In recent years, the outdoor hospitality industry has seen an unprecedented surge in demand, leading to innovative developments, increased investment, and a broader range of offerings tailored to diverse consumer preferences.
As these consumers increasingly seek authentic, immersive, and eco-friendly travel experiences, industry stakeholders are contending with the challenges of meeting this demand while maintaining quality and standards.
According to a report by Grand View Research, the demand for outdoor hospitality services has soared, with the US glamping market alone expected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.1% from 2023 to 2030.
To address the burgeoning demand, many outdoor hospitality companies have adopted innovative strategies, expanding their offerings to include more diverse experiences, from treehouse stays to desert yurt adventures and many more.
Meanwhile, location continues to be one of the roadblocks for new entrants in the glamping industry like Michael and Melissa Crowe’s Mitten Getaways Glamping Co. Although still in its planning stage and not yet operational, the couple is adeptly maneuvering the intricate challenges of building a glamping venture from the ground up.
The Crowes have been both tactical and inventive in their strategies, forging ties with land vendors and local authorities, and initiating a loyalty program to generate developmental funds.
Additionally, many campgrounds and RV parks are leveraging technology to streamline bookings and offer virtual tours to potential guests, as reports stated 48% of RV owners use chatbots to tailor trip itineraries based on their preferences, interests, and destinations.
Insider Perks, a marketing company for outdoor hospitality businesses, is leading the charge with Campy, an AI-powered chatbot designed to serve as a knowledgeable concierge for camping enthusiasts and outdoor hospitality businesses.
Since understanding market trends and shifts in demand is crucial, many businesses rely on market research, customer feedback, and collaboration with industry peers, as well as, attend global outdoor hospitality conferences and workshops to stay updated.
Challenges and Proactive Measures
The surge in demand has brought its own set of challenges, particularly during peak seasons. To address these challenges and the ongoing demand for more outdoor recreation, many businesses are investing in new facilities, staff training, infrastructure upgrades, and efficient resource management systems.
During a recent MC Fireside Chats episode, Zach Stoltenberg of Clockwork delved into his experiences, highlighting the challenges he encountered in obtaining permits. Even with a setback of a year, he remained hopeful for the upcoming winter season. His tenure on the town council and planning boards significantly influenced his strategies.
Similarly, Ansh Singh, the founder of Quaint Glamping, provided valuable insights into the intricacies of the outdoor hospitality industry. Singh underscored the paramount importance of patience and diligence in navigating the sector’s multifaceted challenges.
“We have to do due diligence, and the government permitting process requires us to do due diligence to make sure the roads are properly paved and designed,” he explained part of the government procedures in availing property for his glamping site.
Drawing from his personal journey in establishing and running Quaint Glamping, he shed light on the often complex and stringent regulatory landscape that businesses in this domain must traverse.
His candid sharing of experiences, particularly the hurdles posed by regulatory frameworks, found a deep resonance with fellow participants, many of whom nodded in agreement, having faced similar challenges in their own ventures.
Collaboration in the Outdoor Hospitality Industry
The industry recognizes the importance of collaboration. From partnering with local businesses for unique guest experiences to joining forces with other campgrounds during peak seasons, collaboration ensures a seamless guest experience.
Chris Jeub from Monument Glamping, during an episode of MC Fireside Chats, shared tales from a project in Colorado Springs, where he grappled with zoning and regulatory hurdles. With assistance from Stoltenberg’s expertise, these obstacles were adeptly managed, emphasizing the value of collaboration and securing the right expertise.
The collaboration between Jeub and Stoltenberg underscores the pivotal role that networking plays in the camping industry. By joining forces with seasoned professionals and local artisans, businesses can seamlessly navigate bureaucratic challenges and infuse their offerings with local authenticity.
Such partnerships not only expedite project realization but also enrich the guest experience, highlighting the profound impact of collaborative efforts in the realm of outdoor hospitality.
As the outdoor hospitality industry navigates the challenges and opportunities presented by soaring demand, innovation, collaboration, and adaptability remain at the forefront of their strategies. The road ahead promises exciting developments for both businesses and travelers alike.