Why have a feasibility study for your glamping business?
Google reports that when people are looking at the subject of glamping businesses online the first and most searched for elements are ‘pods’ and ‘huts’. In terms of starting a glamping business, this is a bit like choosing the detail of the kitchen in a new build house before actually having plans or building it.
The land and area should dictate the type of glamping business that you want to run. A glamping holiday for a guest involves more about the whole experience. There is a lot to do with the land and location technically before considering the type of accommodation as well.
A great place to start is a full ‘feasibility study’ for your glamping site and ideas that you may have for the experience. So, what does a feasibility study include?
Planning: Undertake a desktop analysis of the planning setting. This would involve identifying the exact location of the landscape, access to the site, amenities available, unique structures already in existence, health and safety considerations, possible planning trip-ups and services to the site. This will help you understand the full scale of the task of developing a glamping site.
Widen your view: Once you identify the detail of the site and nearby potential items that could be built into the holiday experience, you can identify broad locations for the units and infrastructure which provide the minimum impact and cost of change, whilst also ensuring that you also make the most of the location in terms of views and access. This process should be seen as a positive design process for the benefit of the site as well as a means of addressing potential planning issues at the outset.
Having hands-on experience of starting a glamping business this stage is critical to saving time and money in the long run. In many cases, it allows startup within months rather than years.
The feasibility study will help to inform the broad setting or focus of the units/pods and any other facility buildings within the site. The initial layouts are also key to both the financial implications of creating the site as well as the ultimate function and sense of place.
Simon Thomason, Glamping Consultant, and owner of Glisten Camping, a successful glamping business in France, explains; “The nature of our work in a feasibility study is to embrace and maximise access to the beauty of the natural setting within which it is located. A masterplan strategy should seek to identify how this is best achieved, i.e. maximising the potential of the existing landform, views and vegetation as well as the identification of appropriate and naturally occurring plant species to ensure that any landscape enhancements to the site are contextually appropriate. At this stage, our consultancy would also advise on the business case, what units will achieve the best return on investment, likely set up costs, marketing and ongoing costs, which will help inform business set up. Investment in a feasibility study has proven to save our client’s money and time in the overall set up of a site as well as give a far better experience to guests.”
When many think of the design for a glamping business they may jump straight into marketing, websites and brochures rather than carefully considering the design of the site itself. Having a great site will, in the end, make your marketing easier and it will sell itself with repeat bookings.
Looking at the big picture:
Both of these aspects, when considered at an early stage will help to form a robust planning application without incurring significant cost ‘at risk’.
Equally, if further potential threats are identified, for example, due to proximity to a sensitive area, then this can be mitigated at the start and you can provide a context to the likelihood of planning being achieved.
Simon Thomason continues; ‘We recommend that in order to ascertain the feasibility of a site, we would undertake 1.5 days of preliminary work for two people. This would include a desktop analysis of the setting in terms of landscape and planning context, and a site visit. Following this we provide a short, report based summary of the findings and recommendations on the feasibility of the project from a planning, financial, operation and marketing point of view.”
Feasibility studies are not expensive (starting at around £1500) and can put your glamping business on the right foot before it starts. Glamping is so new as an industry that listening to those that have already figured out the puzzle from their own extensive research, mistakes and successes is the sensible route to take.
The glamping market is growing and the demand for outdoor experiences is one of the fastest growing elements within tourism. Take a look at the land you may have and get some early advice and your new adventure as a glamping business could be up and running quickly.
To book or discuss your Feasibility Study simply email: firstname.lastname@example.org