Improving the Glamping Guest Experience: On-Site Activities and Off-Site Excursions

Glamping is flourishing alongside outdoor tourism in general, but there’s room for improvement. A recent report on the North American camping industry highlighted some straightforward opportunities for operators, both new and established, to boost bookings and enhance the guest experience.

The report, published by RMS North America, found that while “being out in nature” was the dominant factor guests considered when selecting a destination, the proximity of other points of interest, such as national parks, as well as on-site activities were also highly significant.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

What can prospective glamping operators do?

If you are in the preliminary stages of setting up a glamping business, the path is clear: choose a site that offers nearby attractions and the space or topography for on-site activities.

While glamping can work in a variety of locations, several important factors must be considered to ensure success, and localisation is one of them. In this context, localization is how the potential site sits in the wider tourism landscape. Ask yourself: are there other natural points of interest nearby? If you were a guest, what could you do on a day trip? An afternoon trip? A short morning?

Having answers to these questions will allow you to understand whether a potential site offers more than just a piece of land.

The size, existing structures, and topography – for example, bodies of water – must also be considered in the context of on-site activities. A site bordering a lake or river could allow for on-site watersports, while existing buildings offer a ready opportunity for workshops.

Vineyard glamping operations exemplify making the most of a site. A new hospitality venture can diversify an existing business while offering guests a unique on-site experience.

How can established glamping operators make the most of off-site and on-site activities? 

Established glamping operators can still capture bookings by guests seeking on- and off-site activities.

For offside activities or points of interest, promotion is key.

Leverage your position as a local expert. Use a website blog or social media series to highlight interesting places and activities surrounding the site, including historical landmarks, museums, natural parks, restaurants, hiking trails, and anything else that might interest potential guests. Additionally, try curating local events for a calendar on your website for guests.

When creating content, consider partnering with local businesses or activity operators to offer exclusive discounts or experiences for your guests. Additionally, reach out to your tourism boards for brochures, maps, or even taster tours for agents and promoters.

You can also reuse this digital content to create a welcome book for guests, listing local activities and points of interest, if it aligns with your glamping concept. But never underestimate the human touch – ensure your staff has access to information about the local area, activities, and offers.

Photo by Árpád Czapp on Unsplash

If you want to take a more active approach, you can also design themed itineraries based on interests like history, food, outdoor adventure or family-friendly activities.

Developing onsite activities can be very labour-intensive if you want to run them yourself, but that’s not the only option. Consider partnering with local operators or businesses who already offer activities or have the capacity to do so. These third parties can operate on-site or very locally, with included transport.

By ensuring that potential guests are aware of local points of interest, as well as the on-site and off-site activities you offer, glamping operators can enhance the guest experience, which can lead to increased guest satisfaction, loyalty, positive online reviews and higher bookings.

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