Glamping – A truly environmental business by using design to create eco-tourism

Working to protect the environment has never had a higher profile than in 2018. Business owners are looking for environmentally friendly options. The educational and wellbeing sectors are also working hard to get people out in nature.  In tourism, glamping is meeting the rising demand from guests wanting a more authentic and environmentally friendly experience. This desire is pushing operators to really practice what they preach in terms of offering a green holiday.

Simon Thomason, Owner of Glisten Glamping and Glamping Consultant takes us through how this is being brought to life:

“In term of the guest experience, one of the key objectives has to be to enable each guest to really connect with the environment. To accomplish this, the accommodation must integrate with the natural habitat. This means we will not always use the same accommodation across all of our sites. The impact of the accommodation on the environment of each location should be minimal and is fabricated in such a way that has encouraged recycling and re-use afterlife. Another key objective is to work closely with our landowners so that they deliver an intimate, exclusive and personal experience, which not only connects to the surrounding environment but also gives the guests a flavour of local life and the leave having immersed themselves and learning more about nature and local culture.”

In order to create truly engaging natural experiences, it is vital to work with people who are experts. Simon has found that bringing in an eco-design expert was a major step forward in creating a true holiday in nature. Through looking at experiences from a design angle it added a method and devices to bring the environment to the fore on a glamping site. What could be added to designs to see the stars? How can guests touch natural factors on the site? How can you educate without making them aware it is happening? How can you boost relaxation and make recycling fun, easy and part of the day? This is where design comes in.

“We’ve always strived to look at the way we do business in a sustainable way. Matt Hocking our creative sustainable consultant helps our landowners to put sustainability at the heart of their business.” continues Simon.

Matt Hocking’s career straddles and brings together design and sustainability. He founded Leap in 2004 after leading The Eden Project design team for three years, and Leap’s strapline – Design for Change – captures his passion for creativity and the environment. This passion has seen Leap work and win awards worldwide. It also recently won them ‘B Corporation’ accreditation, putting them in the same ‘business for good’ group as Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia, among others. Matt was lead creative on award-winning Eco hotel The Scarlet and advises many hospitality businesses on all sustainable measures through his relationships with the coast project and green tourism.

“By having Matt on board we can create glamping experiences beyond what landowners initially expect. We make the most of the natural assets already on the land and in the area of the proposed glamping site. We can look at accommodation designs, pathways, trails, activities and messaging that all promote an eco ethos but without being too worthy. There is no reason any landowner cannot use their natural assets to create great experiences but do no harm along the way.”

Simon offers feasibility studies to help new glamping business start up quickly, effectively and be eco-considerate. To have an initial chat about starting a glamping business email: