Glamping vs Camping, or what motivates travellers to choose glamping?

That “glamping” is derived from “glamourous” and “camping” is a fact, but have you ever wondered how travellers see glamping – is it a luxurious camping experience, a hotel without walls or something in between? Knowing how your guests perceive glamping is essential for success. So let’s dive into the traveller’s mind.

Glamping and Camping – cut from the same cloth or worlds apart

As it turns out, glamping is barely linked to camping. This finding comes from a study conducted in Portugal, Tourists’ Motivations And Obstacles For Choosing Glamping where several focus groups had a discussion on this topic. The research found that campers are less likely to go glamping as they “question its authenticity in providing a nature immersion experience”. Conversely, the study notes that glampers find the experience authentic precisely because of the natural settings and nature is the biggest motivational driver for choosing glamping. At first, the completely different viewpoints of glampers and campers might sound peculiar, but the reason is actually quite clear. Among some of the motivations for camping, as noted in the article “Why Camp?”, are the search for wilderness and desire to “develop life skills” through self-reliance and the unpredictability of nature. Glamping, on the other hand, is all about comfort – you get to enjoy nature served on a silver platter.

Another surprising difference is that it is glamping that is more associated with privacy. The master’s thesis “Glamping – nature served on a silver platter” tells us that while for campers socialising with other fellow travellers and spending quality time with friends are one of the biggest perks of camping, glampers cherish the privacy they have and share their experience only with select few.

Why some travellers might not choose glamping?

Although it is unlikely for campers to choose glamping for their vacation (because of the above reasons), are there some obstacles that other travellers encounter? The Portuguese study found out that the main hurdles are not enough glamping sites, the lack of knowledge and the high rates.

Lack of Supply

There is a higher demand than supply for glamping, according to the paper. Especially during high season, glamping sites are booked out several months ahead, thus when someone wants to go glamping, there is simply no available space. This proves that overall glamping is a widely popular holiday type and rather than a niche market, it is a booming market segment.

Lack of Knowledge

Another finding from the research worth mentioning is that while there are many people already familiar with glamping, there are also many who haven’t heard of it. This shows that glamping offerings need to be marketed better and also targeted more widely. Interestingly, people are more familiar with exotic offerings such as safari tents in Africa than with local glamping resorts, as noted in the study.

Luxury Prices

The last decisive factor is of course the cost. The paper outlines the high nightly rates as a barrier for going glamping. Especially if compared to camping, glamping is much more expensive. However, what is definitely true is that if glamping is compared to luxury hotels (which in essence are the direct competition), then the rates are very attractive. The findings in the above-mentioned master’s thesis prove this argument – “people decide to pay a higher price because they feel it guarantees high quality and comfort”. Thus, for travellers who choose glamping, the decisive factor is the exceptional service, the extraordinary atmosphere and the special attention to the guests.

Why so many travellers choose glamping?

The nature! Undoubtedly, nature is one of the most attractive parts of glamping. As discussed, campers and glampers have different desires when it comes to the natural experience they want, but nature is the ultimate remedy for relaxation and escape from everyday life regardless of how you get it. Travellers are increasingly looking to spend more time in nature and this trend has been strengthened by the current pandemic.

Eco-conscious Travel

Although the study notes that ecological concerns are not the primary motivation for choosing a nature based holiday, a recent study conducted by found out that an increasing number of holidaymakers are determined to travel eco-consciously.  Therefore, while nature is one of glamping’s key Unique Selling Proposition, it is not only advisable but essential to operate sustainably and responsibly.


Apart from the possibility to truly relax and recharge during a glamping stay, many glampers are motivated by the activities they can do while on their holiday. While for some people outdoor activities and sports such as hiking, kayaking, and fishing are a must (similar to a typical camping holiday), other guests are more interested in learning about local crafts or indulging in a wellness experience, according to the thesis.

Accommodation as an Experience

Another advantage of glamping is the fact that the accommodation itself is a unique experience. Glamping structures are quirky, creative and one-of-a-kind – from wooden pods and safari tents to planes and UFOs. Who wouldn’t want to stargaze while lying in a comfortable bed in a glass dome? Or how about fulfilling your childhood dream of living in a tree house? This unique experience is surely a driver for many glampers.

Can you glamp in a campsite?

Sure you can! Glampers and campers might have their differences, but they can definitely cohabit. In fact, a campsite can only enrich its environment by also offering glamping accommodations. Firstly, glampers won’t cut into the existing target market, actually quite the opposite – the glamping comfort will attract more travelers who otherwise won’t be willing to go camping. Moreover, you can access this new target market – the glampers– while using the existing camping facilities. And last but not least, the high nightly rates are not to be neglected!

So, what’s so special about glamping?

Glamping is ideal for people looking to unwind in nature, spend time with those closest to them, and reconnect with themselves. The luxury experience which offers indulgence in the beauty of nature is a perfect gateway for many. The market is huge and with a tendency to expand even more, the supply is far from enough so there is a lot of room to grow and the guests are willing to pay for the comfort and quality they are receiving. Coming back to the initial question – glamping is neither camping, nor simply a hotel – it is combination of both, taking only the best sides of these tourism options. A one-of-a-kind experience set in the privacy of nature!

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to expand your campsite offerings by entering the glamping market. Not only will this attract a different target group, but it will also enhance your camping site. If you want to get more insights into the glamping world and how to integrate glamping in your current offerings, get in touch with one of our advisors today.

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