By starting a glamping business ourselves several years ago, we have learned (through trial and error) almost all there is to know about building this kind of organization from the ground up. The joys but also the stresses around starting a business are actually something we still deal with on a daily basis. Besides learning by doing, we have also received help & feedback from other glamping specialists, which we thankfully applied to our knowledge each year in order to design better and more durable products. We have a great passion for glamping and the industry as a whole, and we hope to share our knowledge with you!
Glamping is THE upcoming travelling trend right now, and the industry is growing rapidly. Still in doubt, if you want to start a glamping business or not? Read here why now is the best time to jump in!
Starting at the beginning: the planning, the permits and the financing are usually where the biggest pain points are. But once that’s all sorted: the fun truly starts! No glamping experience is the same, therefore your tent should be tailored to your client’s specific needs and your location.
It’s always scary to start something new, but it doesn’t mean it has to be difficult.
Here are some tips on how to start a glamping business including everything you have to keep in mind when constructing a glamping tent.
Step 1: It all starts with a passion, idea and vision
Running a glamping business is not just a (second) source of income. It usually starts with a passion for new experiences, a wish to connect with new people, or a passion to try out something new. If you like it: your customers will like it even more! Besides passion, it’s also recommendable to create a business plan, no matter how big the size of your project.
A glamping business plan will help you to choose (and understand) your customer, make you realise who you want to (or have to) work together with, and understand the costs that are going to be involved. Find more information about the ideal glamping customer in our article: Who goes Glamping?
Step 2: Finding the perfect location
First of all, as obvious as it might sound, you need the land and space for installing your glamping experience. Your customer is looking for something unique and authentic, so the more special your location is, the better experience the customer gets.
Read more about finding your perfect location here: What is the best location for glamping?
Step 3: Applying for a permit
Unfortunately, getting a permit in Australia is usually the longest part of starting a glamping business. Depending on how your land is zoned, each state in Australia has different application requirements in order to get building permits.
Usually, farmland or recreational land (vineyard etc) are the easiest, residential zoning has proven to be a very hard process. To find out what applies to you, read more here: How do you get a permit for glamping?
Step 4: Picking your product
There are many different glamping products and you will need to find out which ones fit your business best. You can start easily with the common “ bell tent” and slowly make your way towards a safari tent, dome or even a glamtainer! The main things you have to keep in mind when choosing your product, are the amenities (do you want a bathroom or not?), the return of investment (with a safari tent you can charge a lot more per night) and the upkeep (cleaning). Lastly, you could consider the return of investment by duration: a bell tent will last approximately 5 years, compared to a safari tent which has proven to last 10 years so far (and still standing).
Step 5: Picking your supplier
There are a few suppliers in Australia that offer glamping tents and products. Make sure to understand the differences between the businesses that try and sell their tents. Most differences are in the quality of the canvas (how durable is a glamping tent?), the process of paying (do you have to buy everything separately or does it come in one package?) and the service you receive (does it need installation, or is it DIY?).
At GlamXpeirence, we include everything from A- Z in your purchase, even after the glamping product has been installed. However, quotes can be tailor-made to your needs. Our tents are of European quality, we offer personalised service and we pride ourselves to be passionate industry leaders. Learn what others think about us.
Step 6: Designing your interior
Beds, composting toilets, tables, kitchens, chairs, cushions, dutch tub, worm farm, cushions, romantic lighting, sauna, …. And it does not stop there! You will need to think about how sustainable your experience is going to be, the amenities you want to offer and how to make your experience suitable for your specific target group. Designing the interior of your glamping tent is the “fun” part. You can decorate it exactly the way you want, or we can get you going with our personal tips and tricks on how to decorate your glamping tent and make it the best possible experience for your customer.
Step 7: Financing your glamping business
Although it can come across as daunting, getting your glamping business financed doesn’t have to be hard. Please keep in mind all the extra costs that are coming into play such as sewage, waste disposal, cleaning etc. When you apply for your finance, it’s important to include all of the costs related. Learn more about this topic in our article: How do I finance my glamping project? Because of the high potential and big demand for glamping experiences, the return of investment usually should usually not take longer than a maximum of 2 years.
Step 8: Determining a nightly price
Once your tent has been paid off, delivered, installed and decorated, you can start selling! Setting your rates can be tricky, but don’t feel anxious or undervalue your product: your primary target group (the NEO’s), are willing to pay! Find more information on this topic here: How much should I charge per night?
Step 9: Marketing your glamping experience
How to get people to book your glamping accommodation severely depends on the target market you are going for. There are many platforms like Airbnb where you can advertise your nights and manage your reservations. Depending on the size of your glamping business, you might also need an external reservation system. It’s important that your local tourist information centre knows who you are, but there are lots of opportunities in marketing online as well; through Facebook and Instagram for example (by using influencers).
We hope these tips for setting up your glamping business were helpful! Remember: if you can get the permit, you can get the finance. If you have a business plan, you can get the customers. It does not always have to be “go-big-or-go-home”. It’s also good to “stay-small-and-stay-sane”. We strongly believe that with the right passion and the right effort, anyone can grow from an Airbnb into a retreat if they wanted to, or stick with a small passionate business on the side to connect with likeminded people.
Curious to see what your glamping business could look like?