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Can Glamping Businesses Survive a Recession?

4 min read 0 Comments

Examining the Resilience of Luxury Camping Businesses:

Glamping, the luxurious cousin of traditional camping, has taken the travel industry by storm. But with whispers of a recession on the horizon, some wonder if this glamorous getaway can weather an economic downturn. While glamping businesses aren't guaranteed immunity, their unique position offers potential resilience compared to traditional hospitality sectors. Let's delve into the factors that might influence glamping's performance during a recession.

glamping tent in hawaii on a deck @haven

The Allure of Affordability:

One of glamping's biggest draws is its ability to offer a unique experience at a potentially lower cost than traditional hotels or resorts. During a recession, consumers tend to tighten their belts, prioritizing experiences that deliver value for money. Glamping can fill this niche. Compared to traditional vacations, glamping often eliminates the need for expensive flights and car rentals, as locations are frequently closer to home. Additionally, on-site amenities like pre-furnished accommodations and sometimes even meals can further reduce vacation spending.

The Rise of Staycations:

Economic downturns often see a rise in staycations, where people vacation closer to home. Here, glamping can be a perfect alternative to a traditional staycation. It provides a chance to escape the everyday without traveling far, offering a sense of novelty and adventure. This local appeal can be particularly attractive during recessions, potentially boosting business for glamping sites within driving distance of major cities.

A Unique Appeal:

Glamping caters to a specific audience seeking a blend of nature and comfort. This desire for unique experiences might not disappear entirely during a recession. While some may cut back on travel altogether, others might seek more affordable ways to indulge their wanderlust. Glamping's ability to provide a memorable escape from the ordinary could still hold value for some travelers, even with reduced budgets.

Challenges on the Horizon:

However, glamping isn't recession-proof. Here are some factors that could pose challenges:

  • Discretionary Spending: Glamping often falls under the category of discretionary spending, which is the first to be cut during economic hardship. If disposable income shrinks significantly, glamping experiences might be seen as a luxury many have to forgo.
  • Increased Competition: The glamping industry's popularity has led to a rise in competition. This can lead to price wars or difficulty standing out in a crowded market, especially during a downturn.
  • Operational Costs: Glamping businesses still face operational costs like rent or mortgage payments, maintenance, and staff salaries. If revenue dips significantly, these fixed costs can become a burden.

Strategies for Glamping Businesses in a Recession:

Here are some ways glamping businesses can prepare for and potentially thrive during a recession to secure more glamping reservations:

  • Focus on Value: Highlight the cost-effective aspects of glamping compared to traditional vacations. Emphasize amenities like on-site meals or included activities that can reduce overall vacation spending.
  • Target the Local Market: Recessions often fuel staycations. Market your glamping site to nearby residents seeking a unique local getaway.
  • Offer Packages and Deals: Create special packages or discounts to attract budget-conscious travelers. Consider mid-week deals or shoulder-season promotions to fill occupancy during typically slower periods.
  • Emphasize Unique Experiences: Focus on the unique aspects of your glamping experience - special views, curated activities, or a focus on wellness. This can help your business stand out from competitors and justify its value proposition.
  • Embrace Operational Efficiency: Review your operating costs and identify areas for savings. Explore options for extending your season, offering off-season activities, or partnering with local businesses to reduce expenses.
  • Invest in Affordable Glamping Units: The quickest route to an ROI with your flaming business is to mindfully selecting a rental structure that won’t break the bank and require 5 years to pay for itself.

Affordable Glamping Structures:

timberline tampa glamping tent with bikes and chairs

When it comes to the structures themselves, opting for cost-effective yet comfortable glamping accommodations is vital. Here's where options like canvas bell tents from Life InTents and wall tents from Beckel Canvas can be a wise investment:

  • Durability: Quality canvas tents can be surprisingly durable, withstanding various weather conditions and lasting for several seasons. Adding a fly cover over any canvas tent will allow such an investment to last longer and reduces maintenance time and costs as well.
  • Versatility: Canvas tents come in various sizes, allowing you to cater to different group sizes and budgets. They can also be configured in unique ways to create a more personalized glamping experience.
  • Aesthetics: Canvas camping tents offer a natural aesthetic that blends seamlessly with the outdoors. This aligns with the core appeal of glamping and avoids an overly manufactured feel.
  • Relatively Lower Cost: Compared to pre-built cabins or permanent structures, canvas tents are a more affordable option. This frees up capital for other essential aspects of your glamping business, such as amenities or marketing.

Beyond the Tent:

While canvas tents offer a solid foundation, remember, glamping is about the complete experience. Invest in high-quality bedding, comfortable furniture, and thoughtful touches that elevate the comfort level without being overly extravagant. Adding a unique and upscale style to your tent will also show well in your all important listing photos too.

The Verdict: Not Recession-Proof, But Resilient

While glamping businesses aren't guaranteed immunity from economic downturns, their unique value proposition and potential for affordability position them well compared to some traditional hospitality sectors. By focusing on cost-effectiveness, targeting the local market, and offering unique experiences, glamping businesses can increase their chances of weathering a recession.

Ultimately, the success of any glamping business, recession or not, hinges on its ability to adapt, offer value, and cater to the ever-evolving needs of its target audience.

Brandy Lamb
Brandy Lamb

Father of two aspiring glampers, husband to one inspirational wife, and Co-Founder of Life inTents. Continuiously striving to help make camping more comfortable.



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