The Glamping Show 2019 – Review

How do you end the summer with a bang? Head to The Glamping Show for three days of glorious sunny weather, scores of structures, hot tubs, outdoor toilets, accessories of all kinds and thousands of people who love outdoor accommodation and sharing it with the world!

If you couldn’t make it, read on for an overview of what you missed.

Trends spotted on the Show floor

For anyone who hasn’t yet heard: tree houses are now getting more attention in the unique holiday rental market and for anyone new to the industry or looking to invest in expanding their site this is one development to watch.

Of course, tree houses aren’t the only structures that will allow you to create a unique, cosy getaway for your guests. The outside exhibition area was teeming with different structures: Belle tents, Yurts, Safari Tents, Shepherd Huts, Geodesic domes, Timber pods, the Tiny Eco House to name a few, allowing visitors to find the best fit for their individual site.

So why does it pay to take your time choosing a structure? Glamping, as a unique getaway experience for guests is now so popular it’s practically mainstream. That’s great news for the industry and, to meet demand, we’re seeing many new glampsites starting up. The upshot is both new and existing operators must keep re-defining what makes a holiday on their site truly unique. In the face of increased competition, the promise of a unique experience is what makes holidaymakers commit their cash and book up.

Lavinia Carey, co-founder of Castles Carey and new exhibitor in 2019 said:

“Having constructed our first highly successful tree-house for holiday lets for a client in the North of England, we have been commissioned to build two more which are awaiting planning consent and, with the potential for this part of the market to expand, the outlook is very encouraging.”

An inventive take on accommodation is a good starting point and some of the designs now coming through are spectacular. Of course, that isn’t the only way to create a unique experience for your guests.

Other trends spotted at The Glamping Show included off-grid shower pods. Landpod launched their off-grid, portable wet-room at the Show and new exhibitor ScrubShack showed their off-grid washroom, which includes a boiler and alfresco kitchen area.

The debate around hot tubs: investment, impact on occupancy and health & safety was tackled head on with a seminar from The British & Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association (BISHTA). A spokesperson for BISHTA commented,

“… we were inundated on the stand with enquiries from various types of businesses in the holiday accommodation industry, asking about training, BISHTA membership and with questions about HSG282 compliance.”

A friendly, supportive community of like-minded business owners

It turns out it can be a long road to realise your business dreams: polls conducted ahead of the Show found that while 40% of respondents launched their business within 1-2 years of starting in earnest, another 40% needed 2-3 years to see their business open its doors to the public.

For those running Glamping businesses, the friendly ear of someone who has been through it themselves can be a lifeline. Sarah Riley, founder of Inspired Camping and the Glamping and Unique Holiday Rentals podcast recently cited the Glamping industry as one of the most supportive and nurturing she’s ever encountered.

Heather McRae of Heart of Scotland Glamping first visited the Show in 2015 and has attended every year since. In 2019 after various planning hiccups, the build on her site has just started. She said:

“Having been at the Show and come up with the concept through discussions with others in the industry we had this really clear vision in our heads of what it would be like and how our site would be unique and that is what has carried us through.”

Did you miss out? There’s always 2020!

If you want to find out more about the exhibitors, seminars and experts at The Glamping Show this year visit the website and subscribe to our mailing list for industry updates. Even better: put the dates for 2020 in your diary now and we’ll see you from 17-19th September 2020 at NAEC Stoneleigh.

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Areas of interest
Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: