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What should you be building in 2024?

Break the mould. Character and comfort tick all the boxes.

We have always prided ourselves on choosing our spaces carefully. As available listings boomed in the post-Covid rush, it would have been possible for us to profit from the high demand by doubling or even tripling the size of our collection, but we stuck to our guiding principle, rejecting around 85% of places that apply to us. There were several reasons that this made as much sense as it always has. Firstly, we’re interested in long term relationships with quality partners. We knew that guests were, as ever, seeking something special and memorable. Our data showed a clear tendency for places with character and flair to bring the highest revenues and run at the highest occupancy rates. Secondly, we could see a massive strengthening of the trend for permanent, year-round, solid structures, as glamping moved further and further from its casual canvas origins and towards unique spaces in any form. More sophisticated builds like treehouses and cabins now represent over half of our collection and generate more than 70% of our revenue. It’s clear that, with an audience looking for comfort and quality, a quick-and-easy, opportunistic project is unlikely to succeed long term.

Anyone creating or upgrading a glamping site in 2024 would be wise to let their imagination run wild a little. Bespoke design and creative features are what gets a place noticed, whether that’s in a site search or on social media. Upgrading can be as simple as an interior refresh and some professional photography to show it off, as we saw when Hive Beach House took 52 bookings and £83k of revenue in the first week after some carefully considered but relatively inexpensive work had been carried out. It can also be a more intensive process, such as Markington Hall’s decision to remove all their Gypsy wagons and replace them with one bespoke treehouse. The resulting space, Cran Darach, currently has the most advance bookings of any in our entire collection.

When you consider some of our most successful spaces from the past year, it’s easy to see how much of a part design plays. They are feasts for the eyes, perfect social media material and, still importantly, beautifully relaxing places to stay. Our consultancy company, Crown & Canopy, can help you turn your ideas into successful ventures, so don’t be afraid to dream big.

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