Sharing Our Strength

Tips, advice and inspiration from your colleagues in the glamping industry.


As we all are doing our own "crisis-management" and wait for the current crisis to subside, we will be posting ideas, insights and solutions on this website----from inside the glamping industry. We invite you to share any creative ideas you are using in these difficult times. Please email them to us at sally@glampingshow.us.

Mississippi Glamping Company Creates Safe Space for Healthcare Workers

Tent rental and glamping operator, Emily Henning of Upcountry Camp in Madison, MS, experienced cancellations due to the health crisis, like every other business, reported WLBT in Jackson, MS.  Then she was approached by a neurosurgeon who did not want to expose his family to the virus.  So Upcountry Camp set up that family's own tent in their backyard at no charge, complete with a metal bed frame, foam mattress, bedding and even a fan and a lantern.  Now the physician can come home at night without coming into the house.

Upcountry has also set up a glamping space for a paramedic who had the same concerns for his family.

Photos can be seen on #glampinggivesback.

Planning for Recovery: Glamping Businesses to Pitch Investors

The current health crisis will not last forever and sooner (we hope) than later, it will be back to business.  In this vein, the American Glamping Association (AGA) is giving select members looking to access capital the opportunity to pitch their glamping projects to investors at its first Financial Summit in October, 2020.

In response to the difficulty glamping operators have in raising money, AGA has arranged to have a panel of investors hear the pitches from selected AGA members.  Those companies selected will have 20 minutes to pitch their new or existing project to investors and panelists, followed by a Q&A.  In preparation for the event, The AGA will help those selected fine tune their business plans and presentations.

"Access to funding is a big issue for our members----and the glamping community as a whole," said Ruben Martinez, founder of AGA. "At the Financial Summit, we're assembling a group of investors who are interested in the glamping space. Our goal is to open the door for glamping businesses to the process of funding their projects."

While the event will be open to all, only AGA members can apply for the available slots to pitch investors. More information and an application to pitch, or an application for AGA membership, can be found on www.americanglampingassociation.net and click on Financial Summit.
The event will be held October 12, 2020, in Aurora, Colorado, the evening before The Glamping Show USA opens at the Arapahoe Fairgrounds.  The hotel location is still to be announced.

Island Launches Campaign to Postpone, not Cancel, Holiday Plans

Tourist-based businesses---including glamping businesses--- on the Isle of Wight in the UK have begun a campaign for tourists to postpone, not cancel, their holiday plans on the Isle of Wight, as reported by onthewight.com

The message, "The Island Will Wait," is complete with a logo that includes an image of the island. It encourages people to 'postpone, not delay" their holiday plans.  The logo, which was designed by an island teen, is downloadable and the designer is willing to customize it for any business.

The campaign for this very popular tourist  destination, is geared specific to this island, while the global tourism industry is promoting a #ChangetheDate campaign.

The onthewight.com report quotes Sarah Hamilton, owner of Glamping The Wight Way, as saying that they have "been encouraged that our guests are looking forward to taking quality time out together once some kind of normality returns, by postponing their bookings rather than cancelling. Showing the might of our industry community reinforces our collective strength and the wonderful experience that we can offer."

Hamilton acknowledges that the campaign has been a great source of support and information curing this crisis and has provided their business with some direction when they may otherwise have felt overwhelmed.

The Island Will Wait campaign is supported by Visit Isle of Wight.

How Hospitality is Coping Now

Many hotels are showing creativity in keeping staff busy right now and in planning ahead when people start thinking about traveling again.  Some ideas we've found include:

  • The Ritz Carlton in Singapore anticipates in the short term they'll see increasing interest in locals looking to do staycations, as opposed to traveling abroad, particularly with couples celebrating a special occasion.
  • HotelsMag.com reports that in China, hotel brands are leveraging social media to build customer awareness and loyalty.  Some large brands have used social media to promote food delivery using WeChat (a Chinese app) to post info on the hygiene throughout prep and delivery and promoting dishes.  These WeChat posts are reportedly getting a much higher view rate than the hotels normally have---possibly due to an increase in online screen time and that WeChat is reaching a larger audience.
  • And to capitalize on the increase of people cooking from home, some hotels are putting their culinary staff's talent on display by giving online cooking classes.

Top 6 Things Glamping Operators Should Do Now

Patrick Hardy, CEO of the Disaster Preparedness mobile app Disaster Hawk™--- specializing in business continuity and disaster planning for small businesses--- advises that there are some things that glamping operators need to do right now to protect their businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic and in the aftermath.

While this current emergency will eventually pass, Hardy says, the effect will be with us for a very long time. Planning now, is not only not too late, but essential in keeping your business up and running.

Hardy’s top 6 tips for right now include:

  1. Create written policies in place for whatever you decide to implement on the managerial level, so there can be universal compliance and application of the rules.
  2. Do a risk assessment.  Determine what activities visitors/guests can do that also ensures appropriate social distancing. However, you must be able to enforce those protections.  Rules are great, but if you cannot enforce them, they’re worthless.  
  3. Write down everything that you’re doing, including every decision that you’re making, everything you do throughout the crisis. It’s a very low-tech process; it can be on notepad you use for only this purpose. The reason you need to do this is to protect yourself from any legal issues that might come up later. If you didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen!
  4. Think about how you are going to keep people apart.   Social distancing will likely be a concern even after the crisis is over. Determine if you will use adjacent sites, or if you will use further distancing measures.  Make sure guests are not congregating in any particular areas; so take your public spaces into consideration as well.
  5. Communicate with everyone, all the time.  Let everyone know you’re aware of what’s going on, of their concerns and what you are doing to help them.  While they may be staying with you as an escape, it’s important for them to know that you are proactive and you’re putting in standards to protect everyone.  This will be important also in establishing a bridge for when things go back to normal and will go a long way to create good will.     
  6. Start marketing now for recovery.  When the shelter in place and lockdown is over, that doesn’t mean this is going to be over.  You have to begin right now to think about how you continue your marketing and prepare your recovery.  You will have to post information on what you are doing to protect your guests and demonstrate that you are being proactive.  

Overall, the normal standards that you have set in place---for running and marketing your business---will not be sufficient.  You will have to be flexible and will have to modify some of the things you have been doing in the past.  But this is also an opportunity for your business to be innovative---to do something no one else has done before.
More information on Hytropy go to their website at www.hytropy.com. You can also find their FREE COVID-19/disaster preparedness app for glamping sites (live March 28, 2020), go to the Google Play or App Store and search for “Disaster Hawk™.”

How Titus Adventure Co. Keeps in Touch

Titus Adventure Company, an overland vehicle rental business based in Denver, is keeping in touch with its customer base through its blog post, which gives tips to beat the boredom and isolation by keeping the family “camping ready.”  Their Camping Readiness Challenge is specifically designed so parents can keep their children engaged with the outdoors.

Complete with a downloadable, printable map of activities for kids (“Challenges”), Titus’ creative blog can be seen at this link.  Many of the activities, such as ‘learn some handy knots’ and ‘find 5 new birds’ have links to articles or videos to help accomplish those challenges.

And to keep customers assured that they are responding to the seriousness of today’s crisis, Titus has posted it’s updated vehicle cleaning policy boldly on its home page.

ARVC Webinar Series to Help Business Cope with the Coronavirus

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, www.arvc.org, is presenting a twice-weekly webinar series designed to help RV park and campground operators cope with the current Covid-19 emergency. The first topics cover planning and marketing during an emergency.

There are take-aways for glamping operators in their program, such as InsiderPerks’s, www.insiderperks.biz,   best practices for marketing during and after the crisis and advice from disaster planning company, Hytropy, www.reversedisaster.com , including the call to action that it’s not too late to create a disaster plan. 

A Message from Advanced Outdoor Solutions

Hello to all our glamping friends from warm, sunny Florida. Today the birds are singing, the fish are jumping, and the dolphins are leaping outside the office doors. It is a pleasure to behold. 

We are happy to report that our Outdoor Hospitality venues are weathering this current situation rather well. 

We have seen some cancellations surrounding cancelled events, but overall, our resorts are holding steady. Resorts not opening until April are seeing few cancellations with many folks looking forward to the days when the worst is over and life returns to a semi normal flow. 

We at AOS pivoted early to assist our parks with virtual offices, call and chat reservations, and positive messaging. We have managed rate, instilled strict front desk and cleaning protocols, and mostly held the hands of our staff and owners through this time.

We look forward to seeing everyone on the road as soon as the road is permitted. Till then, take care of each other and especially your elderly neighbors. 

Kathleen Walsh
Advanced Outdoor Solutions
www.advanced-outdoor.biz

Forests Boost the Immune System

The American Glamping Association’s, www.americanglampingassociation.net, newsletter posted the following perspective on a health benefit of the outdoors. Good advice for today and to keep in mind when doing your post-crisis marketing.

“We believe that the recent health crisis will benefit the glamping industry long-term as more folks will look for “staycation” ideas in nature. Forests actually make us healthier and numerous studies in the US and around the world are exploring the health benefits of spending time outside in nature, green spaces, and, specifically, forests. While we breathe in the fresh air, we breathe in phytoncides, airborne chemicals that plants give off to protect themselves from insects. Phytoncides have antibacterial and antifungal qualities which help plants fight disease. When people breathe in these chemicals, our bodies respond by increasing the number and activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells or NK. These cells kill virus-infected cells in our bodies. All the more reason to encourage everyone to get outside especially now!”

The Covid-19 Challenge For The Tourism Industry

For those of you who know Sarah Riley of Inspired Courses based in the U.K.---and a popular speaker on setting up, running and marketing glamping businesses, the following is a reprinted with permission from her website, www.InspiredCourses.com.

I have written many articles offering help and support to members of my community but every day they go out of date and need to be re-written.

That’s how fast this is moving.

What this virus has demonstrated is how connected we are, and I don’t just mean by the internet, but by movement across the world. This means the world is smaller and the risks of spread are larger.

The added challenge is that we are all at different points of understanding and experiencing this situation.

Some have had direct experience of it while others think the worldwide response is unnecessarily generating panic.

The Economic Impact And Planning For A Turnaround
What we simply can’t ignore is the economic impact as this will be just as important to prepare for.

The truth is that none of us has seen a global pandemic before. Some of us have gone through recessions and times of austerity, similar to those resulting from the 2008-09 financial crisis. However, not all of us understand the action needed to turnaround a business that has been impacted in such a way.

That's what I will be sharing over the coming weeks.

A Second Element To The Virus... Fear
The other factor is how guest behaviours are likely to change because of fear of the virus.
This is fuelled by many factors and be without doubt that over time this will impact your business even if the actual virus does not.

There have been more deadly viruses but we haven’t experienced anything that has spread this quickly across the world in our lifetime.

The added concern is this is an unknown virus. We don’t know how it will behave, we have no immunity to it, currently, there's no treatment and no vaccine.

This is an unprecedented time for everyone, a time that, for many, is filled with uncertainty.

The Need For Resilience And Support
There is no doubt we will need to be resilient, flexible and to adapt to our industry as it changes.

As an industry, we are strong and although this is a challenging time, we know that a thoughtful gesture, true compassion and staying in contact can go a long way towards keeping spirits high.

This is why I am encouraging members of my glamping business and unique holiday rental group to continue to gain support and advice from each other on the daily challenges they have.

Regardless of what you believe, as a business owner, it is important to prepare for the worst and put in place anything you may need to help manage the situation. 

I will also keep my podcast running and will continue to offer advice when I can, in my business support group and here on Inspired Courses.

If you need to ask me questions or request advice and additional training to help you tackle a specific challenge then please feel free to contact me.

Taking Action For A #TourismTurnaround
I have no doubt that we will get through this and will soon be working on a #TourismTurnaround but we can not ignore what's happening right now.
Taking action in a crisis is the best thing you can do. It provides reassurance to you and others, and right now that's really important.

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and most of all… wash your hands!

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