Glamping Set to Become a $5 Billion Industry

By Bruce Harpham Sunday, May 2, 2021

Glamping is forecast to become a $5 billion travel business by 2028. According to a Research and Markets report, the 18 to 32-year-old demographic drives the industry and accounts for 44% of glamping revenue. Glamping, also known as boutique or luxury camping, combines access to more exotic locations and luxury amenities.

Royal Gorge Cabins facilities.

Demand for Camping Rises in the US

The rise of glamping is also coming partly at the expense of traditional camping experiences in some areas. Research and Markets research notes that more than 1,000 campsites have been closed in France over the past 20 years. In the United States (US), camping is increasing in several areas. For example, Wyoming State Parks reported a 160% increase in camping activity from April to May 2020 compared to the previous years. In Pennsylvania, 2020 saw an increase of 1 million visitors over 2019 figures.

Pandemic Inspires a New York Glamping Business

The COVID-19 pandemic has made international air travel less appealing and drove more travelers to seek a domestic travel experience. “The Catskills already saw increased traffic pre-COVID, but last summer was off the charts. As city dwellers ourselves, we can’t count how many people were “forced” to vacation in the Catskills when all of their other plans got canceled,” Jacob and Alison Johnson, owner of Greene Rock Glamping in New York, said to Startup Savant in an interview. The Johnsons use Airbnb to accept bookings.

Based in Jewett, New York, Greene Rock Glamping is equipped to appeal to people without campaign experience. “We made sure to create a luxurious setup that includes curated amenities that allow a city dweller to simply show up with an overnight bag and zero camp gear,” said the Johnsons.

Converting RV Facilities to Glamping

The growth of the glamping business is driving changes in the travel business. “We started with four glamping tents, added another four, and have plans for more. The campground used to be an RV park, but we have converted it to glamping space,” Andy Neinas, owner of Royal Gorge Cabins, told Startup Savant. Royal Gorge Cabins is a vacation destination located one hour from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Royal Gorge Cabins offers large tents with queen-sized beds, chairs, an outside porch, and electric lights. The glamping facilities are only available from May to September. Furthermore, the business has an onsite restaurant that provides meals to guests.

Riverside Glamping in Idaho Sees Strong Demand

Far and Away Adventures, a travel business in Idaho, takes a different approach to the glamping trend. The company offers river trips in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and the Jarbidge, Bruneau, and Owyhee rivers.

“Our 2021 season on the Middle Fork is full, but we have room on the early season trips on the Jarbidge, Bruneau, and Owyhee rivers. I attribute the strong interest to people wanting to vacation closer to home, looking for outdoor activities, and not wanting to sacrifice comfort,” said Steve Lentz, owner of Far and Away Adventures, in an interview with Startup Savant.

The Idaho business combines aspects of the cruise business with camping. The travel business offers river trips with a six-person boat that includes seating and a wine cellar. Lentz is also considering offering a tour for bourbon connoisseurs.

About the Author


Headshot of Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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