The glamping and outdoor holiday market has grown exponentially over the past decade, with the UK leading the way. While domestic holidays may have received the boost of the pandemic’s restrictions, the increased interest in glamping that ensued is not temporary. Wider consumer concern about the climate crisis, a focus on natural wellness, the rise of Instagram and an experience economy that shows no sign of waning mean that glamping is, and will continue to be, big business.
As the leading glamping company in the UK, our own performance over the last five years reflects the market’s strength. Our collection's net growth is 660 spaces and our revenue has increased by over 180% since 2017, doubling in the period from 2019 to 2022. The availability of quality spaces and a trend towards structures like cabins that provide year-round occupancy, coupled with a shift towards longer stays of higher value, have moved glamping out of its summer niche, vastly increasing its potential.
Our own bookings show a shift in consumer behaviour to a broader season and greater flexibility. It’s likely that a change in working conditions, with many companies becoming more relaxed about home working and the 9 to 5, has enabled people to travel at different times. We’re seeing a longer booking season, with stays for September and October up 42% against 2019, and those stays being booked with longer lead times. We’re also seeing a greater demand for experiences that surround a space and, as ever, a large demand for flexibility of booking rules, with more than 50% of all our email enquiries now relating to that subject.
Lockdown and subsequent nervousness around travel gave a huge boost to domestic tourism, this was coupled with a wider consumer trend towards nature connection and holidays in the outdoors. Despite the lockdown period, 2021 was a bumper year for the UK tourism industry and the glamping sector with massive booking peaks coinciding with the easing of restrictions. This year has seen a return to a booking pattern, closer to pre-pandemic levels, but demand remains strong, with web users to Canopy & Stars increasing by 50% when comparing 2022 with 2019.
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