Comprehensive Guide to Starting a Glamping Business in 2024

May 08, 2024

Have you been thinking of launching your own glamping business? 

With some upfront work and low investment,  a glamping business can allow you to embark on the rewarding entrepreneurship journey in this fast-growing ecotourism niche. With its low barriers to entry, scalability, and lots of room for creativity, starting a glamping business may be the perfect fit for you. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to kickstart your glamping business while shedding light on emerging trends in the industry. Let’s explore everything you need to know about this fast-growing ecotourism niche.

What is glamping? 

Glamping, short for glamorous camping, is a style of accommodation with amenities and services not usually associated with traditional camping. It offers a unique blend of adventure and comfort, catering to travellers seeking an experience that satisfies their need for connection to the wild while enjoying comfortable amenities. Glamping can range from tents, tipis, domes and yurts. The most successful glamping businesses are built sustainably and equipped with consideration and creative flair. Glamping is considered part of the Outdoor Hospitality tourism sector, which also includes camping, RVing and cabin rentals.

Who is glamping for? 

Glamping is for everyone!  The glamping industry is growing and attracts a wide range of travellers who value being in the outdoors. Today’s glampers seek adventure, comfort, and immersion in nature. Glamping attracts people from all walks of life: nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, wellness seekers, and those newer to camping. 

Why is glamping a great business opportunity?

  • Rising Demand Glamping has surged in popularity recently as travellers seek out unique experiences. Several organizations in the US, including Dyrt and KOA Campgrounds, track detailed camping and glamping data and statistics. Dyrt’s 2023 Annual Report notes that 1.7 million Americans tried glamping or a variation of ‘glamorous camping’ last year. Unlike traditional camping, glamping caters to individuals who crave adventure without sacrificing comfort. This growing demand presents a lucrative market for entrepreneurs to tap into. Luxury Camping is a relative newcomer to the sustainable tourism space, meaning there is still a lot of room for new glamping businesses to establish themselves and evolve in the industry.
  • Low Initial Investment Unlike vacation rentals and resorts, starting a glamping business requires a lower initial investment. The backbone of a glamping business is portable structures such as tents, yurts, and domes, and the cost of glamping tents is significantly less than fixed roof construction, such as cabins, lodges and motels. Therefore, upfront costs associated with construction and permits make it more financially feasible for new entrepreneurs with limited capital. 
  • Scalability Glamping businesses offer scalability opportunities, allowing you to start small and gradually expand operations as demand grows. Whether adding more accommodations, introducing new amenities, or diversifying services, you can adapt your glamping structures to meet evolving customer preferences and market trends. For example, you can start with a few sites, gradually adding additional amenities as demand for your business grows.
  • Unique Selling Proposition  By offering a distinctive alternative to traditional accommodations, glamping entrepreneurs can carve out a niche market and differentiate their offerings from their competitors, enhancing your business's appeal and profitability. Take it further and incorporate top glamping niches such as yoga, wellness, stargazing, farm-to-table, etc. 
  • Flexibility Starting a glamping business offers flexibility you may not find in other tourism markets.  Entrepreneurs can choose diverse settings such as forests, mountains, beaches, or vineyards to create a memorable experience for guests. Depending on the location, your glamping business can operate seasonally or year-round, allowing you to tailor your business to guest preferences and lifestyles.
  • Appeal to Diverse Audiences Glamping appeals to a wide range of travellers, such as outdoor enthusiasts, families, couples, and comfort seekers. This diversity in target markets provides ample opportunities to attract different customer segments and maximize occupancy rates throughout the year. Market research is needed to identify emerging trends and stay ahead of changing consumer preferences. You can develop an outstanding glamping business by keeping your finger on the pulse of the latest trends. 

Emphasis on Sustainability Eco-friendly and sustainable practices are increasingly important to travellers, especially in the glamping sector, which thrives on immersion in natural environments. The opportunities for consumers to engage in truly sustainable tourism are readily available in the glamping sector. 

Glamping offers a way of developing lodging and amenities that are light on the land, generally use fewer resources and can even be designed to be off-grid and self-sustaining in many ways. Sustainable tourism is also about sustainable culture, and glamping camps offer an opportunity to work closely with the local community to source unique building materials, employ local trades and hosts, set up local supply partners for food and other guest supplies that truly support the local economy while delivering a sense of place. 

Consider incorporating green initiatives such as solar power, composting toilets, and locally sourced materials. Eco-conscious guests will appreciate your efforts. Use eco-friendly materials like reclaimed wood, recycled plastic, or bamboo when building glamping accommodations. These materials minimize environmental impact and give your glamping accommodations a unique, natural look.

Opportunities for Creativity  Starting a glamping business offers a canvas for creativity and innovation. A standout feature of starting a glamping business is the ability to infuse your creativity into the industry. From designing themed accommodations to curating unique guest experiences, you can infuse your personality and passion into every aspect of the hotel's glamping site. When creating your glamping business plan, a little creativity goes a long way. When starting your glamping business, think outside of the box - glamping provides no shortage of possibilities to creative entrepreneurs. 

Top Glamping Trends 2024

Glamping trends for 2024 offer various options to cater to different preferences and needs. Here are the top glamping trends to consider that will continue to gain traction in 2024:

Unique Accommodation Options  Diversify your offerings beyond traditional tents to include yurts, safari tents, tipis, and geodesic domes. Provide luxurious amenities such as plush bedding, private bathrooms, and gourmet dining options to elevate the guest experience.

Immersive Activities and Experiences Create curated experiences that immerse guests in the local culture and natural beauty of the surroundings. To enhance their stay, offer activities such as guided nature hikes, wildlife viewing, and stargazing sessions.

Wellness and Relaxation Cater to the growing demand for wellness-focused getaways by incorporating spa services, yoga classes, meditation sessions, and wellness retreats into your glamping experience. Provide opportunities for guests to rejuvenate their mind, body, and spirit amidst tranquil surroundings.

Hands-on experiences: Consider adding experiential learning to your glamping business, such as bushcraft, campfire cooking, or nature photography. Your guests will be thankful for the experience and feel empowered having learned a new skill.

Digital Detox and Unplugged Escapes Capitalize on the trend of digital detoxification by offering unplugged retreats where your guests can disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. Providing amenities such as board games, books, and outdoor lounging areas to encourage relaxation and mindfulness is key.

How to set up a glamping business

You have an excellent idea for a glamping business, but not sure where to begin? Consider fast-tracking your glamping business success with The Firecircle.

The Firecircle provides essential support and guidance. The Firecircle’s suite of programs are offered in various Memberships, such as the Business Builder Program, Tourism Business Accelerator and the Firecircle Community membership - all designed with your success in mind. 

  • Business Builder Program - Are you in the early stages of starting your glamping business or just want to make it the best it can be? Sometimes, you must find the proper framework and support to map things out and move ahead. Firecircle’s Business Builder Program is a custom business planning tool to guide you through all critical areas of launching your business, including a custom business plan. 
  • Firecircle Community Membership: Starting a tourism business can feel isolating. Even if you don’t need the business planning programs that Firecircle offers, we can offer you an accessible, inclusive community to network with and build relationships with as you grow your business. The Firecircle Community Membership This level of membership includes 7x Business Mentorship labs and 2x Marketing labs every week - choose from 9 different topics each week! And you’ll be connecting with other entrepreneurs on the same stage of their journey as you and knowledge sharing can be invaluable.  

Starting your glamping business is an exciting venture requiring planning, creativity, and dedication. Learning as much as you can about the industry and business, staying attuned to emerging trends, adopting sustainable tourism practices and leveraging the incredible knowledge base of other tourism professionals, our expert mentors and resources can help you ignite your glamping business dreams. Explore all the ways The Firecircle can help!