BELLS AND WHISTLES

BELLS AND WHISTLES

 

CLEAR SKY SAFARI TENTS sit majestically along a waterside location

 

Sue Hollingshead digs deep into the latest glamping trends…

As we come towards the end of the glamping summer season there can’t be any doubt that it has been a manic year for the sector.
We have seen new product introductions, new campsites, and a generally flurry of activity trying to keep up with the huge demand.
According to the GVR* market analysis report, the global glamping market is expected to grow at a rate of 14.1% (annually) from 2021 to 2028 with a net worth in the region of 3.92billion (GBP) by 2028.

 

THE AWARD-WINNING Melody Farm shepherd’s hut

 

Already valued at 1.7 billion (GBP) by the end of 2021, Europe’s share of the spoils was put at around a third -- 34.8% in 2019.
Sacha Macey, Owner of Yurts For Life, was very clear about the trend: “Glamping has exploded this year! “Gone are the days of the ‘bubble will burst, this is a fad…’ which was the mantra within the industry a few years ago,” Sacha believes.
“External factors, way beyond industry control, such as Brexit and the COVID pandemic have certainly had a positive impact on the industry as holidays abroad have been very diffcult to plan and deal with over the last 18 months. The demand for holidaying ‘outside’ in the UK is unprecedented.”

 

NEW OPPORTUNITIES

The boom has generated the opportunity, and inspiration, for landowners and farmers to enter the market. With existing campsites, holiday parks, and glamping sites looking at ways of embellishing their developments to ensure they stay ahead. Simply adding one more glamping unit to an existing campsite has proved valuable and positive ROI.
There has been a surge of new pop-up campsites, which have been seen as both good and bad for the industry. As we know, the key aspect about glamping is that it focuses on ‘the experience’, something about the holiday must inspire the customer, either with a ‘WOW’ when they arrive and see their accommodation, or with the associated service, or to be fair a mix of both. A new quick pop-up campsite in many cases hasn’t had time to develop the full experience.
Mark Scott, CEO, Clear Sky Safari Tents, shared his thoughts: “I think the number of pop-up sites did rather detract from the quality of the glamping experience as people were advertising, say bell tents, with no services as a glamping experience.”

 

OUTSTANDING SAFARI Tents design and manufacture their own range of premium safari tents.

 

Mark continued: “It is expected that many of these will not ‘pop’ up again next season as bookings, reviews, and repeat rates will discourage the poor-quality sites and encourage the high-quality sites.”
Sacha also felt there was good and bad in the new pop-up sites and commented: “Some sites have managed to get it right straight away by keeping holidaymakers happy in the UK when they would have gone abroad.
We can’t do much about the weather, but if the details of the glamper’s experience are thought through and the appropriate facilities are available, then these pop-up sites have probably saved a lot of families after a tough time with the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, some sites have tarnished the industry as their main intention has been to make a fast buck.”

 

DESIGN INNOVATION

With the experience being paramount, there is always scope for innovation, whether this is within the design of the glamping accommodation, or within the overall holiday experience.
Tom Burnell, Managing Director of Kata Tipis, saw an opportunity in the market, as a slight side-track from their standard offering of Wedding Tipis. Tom explained more: “The technology is moving on at a pace with new innovations and different structures being released into the UK Glamping Market to meet the ever- increasing demand for more exciting and interesting experiences for the increasing volume of guests,” said Tom.

 

DREAMY RELAXING interiors for the dream experience, by Yurts For Life

 

“At Kata Tipis we wanted to transfer the scale and awe of our events tents and designed a glamping tipi that took people’s breath away. We believe that glamping should be an experience, not just in the view, or where a structure is sited, but the structure itself!
“We launched our new glamping tipi, which is unlike any structure on the market and in our opinion takes the traditional tipi design to the next level.”
Clear Sky has also identifed an innovative design they are working on, Mark was willing to share his plans: “There are several new directions that the industry is taking, all based around the enhancing of the glamping experience.
“In particular, we are seeing some great structures based around Stargazing in the black sky areas. We are currently working on a ‘Star Gazer Safari Tent’ with our designers, hopefully, ready for launch next season.”

 

QUIRKY OPTIONS

The experience it offers is paramount, whether staying in one of the quirky options available, such as converted planes, or one of the popular tree houses, traditional pods, stunning safari tents, yurts, tipis, shepherd huts, the list of unit types is continuingly growing.
The Glamper is naturally akin to outdoor living, with a secluded location, hot tub, or outdoor cooking, still ticking boxes. The one key aspect that has changed following the pandemic is the washing facilities. Mark explained, “Accommodations that were able to provide separate washing facilities were at an advantage when the market reopened. Many smaller sites with shared washing facilities fell victim to the ‘one wash area per household bubble’.

 

EXCLUSIVE SETTINGS couldn’t get better than this, by Yurts For Life

 

Those with the separate facility were well placed. We have seen an increase in enquiries from customers about putting bathrooms in their existing safari tents.”
The Staycation is here to stay. Bookings have been high for 2021, with most places reported as fully booked, and into next season. Clear Sky mentioned a Tik Tok video shared by one of their client’s guests, and shortly afterwards their bookings filled through to the end of next season!
On the flip side, Tom did have a few words of caution: “The concern is that UK Glamping site operators may overcharge for their accommodation this year and be seen to be ‘profiteering’ from the demand in the market.
“This, in turn, may frighten guests of for future bookings in the following years – not offering good value for money,” he added.

 

INSPIRED BY THE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE, Safari Tents are fast becoming one of the most popular forms of glamping accommodation. Pic: Boldscan

 

NEWBIE ADVICE

The best tips from Tom, Mark, and Sacha are, firstly ensure that you have all the required planning, processes, and licenses as per your own Local Authority before you start, which may take longer than you expect. Plan, Plan, Plan, and never underestimate the time it takes to organise everything, down to the water, sewage, electric, etc etc.
Understand what you are going to offer, go through the customer experience in detail and make sure it works. Stick with both your budget and your niche market, don’t be tempted to be everything to all people.
Then get your marketing in place, know who you are targeting, and create the destinations and accommodation to suit their needs. Good use of social media alongside collaborations with relevant local businesses work well.

 

IMAGE RELAXING in this environment, a luxurious experience, by Kata Tipis

 

Mark commented: “The best sites are the ones who have committed to the overall experience by offering contactless check-in, high-quality bedding and partnering with the main sales channels such as Hoseasons, Canopy and Stars, or Unique Hideaway. All aspects from booking calendars to easy check-in are important.”
If the stats from GVR* come to fruition then we are in for some busy years ahead, and with that, we will continue to see innovation, including eco holidays, which are clearly on the cards. Young families and couples wishing to connect with the great outdoors, the natural side of our planet, is a great starting point.
In the beginning, glamping accommodation was simply a glamping pod, it can now be almost anything. Innovation such as Clear Sky’s Star Gazer Safari Tent for next season, Kata Tipis beautiful new Tipi and the superb Yurts by Yurts For Life, are great examples. It certainly makes you wonder what we can expect over the coming years.

GVR
Grand View Research
www.grandviewresearch.com

Kata Tipis
Tel: 01780 239 188
www.katatipis.co.uk

Yurts For Life
Tel: 01803 762 370
www.yurtsforlife.com

Clear Sky Safari Tents
Tel: 0333 241 2660
www.clearskytents.co.uk

Holiday Park Operator Focus featuring Haulfryn Group

Holiday Park Operator Focus featuring Haulfryn Group

The 20-strong Haulfryn Group is celebrating its 85th birthday…

THE WARREN’S PRIVATE BEACH LOCATION boasts golden sands and soul-reviving views of Cardigan Bay and Snowdonia

The origins of the Haulfryn Group date back to the early 20th century when Frank Minoprio, the son of an Italian immigrant entrepreneur, invested in the beauty of the North Wales coastline. Having spent holidays enjoying the outstanding scenery of the region, Frank invested in his very own piece of land on which he built a fine granite house. He called it Haulfryn, meaning ‘sunny hill’. Over the years, Frank continued to invest and build up his estate in North Wales. He believed strongly in giving back to the community and with this in mind he built the primary school in Abersoch alongside many other philanthropic activities. In 1935, The Haulfryn Estate Company was officially founded with the aim of developing the land at TheWarren, just down the road from the family holiday home at Abersoch.

By the start of the 1960s, TheWarren had become a popular destination, setting the standards for holiday parks across the country. Replicating the success of The Warren elsewhere, The Haulfryn Group continued to invest in holiday parks in outstanding locations. The 1970s and 80s were years of further expansion with Gimblet Rock and Crugan added to the portfolio, among others and further investment at The Haulfryn Group’s flagship park, TheWarren. Expansion beyondWales followed, including strategic moves into the South West of England. Today, the Haulfryn Group’s estate includes 20 holiday parks throughout England andWales. The Haulfryn Group’s CEO since February 2020 is Echo Lu.With an impressive CV spanning over 20 years and senior experience within national and global brands including Tesco, Homebase and Holland & Barrett, Echo oversees the Group’s 500 team members. David John, Group Operations Director joined The Haulfryn group back in 2013, bringing with him a wealth of experience in Leisure and Hospitality, most notably Nutfield Heath, De Vere Hotels and Leisure, as well as early years spent in Local Authority.

caption: David john, Group Operations Director

The Group continues to invest in its portfolio to ensure Haulfryn resorts continue to meet the high expectations of its growing and loyal customer base. The Group’s leisure and entertainment venues, facilities and services are widely renowned as among the best in the business. David John comments: “The 85th birthday of the founding of the company is a fantastic milestone to achieve and testament to the company ethos and the hard work of every member of our team at every level. “As a company we’re extremely proud of everything we have achieved so far and look forward to welcoming holidaymakers new and old to our parks to create more special memories to last a lifetime,” he adds. “When you strip everything back to basics, the core of what we do today is the same as it was 85 years ago. The family values on which Haulfryn was established are as relevant today as ever, and these coupled with our outstanding locations is what brings holidaymakers and buyers back to us time and time again,” he emphasises. “Our main driver is to bring joy to every moment of a customer’s stay with us and we’re proud to have been doing that since 1936!” The Haulfryn Group offers a wide choice of accommodation for all tastes and for all ages. Popular holiday lodges provide home-from-home comfort, many with added luxuries such as wine coolers and hot tubs.

caption: Haulfryn Group Locations

For those seeking a modern twist, a selection of glamping pods provide quirky, comfortable accommodation bringing you closer to the outdoors. Some of Haulfryn’s long-standing suppliers include Lissett, Prestige and Omar whilst more recently they have partnered with Aspire and Armadilla Pods. The Group’s original site, TheWarren, is often thought of as Haulfryn’s flagship park but David insists: “We firmly believe each and every one of our parks are flagships. “Whether it’s ancient woodland, lakeside living, beautiful beaches as well as charming scenic settings - we always provide the accommodation and facilities to complement the surroundings environments.” TheWarren’s private beach location boasts golden sands and soul-reviving views of Cardigan Bay and Snowdonia. A boat launch ramp accesses internationally recognised sailing waters alongside first class leisure, sports and spa facilities. Haulfryn’s Delamere Lake offers a beautiful oasis in the midst of the Cheshire plains. Situated in Cheshire’s largest area of woodland, with incredible views over the sparkling lake, Delamere is located within easy reach of Manchester and Liverpool. Finlake Holiday Resort is set within 130-acres of Devon woodland, Finlake is an exclusive Devon holiday home destination for all the family. On-site facilities include a gym, spa, sauna, swimming pools, including flumes, slides and fountains, a restaurant and bar, tennis courts and more. Praa Sands is situated on the edge of turquoise waters and golden sands on the furthermost tip of west Cornwall. The resort is ideally located to make the most of the spectacular local area including beautiful beaches, walks, and cycle tracks. On-site facilities include a gym and heated indoor swimming pool. Before 2020, the Haulfryn Group’s biggest challenge would have been continuing to exceed customers’ expectations. Since the pandemic hit, Haulfryn’s overriding objective has been the safety of local communities, their teams and owners.

 

caption: contact the Haulfrun Group today

Best of Both Worlds

Best of Both Worlds

Lodges and luxury go hand in hand; features such as floor-to-ceiling glass panels, automatic awnings and surround sound televisions are becoming more mainstream. Pic: Pathfinder Homes.

Lodges and luxury go hand in hand; features such as floor-to-ceiling glass panels, automatic awnings and surround sound televisions are becoming more mainstream. Pic: Pathfinder Homes.

The Great British holiday used to be a simple affair. Rudimentary accommodation and facilities were considered the norm. But nowadays holidaymakers are demanding more from their annual summer break.

In response, UK leisure operators are now investing in high quality holiday accommodation, which is equipped with en-suite bathrooms, gourmet kitchens and state-of-the-art entertainment systems.

The huge explosion of glamping has also fed the trend, with all manner of yurts, shepherd huts, safari tents and camping pods popping up in quiet corners of the countryside. The obvious appeal for holidaymakers is that they can experience the best of both worlds - the simplicity and stress-free environment of the great outdoors while enjoying home comforts, coupled with rustic country charm.

“Our customers are looking for a back to nature experience,” says Tracey Sibun of Clear Sky Safari Tents. “They want to chill with their families, to escape the pressures of everyday life and to kick back and relax in the peace and quiet of the natural world. That said, they also want an element of home luxuries too - comfy beds, sink-into sofas and a cheery space to relax as a family if the weather isn’t good.”

Durrell Wildlife Camp opened in 2012, giving guests the opportunity to stay overnight in 12 stylish Ecopods which were supplied by Boldscan.

Durrell Wildlife Camp opened in 2012, giving guests the opportunity to stay overnight in 12 stylish Ecopods which were supplied by Boldscan.

Specialising in steel and wood framed safari-style tents, Clear Sky launched its first two-storey lodge tent earlier this year, which offers flexible accommodation for larger groups and families.

Designed to complement the natural environment, the lodge is made from a highly durable hardwood frame with premium canvas to ensure resistance to the elements. “We have found increasing numbers of holiday parks are adding safari tents to attract new customers who might not consider a caravan - and to give more choice to existing customers,” says Tracey.

The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey branched into the glamping market in 2012 and has since welcomed 2,000 extra visitors each year. The Camp invested in 12 stylish Ecopods which were designed and manufactured by Boldscan, as well as a safaristyle Club House which is the focal point of the camp.

The wildlife park is situated in 32 acres of landscaped parkland and has a strong commitment to looking after Jersey’s native wildlife, with large areas designated as native habitat areas. The Ecopods were welcomed by guests who wished to stay overnight at the park and be close to nature. Each pod accommodates two adults and two children, with optional additional accommodation in a Pyramid Tent for children. Facilities include a wood burning stove for heat and cooking, plus a separate pod housing a hot shower, flushing toilet and kitchen space. Two of the Ecopods have been adapted to suit disabled visitors.

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