainable by William Rusbridge

Google analytics shows that the term ‘Glamping’ started to gain popularity back in 2007 and the number of searches has increased every year since. After a decade, Glamping has established itself as a successful sector of the tourism industry, able to boast higher occupancy rates than many hotels and able to charge more than campsites.

To the cynics and naysayers, Glamping is little more than a fad, a niche area that will eventually lose popularity. Evidence, in the form of overall tourism trends and search engine analytics to guage popularity, suggests the exact opposite however. Not only are more customers looking for Glamping sites than ever before, but other industries are also starting to adopt Glamping as a way to

grow their business. The addition of Glamping and its subsequent evolution has clearly had a large effect on the tourism industry as a whole, offering a new type of holiday and a new way for existing businesses to offer accommodation.

The Glamping Demographic The glamping demographic is primarily split into two groups: couples between the ages of 25 to 35, and families. The Glamping demographic is important because it is introducing an entirely new group of people to the outdoor tourist industry. Glamping hasn’t become successful by tempting existing campers away from their tents and sleeping bags, instead it is targeting a group of people who enjoy nature but don’t want to deal with all the hassle that conventional camping brings with it. The appeal of Glamping is drawing in people who enjoy the idea of camping but hate the reality of it. The rise of families going glamping is also very positive, as the children who form good memories about family holidays at a glamping site are very likely to want to recreate those memories in the future. In recent years, another type of demographic has come to the forefront in the form of ageing festival-

goers. Attendees of festivals during the nineties and the early noughties who have now grown older are trying to relive their festival experiences, but in a more relaxed manner without having to give up on comfort. Ultimately, the glamping demographic is a lot more fluid and unrestrictive than in other areas of the tourism industry as Glamping appeals to almost anyone who enjoys being around nature but doesn’t want to sleep in a bag.

The Rise of Staycations The rise in popularity of Glamping has been helped by the increasing tendency for Brits to opt for staycations rather than going abroad. The initial rise in popularity of staycations was due to the recession in 2008 with people looking to save money on trips abroad. Since then they have become a very popular holiday type with more staycations booked in 2017 than in previous years. With Brexit officially underway, it looks like they will only rise in popularity due to the fact that exchange rates are likely to be less favourable (at least in the short term) and the possibility of the introduction of visas for UK residents travelling around Europe. Simply put, travelling abroad will become more expensive and also take longer to organise. The introduction and






rise in popularity of Glamping has fuelled this trend, with Brits now able to experience the country that they live in a new and unique way. Glamping offers a great way to relax and unwind that truly feels different to day-to-day working life, which is exactly what people who are booking a staycation are looking for. The length of these staycations are also getting shorter with over half staying for three days or less. This is likely due to the fact that the UK is a very time-precious society and also the growing trend of booking a number of smaller holidays across the year as opposed to one big one. This shorter stay length of the average holiday correlates very well to the average length of Glamping site bookings making Glamping a very desirable staycation destination.

Ecotourism Ecotourism distinguishes itself with its aims of reducing the impact that tourism has on natural areas and making it more sustainable. It not only involves making a site sustainable, but also educating visitors on the importance of conservation, only working with businesses that are sustainable, and building structures with the surrounding area in mind. Ecotourism makes up around 7% of international travel, which is set to rise until 2020, proving that it is a popular with a large number of people. Glamping and ecotourism are a great fit, with most Glamping sites naturally adhering to the rules and guidelines that are set out by ecotourism. This means that Glamping sites can tap into the ecotourism market, which is still relatively untapped in the UK. Not only would this bring in a largely untapped segment of international travel to the UK but could potentially change the way tourism is approached with regards to sustainability. The increasing urbanisation of the UK

could be a blessing or a curse for Glamping and all rural tourism. Some believe that this increase will lead to a society that is dependent, or at least overly familiar, with urban areas and the amenities that they bring leading to a disinterest in rural areas. Others think that as more and more people move to urban areas, rural tourism will see an increase due to the need to occasionally escape the city. Glamping will likely play a large role in the outcome having established itself as an important part of rural tourism. This move towards a more eco-conscious society epitomised by the increasing interest in ecotourism suggests that rural tourism will remain important part of the Uk’s tourism industry.

The Use of Glamping by Existing Businesses So, we’ve seen how Glamping has affected the tourism industry, establishing itself as an important part of rural tourism, but it has also allowed many other existing businesses to offer various accommodation types to extend the stay of their customers. Festivals immediately come to mind, as year after year more glamping options are present. Mirroring the growth of Glamping, festivals initially offered glamping options in the form of canvas tents and the occasional tipi or yurt, but nowadays teardrop caravans are commonplace alongside small villages of pods. As glamping accommodation evolves it affects the festival industry as they have more options (and more price points) to offer. This also works in reverse however, as more people go to festivals and are able to experience Glamping accommodation, more people are going to be made aware of Glamping and will consider it the next time they are planning a trip. Many rural pubs have also started to add glamping options. It means that they are able to

make money by offering accommodation and by extending that customer’s stay, they will see more business from them. Glamping wedding venues have also been gaining popularity, offering a woodland wedding with accommodation for all of the guests to stay. In urban areas around the UK, champing (glamping in a church) is being used to make money to protect beautiful buildings that would otherwise fall into disrepair. Hotels with roof gardens are beginning to open seasonal glamping areas, often accompanied by mini music festivals, as a way to further increase their profit. But perhaps the most exciting of all are the large theme parks and zoos that have begun offering glamping accommodation as a way to extend the stay of their customers. Glamping has become a very cost effective way for businesses like these to start offering accommodation, which would be impossible with brick and mortar structures. Glamping has had a huge impact on the tourism industry since it’s addition and continues to do so as glamping evolves and is incorporated into existing business types. Not only is it fuelling many of the shifting trends that are occurring in the tourism industry as a whole, but it is also mirroring the larger trend of becoming a more eco-conscious society. Over the years, the idea of Glamping has evolved from a fad or a niche area of tourism to an established and important part of rural tourism, and is now also viewed by large businesses as a cost-effective way of offering accommodation to guests. So whether you already own a Glamping site or are looking to do so, you can breathe a sigh of relief, as all the evidence shows that Glamping is here to stay. Not only this, but year after year it continues to grow in popularity.





Rural Tourism

Rural Tourism – Trends and Pitfalls

How does glamping fit into the wider scope of rural tourism? This was one of the questions posed by delegates and speakers at the Tourism Management Institute (TMI) Hot Topic Debate in May. TMI is the professional organisation for anyone working in tourism destination management, supporting professionals throughout their career, from students setting out through to established senior practitioners. Members are drawn from a wide variety of organisations: destination management organisations, local government, national tourist organisations, visitor attractions, consultancies and the higher education sector, to name but a few. Steph Curtis-Raleigh, Editor of International Glamping Business, was asked to speak at the Hot Topic Event and was in very good company alongside Kurt Janson, Director of Tourism Alliance – the umbrella organization for


tourism businesses to lobby government, as well as Anthony Pickles, Head of Tourism Affairs at VisitBritain. Other key speakers included Andrew Keeling from Hotel Solutions and Andy Woodward, former Chief Executive of Farm Stay Holidays. Kurt Janson outlined some of the big issues affecting tourism destinations, particularly in light of Brexit. The Tourism Alliance, which was set up in 2001, comprises of 55 member organisations representing 200,000 tourism businesses. The Tourism Alliance estimates that £20.7bn is spent in the rural economy every year and the rural

tourism industry supports 380,000 jobs. Understandably, the key aim is to ensure that the UK can retain EU travel agreements following Brexit, as well as maintaining access to EU National Workers. In addition, it is hugely important for the rural economy, to maintain access to EU Funding Programmes for as long as possible before replacing them with UK versions. Janson is the author of the Pink Book, which outlines the legislation for tourist accommodation. This is an essential tool for all UK glamping businesses to ensure that they are abiding by the many rules and regulations affecting the hospitality industry. Some of these laws contain dangerous pitfalls for small businesses that might not be aware of their existence. For example, businesses working together to provide value-added products may not realize that liability for accidents can shift. A glamping business offering cut price tickets to a local attraction therefore becomes financially responsible if guests suffer a fall while at the local zoo, or theme park. This is because, by joining forces and selling tickets for another business – the

Rural Tourism

glampsite becomes a form of ‘travel agent’. The Tourism Alliance is working to lobby the government to change this law in order to encourage more rural businesses to work together and promote each other. Other by-laws that the alliance wishes to change include bans on glamping businesses offering taxi services to and from stations themselves and laws against the supply of small amounts of alcohol to guests. For those who wish to know more, we urge you to visits www.visitbritainorg/pink-book You will be pleased to know that Kurt Janson will be speaking at The Glamping Show and testing operators on their knowledge of the legislation governing their businesses in an informal ‘pub quiz’ environment! Anthony Pickles reiterated that UK tourism is growing both from overseas and domestic travellers with 99.3m overnight trips in 2016 and 1.56bn day trips. VisitBritain recommends greater recognition by local government of the contribution made by UK tourism, as well as a more integrated transport network taking the needs of visitors into

account. Other recommendations include truly nationwide broadband and 4g and targeted business support for small businesses. Post-Brexit, VisitBritain calls for continued visa-free travel throughout Europe. It is also looking at developing Food Hubs to provide an exciting opportunity for growing rural/coastal tourism and to extend the season. Steph Curtis-Raleigh spoke about the growth of the glamping industry and its diversification into existing rural tourism, such as hotels, zoos, pubs and other attractions. She highlighted other trends, such as champing (glamping in churches) and urban glamping, as well as talking about pop-up glamping, such as the Epic Retreats project in Wales (featured on this issue’s cover).

Andrew Keeling from Hotel Solutions will also speak at September’s Glamping Show. His consultancy works with hospitality providers in all types of tourism. He pointed out that quality rural accommodation is generally fully booked at weekends and in the summer and additional accommodation is needed to grow weekend and peak season demand. However he cautioned that care is needed not to dilute off-peak business.






Glampsite Infrastructure

Glampsite Infrastructure Water treatment and water heating are essential considerations for those glamping sites wanting to provide a luxury experience for their guests. Glamping Business looks at some of the suppliers who offer solutions designed specifically for the glamping sector.

Could CO2 heat pumps be the answer to one of the biggest challenges faced by glamping sites? A good supply of hot water is essential for the comfort and satisfaction of your guests; providing it can be a costly exercise – both in terms of money and the environment. Sanden CO2 heat pumps provide substantial cost-savings to all hot water users, giving a return on investment of 3 to 5 years. Sanden’s Aquaeco2 Max has strong green credentials too - not only is it compatible with other renewable technologies, particularly PV, it also uses CO2 as the refrigerant gas rather than the global warming HFCs which are currently being phased out. Easy to install, Sanden heat pump systems only require a single-phase, 20A supply and can be fitted by a plumber or heating installer. Guaranteed hot water on demand is assured as every system is designed to meet individual requirements. One Aquaeco2 Max has an output of 3.5kW (4.5kW boost) and will produce 800 litres of water at 65oC, or 1470 litres at 40oC, in a day. This is sufficient for 30 showers based on an average shower of 8 minutes @ 6 L/min. The figures below are based on the heat pump in Eco mode - 3.5kW and show comparison costs per day, for the various fuel types. Fuel Type Direct electric LPG boiler and cylinder LPG instantaneous water heating Oil boiler and cylinder Sanden ASHP

Tariff p/kWh 13 5.8

Cost per day £ 6.42 4.77







“We’re really excited by the recent advancements in battery storage systems; A PV – battery - Sanden integrated system will be able to provide a completely off grid solution to hot water production later this year,” says Nick Welch, Sanden’s UK Distributor

The Evolution of Ground Source Heating The widely anticipated ErP A++ rated Evo series of ground source heat pumps from British manufacturer Kensa Heat Pumps has received full MCS accreditation enabling its UK wide distribution via Kensa and its installer network. Having recently been confirmed as the UKs largest supplier of ground source heat pumps for the fifth year running (BSRIA 2017), the Kensa Evo series is described as a ‘transformative and evolutionary’ tribute to its predecessor, the Kensa Compact series, which has been supplied to thousands of properties since its launch in 2002. Simon Lomax, Managing Director of Kensa Heat Pumps commented, “The Evo series is a natural evolution of our award-winning product range and delivers enhanced benefits to both installers and end users. Installers benefit from substantial discounts and unrivalled technical support and discover that Kensa has created a simple-toinstall product, which has been central to our offer since 1999. End users benefit from 15% efficiency enhancements over the Compact range, which results in higher Renewable Heat Incentive income and lower running costs, whilst the new models are not only ultra-quiet but also feature an aesthetically pleasing design. We have involved expert installers in the development phase and have experienced a massive surge in interest: this is a longawaited product which should ensure Kensa remains at the pinnacle of the GSHP industry in the UK.” The ErP A++ rated Evo series is currently available in 7kW, 9kW and 13kW models, with a 15kW model anticipated for late 2017. Designed for larger new builds and renovation projects, the Evo will supplement Kensa’s unique Shoebox 3kW and 6kW models which are ideally suited for smaller new builds.







● The Glamping Show Exhibitors and Speakers ● Beds, bedding and soft furnishing ● Lamps, lighting and stoves


next issue


Glampsite Infrastructure

environmentally friendly system. Team Septic can design your system and plan the installation to suit your needs. From initial concept to completed works, Team Septic can provide practical solutions to difficult situations. They use the best quality units and employ reliable professional staff to complete the installation. The Eco-friendly systems are manufactured by some of the most reliable manufacturers in the industry including Graf and Bio-pure. This means a quality system that will stand the test of time.

A Wealth of Experience

For chemical waste, such as a solution for cassette toilet waste, you need a chemical tank. These tanks are chemically resistant and built to cope with the toxicity of the chemicals. They are designed to reduce any odours and minimize bacteria.

The Septic Tank Store offers a wealth of experience in both planning, supplying and installing sewage systems. Using the newest eco-friendly products where possible, the company takes foul effluent and puts it through a natural process, to leave water with reduced pollutant levels for discharge to the appropriate point. For sewerage treatment, each and every client has a different requirement and every solution is different, so careful planning is needed to supply and install the most cost efficient and

Depending upon our clients’ requirements Team Septic can supply or supply and install with a range of packages from supervision to a complete supply installation and service package. A full range of accessories such as pump stations, grease traps, drainage pipes, sewer fittings and a large range of soak away products such as tunnels, crates and pipes are available at competitive rates.

Bio-Bubble To the Rescue For six years, Simon and Pat Glover, owners of the award winning 5* Whitefield Forest Touring Park on the Isle Of Wight, liaised closely with The Environment Agency regarding their treatment plant compliance during the peak holiday seasons. With constant attention from Simon (supplemented with the help of a tanker firm) he struggled to achieve the levels required to meet his legal consent. With increasing numbers and fluctuating loads across the holiday periods this became an ongoing and uphill struggle. Armed with his fasttracked knowledge for wastewater treatment, his hands-on experience with the old system and coupled with the fact that peak visitor numbers to the touring park would rise, it became obvious to Simon and Pat that an improvement was necessary to avoid a foreseen non-compliance. Researching the market and gaining insight from other local Bio-Bubble owners, Simon and Pat were confident

that Bio-Bubbles Advanced Aeration process would eliminate all the manual intervention demanded by its predecessor and take their popular Touring Park to the next level. Bio-Bubble’s proven track record instilled 100% confidence that it could meet their legal obligations. Simon’s professional background enabled him to project manage the civil installations and working closely with Graham Attrill Civil Engineering Ltd, the bespoke Bio-Bubble plant was installed within 2 months and commissioned on time for the opening of the new season. The busy Easter break proved a success, site owner Simon said: “ I have sampled and tested the final effluent prior to discharge and I am

delighted with the levels of BOD and Ammonia achieved; we have near zero ammonia and single figure BOD levels, I am expecting the volume of sludge taken away by tankers to be greatly reduced compared to our old system. Bio-bubble provided an excellent service throughout the whole process – design development, installation, commissioning and monitoring. It would have been nice to know what I now know about wastewater treatment when we first opened our business, as they say hindsight is a wonderful thing”





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Canvas and Tent Europe

Bringing South African Luxury to Europe by Steph Curtis-Raleigh

It’s not every day I get invited to visit a company overseas but Marc Van Den Bosch is very persuasive. “We are working on one of the biggest tented lodge developments in Europe, come and visit and see our showroom as well,” he says. So, one Monday morning I find myself on a train from London to Brussels – which takes only 2 hours – the equivalent of a rail journey to Leeds or Manchester. “I think our position in Belgium is a huge advantage to us as a company,” says Marc. “It is the ideal position for people to come and see us and I always urge customers to see our showroom in person, so they can truly understand what our product is about.”

hunting and luxury lodges and resorts internationally and has an impressive client list, including Virgin boss Richard Branson. The parent company, which is situated in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains in Ladysmith, South Africa, also has a heritage as one of the leading tent suppliers supplier to military and humanitarian organisations.

Marc runs Canvas and Tent Europe, which is a division of the market-leading South African safari tent manufacturer; the Canvas and Tent group, which has been manufacturing tents since 1968. Their brand, Bushtec Safari, is well known to safari camps and game reserves,

Over the years, Canvas and Tent has massively expanded its range of luxury outdoor accommodation, according to Marc. “The company’s initial product offering was the Meru range of tents, which was a standard design allowing little room for customization. We

Marc Van Den Bosch recognised a need for a bigger variety and more options. As a result, our team took risks and began designing tents ahead of their time,” he adds. “This inspired us to take part in the yearly Tourism Indaba. Each year we push the boundaries of good design in canvas and create something new, beautiful, functional and trendy.” What began as a small company, manufacturing a few luxury canvas tents, is today a respected and trusted brand offering the best of both worlds; a back to nature experience, with all the luxury guests could wish for. For example; ensuite bathrooms, air-conditioned rooms, breathtaking interiors and complete kitchens to ensure the food compliments the scenery from guests’ private tented suite




13 27

Canvas and Tent Europe

base near his Brussels showroom, he is constantly on the move. His team is also highly peripatetic – working all hours on installing the tents throughout Europe, on projects that can vary from a few days to several months. It is the most significant of Marc’s projects to date that I am mainly here to see. Shortly after collecting me from Brussels station, we are on the road to Durbuy, in the Ardennes region of Belgium. Priding itself on being the “smallest city on earth,” Durbuy is undeniably picturesque; with a 19th Century castle overlooking the river Ourthe and cobbled streets filled with restaurants, bars and shops, nestling in wonderful countryside. It has always been a major tourist attraction, however in recent months the eyes of the world have focused more keenly on the municipality, due to the investment of billionaire Marc Coucke who is buying up the town building by building in order to create his adventure-nature park, which he has named ‘La Petite Merveille’.

The company has recently incorporated decking and infrastructure support such as water treatment, waste water treatment and reticulation, electrical reticulation and back of house services, in order to offer the client a single point of contact and turnkey luxury camps solutions. Despite only having established Canvas and Tent Europe two years ago, Marc and his team have already made great strides in Europe. Marc already owns Europe’s biggest Land Rover spares and 4x4 accessories supply business and expanded this to incorporate ranges of outdoor lifestyle equipment, including roof tents. This led him to find the Bushtec range of luxury, tented accommodation and take on the exclusive European distributorship. “The support from the team in South Africa is incredible,” he says. “If we have any queries, there is always someone who will help us and even hop onto a plane


and come over if necessary. Canvas and Tent are a great company to work with.” Marc spent the first part of his working career in the drinks industry, promoting some of the biggest brand names throughout the world. With a home near Paris, which he gets to at weekends and a

Since 2016, Coucke, a Flemish businessman, along with his associate Bart Maerten, have purchased an existing Adventure Park, several hectares of forest, the Jean de Boheme hotel in the old town, along with the best restaurant and shops, a holiday park and a campsite with the aim of preserving the integrity of the town and creating a high-end resort dedicated to outdoor adventure. In fact, hardly a day goes past, when there isn’t a new announcement regarding an acquisition in the town, where only 11 people are actually still resident as original citizens. A Shaka gets the finishing touches in Durbuy

Canvas and Tent Europe

and further projects in Italy, Belgium, France and Spain are in the pipeline. Before leaving Brussels the following day, Marc gives me a tour of the showroom, where he has a permanent outdoor display of some of the lodges, fully decorated, around a fire pit, with seating and even a bar. The value of showing the tents in situ and furnished is clear and the rest of the impressive building is taken up with the extensive array of roof tents, camping equipment and high-end Land Rover spares, creating a testosteronefuelled atmosphere for the outdoor adventurer.

A Bali tent at Durbuy

Canvas and Tent Europe have been commissioned to install their luxury Bushtec Safari accommodation in the area that used to be a holiday park, but which had over the years, also attracted some residential mobile homes, which had mixed uncomfortably with the tourists and constant stream of school kids who visit the area to take part in outdoor pursuits. “We got the go-ahead to start work in March,” says Marc Van Den Bosch. “This was for 40 of our smaller Bali tents and 14 of the larger Shaka luxury lodges. The team has worked through all weathers and will complete the project in just three months.” This is an incredible achievement, as the original holiday park had to be cleared, while work was going on – no mean feat when some of the mobile homes had been stuck fast for decades and were filthy. “While we were building the tents, Coucke’s team was digging trenches for the water and gas supply,” says Harald, one of Marc’s managers. “We had to lift equipment over these muddy holes, in freezing conditions. It has been a challenging job.” The 40 Bali tents were installed first and are already hosting large groups of mainly school kids. Each one has a proper wooden and glazed front door and is built using an insulated canvas material, which allows year-round occupancy. There is a communal kitchen away from the tents and communal bathroom facilities. The Bali can easily sleep a family of four and is essentially a very comfortable, spacious outdoor hotel room.

The Shaka tents are something altogether more luxurious. They sit on a raised platform to enjoy the stunning views over the Ardennes countryside. They are massive inside, with a lounge area, a bedroom area and an indoor bathroom. No kitchens are included in this project, as food will be delivered to the lodges. This in turn ensures that the tents are kept free from cooking smells and the related health and safety issues. The Shaka tents will have some proper glazed windows as well as the part-glazed doors. While I am there, the temperatures outside are tropical, however, inside the tents, the insulation ensures that we stay cool. This is down to the insulated fabric of the wall and the inner canvas layer of the tents, which creates a wonderful draped ceiling and a perfect backdrop for the interior decoration, including a gasfired stove, visible from both bathroom and bedroom. When I visited, the project was only a couple of weeks away from being completed and was stunning. “The tents here will stay on site with very little upkeep necessary for the next 30 years,” explains Marc. “Apart from perhaps replacing the fly sheet in a decade’s time, there will be nothing else necessary.” Marc’s team will go on from Durbuy to a project in Italy

Marc would like to extend an invitation to anyone in the industry interested to see the quality of the Bushtec range for themselves. The company is also looking forward to a debut appearance at The Glamping Show in September, where is has a show-stopping exhibit planned. To find out more contact 0032473462671

The cool, spacious interior of the Shaka






Come into my web! After all, you are looking to drive customers in your direction. We have put together a list of dos and don’ts to help you get the most out of your website. DO: Focus on killer copywriting. Keep it short, sweet and simple. Most people don’t want to read paragraphs of ramblings. DO: Use keywords on your homepage. This will help with your Google ranking. So if you are a yurt, glamping site in Surrey make sure you have used these words on your homepage.

When you are creating a website for your business - there are a few key things you should consider before you get started. What is your unique selling point and how will you attract visitors?

DO: Make sure your website is mobile friendly - 70% of customers will view your website from a mobile device or tablet. DO: Attach a blog to your website regular blog updates can help with SEO. Anytime you add blog posts to your website, you're giving Google more content - meaning your website will show up in searches. DON’T: Choose a really loud, bright colour scheme. This can often put people off. Think about what you offer and use colours that will compliment that.

DON’T: Use too many boxes; keep the page structured. Boxes should be neatly aligned not randomly placed and all different sizes which can make it difficult to navigate. DON’T: Make your users search for something - they'll only look for 30 seconds then come off your website. Including a “book now” button that is placed in a key position on your pages will also help potential customers. Glampaways Media offer a free website analysis just contact us at


Certainly Wood

Making the best of


There is no doubt at all that firewood is becoming an ever more important part of the glamping market. Not only do consumers love a campfire, fire pit or wood burning stove, they also want the comfort to know that the wood will be dry, easy to light and won’t be smokey. At the same time, glamping businesses are beginning to realise the importance of quality, not just for their customers, but perhaps more importantly to ensure wood burning appliances don’t get tarred up by using wet wood which means a much shorter lifespan of the stove. We asked firewood specialist Nic Snell, from Certainly Wood to provide some useful tips.

Managing your supply ■ Keep it simple and whilst you may well have your own supply of woodland to harvest, it might be a lot of work to get these trees into firewood that is ‘ready to burn’ – i.e. below 20% moisture content. ■ If you do produce your own firewood, at least try to understand what is the true cost to you to process, dry and pack into small packs for your customers to buy. You will be surprised at how much it costs. ■ Increasingly, businesses are cutting out all the hassle factor and buying in logs that are ready to burn and at a known unit cost – normally in small manageable bags. ■ It is highly recommended that you try and source ‘Woodsure’ approved firewood that will provide a guaranteed quality. ■ It is recommended that you buy yourself a good moisture meter to monitor quality of your own, or bought in logs. ■ Presumably you will be wanting to make sure your firewood is eco-friendly for your customers so make sure you know its source. A lot of kiln dried logs are now imported from Eastern Europe, so perhaps focus on British firewood and for a longer burn, make sure it’s hardwood!

Storage ■ If you are managing your own supply, don’t underestimate the space required to store and dry 23 years’ worth of stock. ■ If buying in by the pallet, you will only need minimum space undercover, but make sure bags are kept dry. Avoid storing for long periods in barns etc where potentially vermin can get between the bags.

Making it pay ■ Don’t under estimate the potential to make good money from firewood. ■ If you have wood burning stoves in accommodation, its rather a nice touch to provide some form of ‘Welcome pack’ of enough dry logs, kindling and firelighters for the 1st night’s burn. Include fire lighting instructions with this pack as you will be amazed how many people don’t know how to light a fire. ■ Whilst this not only gets people using the right fuel, but it helps them understand how well the stove will perform, and how much heat the dry wood provides. If they then choose to buy some wet firewood from a local garage, or scavenge from hedgerows, they will quickly see the difference. ■ Get your pricing right and if buying in bags, there is no reason why you should not be able to make a profit margin of 30-40%. Kiln dried logs normally retail around £6.50 - £7.00 per bag so pitching just below this price would work well. Don’t get greedy, but equally, don’t under sell. ■ Ideally you want to be able to sell bags of logs, firelighters and kindling in small

pack sizes to suit the short weekend or week-long vacations.

Health & Safety ■ If you do all the necessary risk assessments for wood burning you should have absolutely no concerns about allowing campfires etc. Remember that many campers are specifically looking for sites that allow campfires, so it’s a potential pull and of course accommodation with a wood burning stove is an absolute winner. ■ A good way to reduce risks with campfires is to provide fire pits which can be rented out. ■ Make sure you provide a ‘Safety sheet’ to highlight the potential dangers and showing where fire-fighting equipment is located. Finally, sitting around a campfire and cooking food, is where it all began for mankind. There is just nothing better and it’s important that our children don’t lose the skills of making fire, learn to understand the benefits, but equally learn to respect its dangers. You can provide all this as long as you use the right quality fuel and when you do, there is money to be made. N. Snell –




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Rob’s Column

Staffing Your Site:

What You Need to Consider

Rob Farrow

One of the factors that people forget when planning to open their site is staffing. Back at the start of the glamping industry it was quite normal for the site owner to answer the phone as well as clean the accommodation! Now the public can book online at any time of the day and night allowing people to run a site without having to answer the phone to guests.

That’s not the only area where guests’ expectations are driving ever-higher standards of service. For example, it is no longer acceptable to have cleaners arrive while guests are still using the accommodation. Guests expect a 24/7 concierge style service on site with someone to greet them when they arrive at 11pm. It’s no longer good enough to just have a FAQs pages on your website, the public would much rather ask you their question directly and will expect the phone to be answered within five rings regardless of traditional ‘office hours’. So how do glamping sites provide this constant level of service? The answer is they need to look at recruitment and staffing. Because we still operate parks; unlike most consultants, Country Glamping Holidays remembers the way things used to be done, as well as knowing how they should be done now! Consultancy clients often ask “how many staff will I need?” This is a ‘how long is a piece of string?’ question. The traditional campsite staffing model of ‘wardens’ cleaning the facilities, cutting grass, taking bookings and payments is


Rob’s advice columns, ‘How to’ articles and seminars are well known in the Glamping Industry. Rob hails from a family owned leisure business that has been operating holiday parks for over half a century. Rob has overseen the provision of Glamping holidays since 2006, he then founded a separate division adding bespoke Glamping delivery to other parks, followed by consultancy services on creating Glamping sites and pop-up sites for events and founded another specific Glamping site.

hard to transpose over to glamping. This is mainly because glamping guests receive more services and as such there are more tasks than one person can handle (trust me, I’ve tried). The number of staff you need is dictated by several factors; the number of glamping accommodations you provide, the level of service and most importantly how much you are willing to do yourself. It is perfectly possible for someone with one or two yurts that they want to let at weekends in the summer to buy an off the shelf online booking system, restrict check in to specific days and times and thus be able to have a hobby glamping site. However, If you wish to run a glamping site as a commercial business then you are talking about a completely different kettle of fish. You will need to consider

Rob’s Column

who will be your duty first-aider, duty fire marshal and emergency contacts. How you will administer the staff pension fund, PAYE, payroll and HR roles even before you begin to consider shifts and holiday entitlement. In order to give some deeper insight let us consider an example; a hobby site that is open seasonally with four yurts. Broadly speaking, we can divide the jobs required into two categories: Site and Office jobs. Even with online booking, you will need someone to deal with basic office jobs, tasks like paying bills, wages, insurance, advertisements, organising training for the site team, maintaining the website, organise shifts, etc. and this is on the basis that no guests wish to call or email and ask questions. Site jobs will generally be focussed on accommodation and facilities; cleaning and maintenance, as well as front of house tasks such as check-in and being on call or grounds work such as cutting grass and repairing the site. It is possible to use technology to allow you to combine both roles, but it can feel like a never-ending task if one moment you’re cleaning the toilets then the phone rings in your pocket and at the end of the call you have someone arrive that you need to check-in before you return to the cleaning you were doing initially.

Define each role and write a Job Description so you know what you require from the applicants. Build around the Job Description to create an advert. There is no point putting an ad in a local paper saying ‘campsite warden required’ and interviewing, if someone’s interpretation of that role is different to yours. Making things clear from the start saves everyone hassle. As a minimum the advert should include the following: 1. Job Title 2. Job Description/About the Job 3. Responsibilities 4. The qualifications and experience required 5. Experience with specific equipment 6. The salary and benefits offered 7. The person to contact 8. The required references The job advert should also include the start date and relevant end date, in the example of a seasonal hobby site. Don’t forget to tell applicants how to apply, the application process and the closing date. Once you’ve decided the roles you need, you must then work out the number of staff required. This is generally dependent on the amount of accommodation you provide and the length of your season. Some simple questions to ask yourself are: will they work on a daily basis, fixed shifts or a rota? How many hours do you need your team on for? How will you cover night shifts?

Choosing your staff is the next task. Of the myriad ways to recruit staff and variety of types of applicants; students, couples, traditional wardens, inexperienced applicants, service industry applicants, the key is getting the right people for the job. Over the years, we have refined an interview system based on real life scenarios, which we use on our own sites. Our consultancy clients tell us is very useful for finding the right type of staff member. To make life easier for glamping site owners, this is available to purchase as an electronic file. After you select your team make sure you communicate to all applicants quickly; don’t forget people tend to apply to lots of positions at once. It is just as important to politely reply to people and tell them they were unsuccessful as it is to let then successful applicants know they got the job, after all even unsuccessful applicants can talk to people about your site. Finally, plan your staff training. As a minimum you will want first aiders and fire marshals. There are numerous ways these qualifications can be obtained and we are always happy to advise our clients as to the best options. If you have specific questions on this or other topics relating to founding or operating a glamping site please feel free to contact our team of experienced glamping park experts via our website







Ask Kate: your glamping agony aunt

Hi Kate

We think we’ve got just about everything else sorted but still haven’t decided on what kind of toilet facilities to provide, so wondered if you could give us some advice on septic tank vs compost loos? We’ve got a water supply to the site although the idea (and cost) of installing a full-on tank system is a bit overwhelming, but I can’t get my head around the non-flush kind of loos, we’re hoping you can help us make our minds up. Thanks, Kerry & Stu

Hi Kerry & Stu Thanks for writing in. Whilst this is an unglamorous aspect of setting up a glamping site, it is also one that causes the most discussion when I am advising owners. Whether you go for a septic tank / treatment system or compost toilet, depends on a few things: your budget, subsoil type, space / access for groundworks, proximity of watercourses, what you want to handle, and the level of glamping you intend to offer. Most accommodation will happily suit a compost loo of some sort, but high-end glamping usually includes a flushing system. There are a few variables in each, but here are the basics of both flushing and composting systems:

Flushing Toilet 1. Septic tank installation: Doesn’t require electricity, but does need emptying by a waste contractor who takes the waste off-site. Septic tanks require groundwork and drainage as they use grey water soakaway, so it’s not possible to install


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

these in clay-based ground. Actually, they cost about the same as some of the new compost loo units. I have also seen small, home-made installations using plastic drums that seem to work just as well. There’s also an old system used by churches, but maybe we are going a little ‘off piste’ here. If you want to provide flushing loos but with eco credentials you could use rainwater / reclaimed water for the flush system and use a plant based Ecological system that takes the grey water through a reedbed. 2. Treatment Systems, these require electricity to run, can be a little more costly to buy and require groundworks, but can be installed in clay based ground as they convert the grey water back to clean within the system rather than an external soakaway.

Compost Toilets: All composting toilets are waterless and use a carbon-based material, like sawdust, that’s added after use which assists the composting process and reduces odours which is also much improved when urine is separated. 1. Traditional ‘long drop’ - a pit is dug and a hut placed over the top housing cubicles with a box-style seat in them. Another version I’ve seen has removable containers underneath which are then emptied after each booking. The hut may vary, but the bottom line is everything goes into one receptacle, although the toilet can be fitted with a separator that takes the urine out to a soakaway.

look similar to flushing loos, which makes them more acceptable to use. Most of these toilets operate to the same principle where solid and liquid waste are separated, the liquid goes into a collection tank or soakaway (same watercourse / borehole / spring rules apply), and the solids into a collection tank in the lower half of the toilet unit (which usually has a bin liner bag). Collection tanks need emptying, the contents are either then stored in a larger container on-site for collection by a waste contractor, or composted down / emptied into an on-site soakaway. There are regulations about the discharge of human waste so you might be wise to consult your local Building Regulations and Environment Agency. I’ve put some useful links in our Glamping Business group so do pop in ingBusinessLink/ . I wish you all the very best in your new glamping venture, and do let me know which way you go with your toilets. Please send your questions to, I’ll reply straight away with an answer, which might also be published in the next Glamping Business Magazine. And, for a bit of fun, if you drop me a line noting the toilet related puns in this piece I’ll put your name in a draw to win a place (or 2 if you’re coming with your spouse) in one of my Workshops at this year’s Glamping Show Till next time, have a great summer!

2. Modern specially designed compost toilets – a design movement in composting loos has created toilets that


The Glamping Show Preview

Tap into

Expert Knowledge at

The Glamping Show, the only event of its kind that caters purely for the glamping sector, has grown and evolved since its inception in 2015. It’s not just a great source for glamping products and services but it is also the leading forum for essential industry intelligence. Whether you are in the throes of planning a new glamping site, an established glamping site operator or an event organiser planning temporary event accommodation you can access expert advice, free of charge, at the Glamping Show, to ensure success in your project. You will have the opportunity to meet and listen to industry experts for tips and advice on how to enhance your business going forward, clue yourself up on the latest legislation including data protection and seasonal employment law as well as finding out about the latest technology and services that are currently on the

market to help you enhance, and continue to run, a slick operation. “It is an excellent show. I am in the process of setting up a glamping site and have especially found the seminars useful and very informative. For anyone planning a glamping site the Show is well worth a visit.” Mrs Cheney, Northamptonshire, 2016 Now in its third year, the Glamping Show has become a truly international event and visitors can expect to see glamping suppliers from all corners of the world showcasing an extensive range of different structures from luxury tents, pods and shepherd huts to floating lodges and treehouses plus everything in between as well as a wide range of accessories and all the services you need to ensure the successful running of a glamping business.

visit to the Glamping Show will pay dividends. Make the most of the opportunity to meet the suppliers, planners and builders in one place, all of whom can help you successfully start a new glamping site or indeed take your business to the next level. Network with others who have already made the leap and tap into an exceptional knowledge bank. Visit the Glamping Show and see where it leads you; Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 September 2017.

“The Glamping Show is the perfect place to find everything in one place, great show!” Caroline, Hampshire, 2016 Glamping is now an established and recognised part of the holiday and tourism sectors with a strong sustainable future and the industry has enjoyed exponential growth in the last few years. So, whatever stage your business is at a




37 35

The Glamping Show Preview

What’s on Display at this Year’s

Glamping Show

Now in its third year, The Glamping Show has become a truly international event and visitors can expect to see glamping suppliers from all corners of the world showcasing an extensive range of different structures from luxury tents, pods and shepherd huts to floating lodges and treehouses plus everything in between as well as a wide range of accessories and all the services you need to ensure the successful running of a glamping business. Here is a line-up of some of the exhibitors you can expect to see at this year’s show.


Boldscan Returning to the show this year is award winning Boldscan; one of the most experienced providers on the market today. The team will be launching their largest ever structure at this year’s exhibition. It is not to be missed. Web: Tel: 01823 653034

Brosterfield Shepherd Huts Brosterfield is a team of highly skilled craftsmen, joiners, engineers, electricians and plumbers, specialising in the manufacture and construction of bespoke Shepherd Huts. Web: Tel: 01433 630312




French company Cabanon will be showcasing their latest structure, the Natuna, which offers customers an innovative, modular design with panoramic openings. The Natuna will wow you! Web: Tel: +33 3 28 25 46 46

Canvas and Tent


Canvas and Tent are coming all the way from South Africa to showcase their extensive range of canvas safari

tents. Meet the team at this year’s show. Web: Tel: +27 12 671 1010

Clear Sky Safari One of the ‘go-to’ companies for safari tents and it’s not hard to see why. They specialise in supplying stunning safari tents, made to the very highest quality. Web: Tel: 0845 299 6484

Crown & Canopy


Crown and Canopy specialise in designing and building complete glamping sites and bespoke retreat spaces that create unique spaces ranging from shepherds huts to cabins, yurts and retreats. Web: Tel: 07837 162452

The Glamping Show Preview

MattressMan If you need mattresses for your glamping site then look no further than the Mattressman Trade department providing high-quality mattresses, bed frames and divans across the country. Web: Tel: 0800 5677 625

Off Grid Designs Davies & Co Chartered Surveyors specialising in advising leisure and tourism operators on rural planning, development and business rates. Web: Tel: 01536 524808

One Night Stand

Green Cabin Company Designers and builders of rooms and structures for outside spaces that are energy efficient and sustainable so your new structure will have a minimal impact on the environment. Web: Tel: 024 7767 3380




Welcome to Off Grid Designs, they supply the best quality waterless toilets and components for urine-separating solutions. Visit the team at this year’s show. Web: Tel: 01756 798818


Try before you buy with new exhibitor One Night Stand. If you are looking to expand your glamping business why not take advantage of One Night Stand’s ‘Try Before You Buy’ scheme. Web: Tel: 07872 046 364



Invite your guests into a whole new setting. With the captivating architecture of Freedomes’ interior space you can be sure your guests will experience a truly unique and memorable visit. Web: www.freedomes .com Tel: 020 3695 4246

Every business has different needs. Prepared4 provides tailored training solutions to help you manage business and operational risks, however they may manifest themselves. Be prepared with Prepared4. Web: Tel: 01342 775005



Landpod has designed and patented an all-terrain camping pod which fills a gap in the market. A simple, innovative design that does not rely on ground conditions to provide a comfortable platform for enjoying the great outdoors. Web: Tel: 07715 728967


Saniflo will be showcasing their range of shower facilities, which are perfect for unconventional situations and can be

installed almost anywhere. Saniflo has a whole range of products for a variety of applications for light or heavy usage. Web: Tel: 020 8842 0033

The Log Pod Conceived as an all-year-round living space, The Log Pod is as welcoming in winter as in the heat of summer and unlike any tent the Log Pod is designed to have a lifespan of least 25 years. Web: Tel: 01269 850005

Wigwam Holidays Boost your income by becoming one of Wigwam’s brand franchisees with your own glamorous, quality, heated wooden Wigwams – attracting visitors in and out of season – and bringing in generous revenue streams. Web: Tel: 0131 450 7126

Yurts 4 Life Yurts for Life are able to take your from idea and empty field, all the way through to your finished Glampsite. They can even look after your yurts all year round with their bespoke maintenance packages. Web: Tel: 01803 762370

“The Glamping Show is the perfect place to find everything in one place, great show!” Caroline, Hampshire, 2016

Lune Valley Pods Makers of bespoke camping pods ideal for glamping and campsites, households with limited space, children’s sleepovers, office workspace, playhouses. Web: Tel: 01524 782600

Visit the Glamping Show and see where it leads you; Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 September 2017.







Product News For Space and Starlight Choose Blackdown Blackdown Shepherd Huts are specially designed to make the best possible use of space, and they are all handmade in Somerset. Farms, hotels, pubs and campsites are perfect locations for these traditional shepherd huts, to create an amazing glamping retreat. The Shepherds Huts can be self-built, or ordered bespoke specific to customers’ needs. Turnkey huts are 18 feet long and contain a double bed, seating, kitchen area and a bathroom with shower and flushing toilet. A recent addition is the stargazing window - a must for the hut on the farmland that looks up at the night sky. Blackdown's aim is make huts that offer a unique space and the company appreciates that storage space is always important.

Blackdown Shepherd Huts frequently accommodate requests for extra storage and will go out of their way to shape design solutions to suit your needs. Farms can really benefit from setting up a glamping business, and Blackdown can give you all the advice you need for your hut.

Dealing with the demands of Holiday Season Working alongside hoteliers and holiday park owners, Argos for Business (AfB), a leading provider of merchandise to the hospitality sector, is offering hospitality providers a special account allowing access to over 50,000 Argos products. The free account can be used as and when needed for everything a glamping business might need. Bathroom additions like bath mats and shower curtains, kitchen items like kettles, crockery and microwaves, and even entertainment essentials such as TVs, video games and toys are available. Site-wide products such as BBQs, parasols, patio sets and bar stools can also be purchased to ensure every element of the property is kitted out. The account offers up to four per cent discount on all orders, a simple way to stretch budgets further, and it also provides extended payment terms of up to 37 days, easing the pressure on hospitality businesses when unexpected costs are incurred.

The added convenience of multiple cards on a single account allows several colleagues in the hotel to use the account, providing greater flexibility during busy periods. This should offer peace of mind to the hotel manager / owner when they are off site, as they know that colleagues have the funds readily available to deal with a crisis, while centrally maintaining control of budgets. Facilitating excellent customer service and revolutionising the procurement process further, Argos’ Fast Track solution is a same day delivery or collection service, providing increased speed and efficiency to the hospitality sector. Business customers are now guaranteed same day delivery on many items straight to their premises on orders placed by 6pm, seven days a week. A service that can offer glamping operators a quick and efficient delivery times is desirable, especially when items need replacing as a matter of urgency, avoiding disruptions to guests and

minimising the amount of time staff have to spend off site. During what could become a pressured period for the business, this strategy can afford it more time to focus on delivering excellent customer service, which is to vital in securing future bookings. There is no minimum spend on the Argos Business Account, so operators can set up an account now and ensure they are well prepared for these worst-case scenarios and busy periods. To apply for an Argos Business Account online or to seek advice, please visit





Product News

Quality Commercial Furniture to suit all needs The LeisureBench range of outdoor furniture is extensive, and some of it is also suitable for indoor use. Firstly there is the stunning range made from Grade ‘A’ premier teak, which includes an extensive range of benches. For an even more comfortable relaxed experience, take a look at our Oasis Rattan collection, which is modern, durable, very strong and is virtually maintenance-free.

from recycled plastic is tough, long lasting and good for the environment. New products introduced this year include: Rattan and light fibrestone planters: The new Rattan planters are designed to complement your Rattan garden furniture. They are available in various colours and sizes, some of which include self-watering technology. The fibrestone range, made from fibreglass, stone powder and polyurethane are aesthetically pleasing, modern looking and available in many shapes and sizes.

If you require furniture that is easy to move, take a look at the aluminium range. The hardwood furniture is carefully selected from trusted and certified sources. There is also an extensive collection of heavy-duty picnic tables that are available in round and ‘A’ frame designs. Hard and soft ground fixings are also supplied.

Polypropylene chairs: Mix and match designer chairs are currently on-trend. Our exciting new ranges come in a variety of colours.

cement range is the next generation in the demand for industrial style furniture. It comprises a table and bench set made from a composite material renowned for its strength and durability, with natural acacia wood legs. LeisureBench also stocks a wide range of accessories, including parasols, cushions and jumbrellas etc. and can deliver nationwide

LeisureBench furniture made entirely

Fibre cement furniture: The new Fibre

Receive more bookings for your glampsite with is a booking website to help holiday-makers easily find and book camping, glamping, caravanning and selfrental accommodation online. Launched earlier this year, and focusing specifically on the UK & Ireland market, have seen a 284% rise in the number of visitors to the site since April 2017. Andrew Norris, comments, “We wanted to create a quality website that is simple and easy to use and delivers great results. Taking bookings via 3rd party websites can be expensive, with some sites charging a 10-25% commission for each booking. At we offer a business model that is low cost, high volume and great quality. Creating a profile on is free; there are no sign-up fees and no subscription costs. We have one of the lowest commission rates in the industry at 5% per confirmed booking.” Andrew continues, “Within recent years, we have observed a growth in online bookings made via one stop shop 3rd party booking websites. The need for these types of website are largely driven by holiday makers, who want the convenience and ability to search across multiple locations, filtering and sorting by area, price, customer reviews and features to suit their individual


preferences. As already experienced by the Hotel industry, we believe that over the coming years, there will be a rise in consumer demand for these comparison based websites specific to the camping industry.” There is a growing network of glampsites receiving bookings through By promoting your glampsite via this additional shop window, you are allowing more customers to find and book your accommodation directly online. actively promotes your listing to an audience of potential customers, exposing you to a new market of opportunity to help generate more bookings.

Product News

Enhancing the Glamping Experience Shepherd’s Hut, Yurt, Pod… whatever the Glamping haven you have created there is going to be no simpler pleasure for your guests than being outside, grabbing a few cool beers, having a barbeque and spending time chatting with one another late into the evening. And as the temperature drops, then a fire basket is just what is needed to provide the atmospheric charm of a real fire and welcome warmth. What better to achieve all this and more with the design award winning Hoefats CUBE. Much more than a mere fire basket, Hoefats CUBE is a multipurpose piece of outdoor furniture to enthuse and surprise. By day a stool,

bench or side-table, but at barbeque time simply turn it upside down, its integral fire bowl will remain in balance due to gravity. For best barbeque results, guaranteed ready to cook in just 30 minutes, Welsh Dragon Fuels & Stoves recommend DIE Kohle Manufaktur Premium BBQ Grill Briquettes lit using a Chimney Starter and Gel Paste. And when everyone has eaten their fill Hoefats CUBE can become a fire basket, just add Camp Fire Mix kilnconditioned logs and/or Firelite 18 Multi-Fuel Briketts and your guests will have a fire to watch the sun come up. Welsh Dragon Fuels & Stoves

You’ll be sleeping with the family…

The TiiPii – a hammock to hide away in.. The TiiPii hammock bed is extremely versatile – a perfect pocket away from the world, with enough room for 2-3 adults or up to 4-6 children to enjoy… However that completely depends whether you want to share it!

Landpod was a massive hit with Glamping Show visitors last year and the team has now launched a new family size Glamping pod for 2017, called The Pod Father. Retailing at under £3,000 the Pod Father sleeps up to four adults and two children. It is robust and low maintenance and has a fully waterproof blackout PVC cover, which can be flipped up if guests want to bask in the sun!

Hang your TiiPii Bed under your favourite spot on the patio, the porch, or pop it in the garden. It’s the perfect glamping accessory. And the best part…? The TiiPii compacts down better than a contortionist. Effortlessly right back into a small 70cm convenient carry bag- weighing only 7kgs.

The Pod Father allows for quick and easy installation and can be moved easily. Adjustable legs and playform allows it to be built on any type of ground without the need for foundations. There are also bunk bed options.

For more detail and to see video of The Pod Father visit





Final Word

Final word:

Vive La Revolution! By Calum O’Connor & Charley Tysler – Le Monteil Revolution - Limousin

After seven years serving in the Royal Navy, we were ready for a change. We had always talked about living abroad and this seemed like the right time. We have no kids, so we just needed to work out how to pay our mortgage and put food on the table. We only had to decide what to do and where to go! A mass Google search narrowed down our options to Canada, Italy, Spain or France and an experience of glamping and love of the countryside plus a desire to keep animals, made us consider starting a glamping business. We quickly narrowed down the search to France and then to the region of Limousin, where property was within our budget. We spent a few months researching properties online while Calum was deployed in the Middle East and then booked our viewings in December when we could see the properties in some of the worst weather. We saw a total of 13 places, ranged widely in budget and style and geekily made a scoring system so that we would not mix them up! We carried out viewings with both English and French agents as well as


private sellers and were lucky enough to finally buy Le Monteil privately from a British woman. This saved us a lot of money in agent’s fees and also helped us, as the lady we bought from was able to advise us on the process. We put in the offer in January and by the end of April we had moved in!

Built during the midst of the French Revolution in 1792 (hence the campsite name) we are currently restoring the farm cottage and the land around it. We also have two luxurious glamping domes complete with king-sized beds, wood burning stoves and off-grid battery and solar power lighting.

The major difference with the UK system is that you pay a deposit of 10% at the start – this is called the compromis de vente. This is lost if the buyer pulls out and protects the buyer too as it stops the process of gazumping, which is all too common in the UK.

With so much to do, we decided to try and make marketing it as easy as possible. We built our own website, using a professional website builder tool. We also researched booking agencies in the UK that dealt with glamping businesses abroad. Initially we decided to go with Cool Camping for a variety of reasons, and I had a successful and productive meeting with them at last year’s Glamping Show at Stoneleigh. We are

We have been incredibly lucky to enjoy the full support of our neighbours for our project. We spoke with the local Mairie before we bought in order to ensure they were happy with our plans. Our immediate neighbours have been involved throughout the process of renovation and development of our site and are delighted to see the property come to life again. They speak no English, so we are grateful for their patience with our bad French and their help with our vegetable plot as well as their boulangerie recommendations! Rural France has an incredible community spirit and to succeed, it is necessary to throw yourselves into the thick of it, or risk being seen as standoffish. Although daunting at first; we are incredibly glad that we have made an effort as we have received nothing but goodwill in return.

Final Word

now exploring other booking options to supplement that of Cool Camping which include Airbnb and also Canopy and Stars, who recently changed their policy on the requirement to be the exclusive agent for a site to apply only to their UK properties. Cool Camping have been fantastic in the initial stages of setting up our business and have provided us with multiple PR opportunities such as the inclusion of Le Monteil Revolution in their “Cool Camping France Guide” and the organisation of a review by a UK broadsheet journalist. We also applied to be on the Channel 4 TV show “A New Life in the Sun” and will be part of Season 3, which is set to air in January 2018. We are hoping that this will help boost our bookings for the Spring/Summer season of next year.

developing our Facebook and Pinterest pages. Social media marketing is incredibly powerful and making a footprint of your business online is essential to ensuring business success.

Alongside the website, booking agency, reviews and the TV show we have also been working hard on our social media channels, so we have active Instagram and Twitter accounts and are currently

We bought Le Monteil two months before the EU referendum in the UK. The biggest implication of the Brexit result for us and for our guests is that the pound doesn’t go nearly as far. Had we





tried to buy the house post-referendum we would not have been able to afford it and would have lost our deposit, so we feel very lucky. We have no idea what the further implications of Brexit will be but we will mitigate the risk by establishing ourselves further in our community and supporting local businesses with the tourism that Le Monteil Revolution.


Contact Kath today for details of our classifieds package t: +44 (0) 7575 408580 e: GLAMPING FRANCHISE


Sewage Treatment Systems

including Electric Free Biomatic Systems


Tel: 01295 236101/07799 880293 Visit us on stand 72 at The Glamping Show 21-23 September 2017, NAEC Stoneleigh Park, CV8 2LZ



Whether you are an established glamping operator or planning to launch a glamping business; a visit to the Glamping Show will pay dividends! Discover the latest products and services and attend any of over 60 seminars covering every aspect of setting up and running a glamping business - FREE.


TO REGISTER THE GLAMPING SHOW 21st – 23rd September 2017

NAEC, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire




13 39 43


...and see where it leads you

21st - 23rd September 2017

NAEC, Warwickshire

Register now to visit

International Glamping Business July Issue  

Choosing our cover picture is always one of my favourite jobs and this month there was no contest – it had to be Carwyn Jones’ Dragon’s Eye,...

International Glamping Business July Issue  

Choosing our cover picture is always one of my favourite jobs and this month there was no contest – it had to be Carwyn Jones’ Dragon’s Eye,...