Euromonitor’s latest report looks at the top global consumer trends for 2021, but which ones are relevant for glamping and how can glamping operators capitalize on them?
The ten trends they identify are:
- Build back better
- Craving Convenience
- Outdoor Oasis
- Phygital Reality
- Playing with Time
- Restless and Rebellious
- Safety Obsessed
- Shaken and Stirred
- Thoughtful Thrifters
- Workplaces in New Spaces
While all of these trends are likely to impact glamping operators to some extent, there are a few that stand out. Let’s take a look at how top consumer trends affect glamping.
Build Back Better for glamping operators
In 2021, people will be looking for more sustainable ways of living, which follows a broader trend that has been growing over the past several years. Interestingly, almost 70% of professionals surveyed predict clients will be more concerned with sustainability that before COVID-19, according to the study.
Therefore, as we come out of the pandemic, it is likely that consumers are going to be looking for businesses that are more in-line with their beliefs – those that are actively making the world “cleaner, healthier, more resilient and equitable.”
Glamping is already positioned within this space, so we can expect guests to naturally gravitate towards the market when looking for more sustainable travel solutions. However, the report also notes that last year, 73% of professionals thought sustainability initiatives were key to success.
This means that simply being a sustainable glamping site is no longer enough. Operators will have to demonstrate that they are actively improving sustainability in a broader sense. Therefore, we are likely to see an increase in outreach programs, profits being diverted to good causes, and environmental campaigns from glamping operators.
Craving convenience – making glamping as easy as possible
Convenience has always been an important consumer trend, but according to the latest report, this has spiked during the pandemic as people are looking for seamless digital solutions. For glamping this means two things:
Improved digital footprint
Your online presence is more important than ever, so putting time and money into making sure that your website, and entire online marketing strategy is up to scratch is important. The building or improvement of your digital footprint taps into the market who aren’t going to spend time searching your glampsite out.
Operational changes will include moving towards more frictionless transactions, which we are already seeing in larger hotel chains. For example, options for guests to check-in without in-person interaction is being piloted by Marriott. What’s more, they are also testing a “grab-and-go marketplace” at two locations, which is in essence a giant vending machine to replace the breakfast buffet.
While that isn’t necessarily appropriate for a glamping site, it does show the direction in which the industry is moving. For a glamping site, this frictionless commerce could be as simple as an online form for selecting breakfast choices rather than the pen and paper that many sites still insist on using (not to mention this is more environmentally friendly!).
Top tip: Google Forms offer a free and easy-to-use way to collect breakfast orders from glamping guests with zero-contact. A simple shared link is all they need!
Outdoor Oasis – an obvious opportunity
People in cities and towns are looking towards outdoor spaces for respite, according to the Euromonitor report. This is in search of mental and physical wellbeing, and could signal a shift in both short- and long-term stays.
In the short term, glamping is specifically mentioned, with the report noting that “Lodging options like secluded property rentals and glamping, or glamorous camping, are on the rise.” However, there is a real opportunity for longer term guests, since remote work is also enabling people to swap time in the city for rural life, according to the report.
What’s more, glamping offers the opportunity for people to get back to basics, which is flagged as a key driver in the report so long as guests have access to the technology needed to stay in touch online.
For glamping sites, this means its fine to get rustic – desirable even – but the digital infrastructure needs to be in place to entice longer-term guests.
Glamping Structures in the City
The consumer trends report also highlights the pandemic-fueled shift to outdoor offferings across all sectors: “Businesses can replicate their indoor offerings outdoors by building temporary structures and improving infrastructure.”
This could see a significant new market opening for glamping structure suppliers, with tents, domes and other “temporary structures” being used by restaurants, bars, gyms, and more. There have already been plenty of examples of this, especially in colder climates.
Safety Obsessed – Keeping Guests Safe
It should come as no surprise that one major trend is consumer demand for improved health and safety. “Companies should implement enhanced safety measures and innovations that target concerns to reassure consumers,” the report tells us.
We are lucky in the glamping industry that the accommodation and sites lend themselves to socially distanced holidaying. However, there is much more that operators can do to ensure they are in-line with this trend.
This starts as simply as ensuring there are adequate locations to wash one’s hands and ample hand-sanitizing stations. Sites could also think about more sustainable ways to deal with disposable masks and other health-related waste. It is also worth taking the time to arrange supply chains that can prove the origin of goods as people exhibit growing concern over contamination. There are also now products that could set high-end glamping sites apart even further, such as a self-sterilising air conditioner.
A key change for many consumers is the demand for contactless payment options. For glamping sites, most booking will be done online anyway, but if extras are offered on-site, invest in a contactless card reader.
Another was to stay ahead of this trend is to look for national covid-safe tourism initiatives that can sign-off on your practices. For example, the Clean & Safe Stamp in Portugal which indicates a business is “committing to comply with health safety recommendations issued by the National Tourism Authority according to National Health Authority guidelines.”
Shaken and Stirred – Glamping as a Mental Reset
Mental wellbeing as an integral part of health has come to prominence and is likely to be a major consumer trend in 2021, according to the report. This includes a focus on self-improvement, skill development, and lifestyle balance as well as the products and experiences that offer these.
For glamping operators, this trend highlights the importance of extra offerings. For example, workshops, exercise activities such as yoga, outdoor lessons and anything else that can help your guests learn and grow.
Thoughtful Thrifters – glamping as an affordable retreat
Value-for-money propositions are going to be popular as consumers look for more affordable options, the report says. Glamping already benefits from this, being positioned as the perfect staycation option – as opposed to travelling abroad.
However, it doesn’t mean giving up the luxury model, according to the report, but rather “premium attributes should be reinforced with a new empathetic story and have a strong tie-in with health and wellness, self-care or mental wellbeing.” This has been the exisiting position of glamping for a long time, so should be a relatively easy strategy to follow in 2021.
Workplaces In New Spaces – Workplaces in Nature
One of the major trends of 2020, and one predicted to continue, is the recreation of the office environment remotely. This generally refers to simple home offices, but you can’t get much more remote than glamping.
The sector could see the growth of remote-work glamping sites, with office-specific units and other amenities to entice digital nomads. There has certainly been a new market for glamping pods as garden offices during the pandemic, which might continue as people continue to stay away from shared workplaces.
The top consumer trends projected by Euromonitor fit hand-in-hand with the glamping sector as it already exists, but also offer important insights into the changes and upgrades site owners will have to make. To find out how to capitalize on consumer trends at your glamping site, get in touch with one of our advisors today.