The American Glamping Association (AGA) celebrated the pinnacle of innovation and dedication at The Glamping Show Americas 2023, announcing this year’s AGA Awards winners – each recognized for their significant contributions to the burgeoning glamping industry.
Collective Retreats, known for their unique and luxurious outdoor accommodations, was honored with the “Innovation and Pioneer Award.” Their forward-thinking approach has consistently pushed the boundaries of what glamping can offer, setting new standards for the industry.
Walden Retreats, with its commitment to providing unparalleled nature experiences, was named “Operator of the Year.” Their dedication to merging comfort with the great outdoors has not only elevated guest experiences but also set a benchmark for other operators.
Bushtec Safari, a name synonymous with quality and durability, clinched the “Manufacturer of the Year” title. Their tents and structures, inspired by African safari experiences, have become a staple in many glamping sites across the nation.
And finally, the “AGA Member of the Year” accolade was awarded to Your Glamping Adventure, a testament to their active participation and commitment to the AGA community.
Meanwhile, Ruben Martinez, the founder of AGA, took a moment to recognize the unsung heroes – the members of the AGA Advisory Board. In a touching gesture, he invited them on stage, underscoring the importance of unity and collaboration in elevating the glamping experience for all.
“This is my favorite part of the year,” he expressed, highlighting the unity and collaborative spirit that permeates the industry.
“The people […] really try hard to help each other out. They really work for each other instead of being secluded or saying, ‘hey, I’m not going to give you that information. I’m not going to help you out with it.’ And that’s what really makes the industry tick is, is the people.”
Advisors, including notable names like Sarah Dusek, founder of Under Canvas; Whitney Scott, COO of KOA; Toby O’Rourke, CEO of KOA; Steven Nunez, managing director of Whitman Peterson; Peter Mack, founder and CEO of Collective Retreats; Diana Kelly, executive director of the California Outdoor Hospitality Association (CalOHA), and David Smith, founder and managing principal of Outside Capital were recognized by the association.
Bobby Frisch, co-founder and CEO of Firelight Camps; Mike and Anne of HoneyTrek; Todd Wynne-Parry of Horwath HTL; Irene Wood, founder of The Fields of Michigan; Margaux Bossanne of Huttopia; Bryan Auchterlonie, founder of Destination Capital; and Richard Moreau, managing director of Certares were also among the advisors invited to go on stage.
The awards, while a recognition of individual achievements, serve as a reminder of the collective effort that has shaped the glamping industry. As the sector continues to grow, it’s the passion, innovation, and community spirit, as highlighted by Martinez, that will steer its future.
In a world where the travel and hospitality sectors are continuously evolving, the glamping industry, with its pioneers and innovators, stands tall, offering unique, sustainable, and luxurious experiences that cater to the modern traveler.
The AGA Awards at The Glamping Show Americas 2023 not only recognized this excellence but also showcased the unity and collaborative spirit that will undoubtedly propel the industry to new heights in the years to come.