Yes, you read it: there has probably never been a better time to set up a glamping business in Australia. Why would you say? Isn’t there some crazy virus going around, killing off tourism altogether? Well yes, a lot is going on and with that, a lot is changing. A whole new (primarily domestic) market is arising at the moment. And when travelling is up and running again, you and your glamping site will actually be one of the directions these new travellers are heading towards! 

Who are your new customers? – Get to know the Australian NEOs

The entire tourism industry has been put upside down, turned inside out, and upside down again after COVID19. But it’s not only tourism that has changed. It’s also the traveller that has! In fact: the modern consumer has been changing for a while now, and in order to keep up with what they want – we need to understand who they are. 

These new customers are called “NEOs” and alongside the “traditionals”, NEO’s have been around for a while now. Within this group, you find travellers who purchase travel with a conscience, travellers who look beyond “what everyone else is doing” and choose experience over the location. They are looking for authenticity, and for something they can learn from. They want to contribute and feel like they are doing the right thing for humanity ánd nature. We are looking at a whole new generation of travellers. 

That sounds like millennials you might think… Yes, the new generation of travellers consist of millennials, but not all millennials are NEOs and not all NEOs are millennials. The difference between millennials and NEOs is that NEOs are usually well educated, or raised as socially progressive individualists with a humanist leaning towards social justice.

Why NEOs love glamping

As the social media trend keeps spreading, (especially Instagram and “influencers”) NEO’s are growing in their search for authenticity on the web. Pictures and holiday experiences all need to be “Instagrammable” and it’s no longer about the location, but it’s about the experience. 

Glamping is an incredible way of bringing more than just a camping night, without losing the luxury and comfort of a hotel room. 

NEOs don’t mind paying a little extra as long as it’s value for money! This attitude also clearly manifests in the NEOs spending behaviour: NEOs love beer but prefer craft beer. They put less value on materialistic items such as cars, or holiday resorts. The new travellers prefer to use Uber and Airbnb. NEOs are inconspicuous consumers. They define themselves by who they are and what they stand for.

NEOs are not only social-media-millennials, but also modern families, who usually would have usually taken their children on a holiday abroad to teach them about other cultures, nature, and local products /cuisine. These parents would likely have never thought about travelling in Australia, and are now looking to connect their children with an experience – something that they can learn from, and create memories.

Why now is the time to start a glamping business

50% of the Australian population is considered to be “NEO” consumers. (NEOs – (24%) 4.7 million, and aspiring NEOs – (26%) 5.3 million). Together they are responsible for $512 billion in the economy, in comparison to the $364 billion the other 50% of consumers “the traditionals” are spending.

Due to COVID-19 Australian borders are not likely to open before 2021. Some even say, if no vaccine is found, this could be 2022. The tourism industry in Australia is therefore heavily dependent on re-marketing their products to a different market: the domestic market. This market is looking for unique & nature-based experiences in their own local backyard, without having to give up any comfort. They don’t mind paying a little extra, as long as they make memories. 

Right now, glamping experiences are scarce in Australia. You can find the occasional bell tent here and there, but only a few have actually adapted to this NEO market. A world will go open for those that are interested to take on the glamping journey. Safari tents, Domes and even Glamtainers, a shipping container converted into an apartment, are the new accommodation in tourism anno 2021. Return of investments has proven to pay out within 2 years. Your customer will love it, and you will love it. 

The right time to start a glamping business is NOW. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. Curious to find out how? Read more about how to start a glamping business in our blog. Or contact us for tailor-made glamping solutions. 

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