The Global Glamping Conference, set for Nov. 27-28 at The Westin Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif., will spotlight the growing industry with a panel of speakers and a wide variety of vendors promoting the lifestyle.
According to the event website, glamping is defined as offering glamorous, luxury camping experiences in prime areas that maximize the value of under-utilized specialty locations, including vineyards, agricultural locations, nature reserves and spa retreats.
Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), is scheduled to speak at the conference and told WOODALLSCM.com that the organization is closely monitoring the glamping trend in the state.
“One of our big concerns along with park and campground owners, is that the trend of Airbnb and Hipcamp, and other glamping venues are not operating to California RV park standards,” Sipe related. “So we want to reach out to them and the American Glamping Association to open a conversation about what these regulations look like and what these park owners are supposed to be doing.”
Sipe said she began researching glamping in California over a year ago and found there were about 100 properties involved. “I did the same this summer and there were over 600 properties,” she said. “This is like an Airbnb for camping. They don’t have the regulations we have. Some of the properties listed are in fact some of our member campgrounds or commercial campgrounds that have permits to operate. However the bulk of them are campgrounds popping up on somebody’s property whose owners are completely unaware of the state regulations that they should be complying with.”
Sipe stated that one of her goals in attending and speaking at the conference is to begin the conversation of the obligations and liabilities owners have when operating as a campground in California.
The conference will be split into two tracks of owners — those who already offer properties with glamping experiences, and people who are considering starting a property offering glamping. Sipe shared that her almost 300 members are now trending towards offering glamping facilities in their parks and campgrounds.
“Many are adding those additional options,” she said. “They are taking out RV sites and putting in park models, tents, teepees, safari tents, yurts, covered wagons and all sorts of accommodations.”
Sipe believes that the Millennial generation is driving the trend. “This is the experience they are looking for,” she stated. “We just want to make sure they are doing it by the book. This is a very interesting situation. You would think you could just put a safari tent down on your property next to a creek and say, ‘Come on in!’ But you are now a commercial enterprise and with that comes a lot of liability and some commercial responsibilities.
“There is really a massive Millennial crowd that is looking for these kinds of experiences. We are encouraging our members to meet the needs of the coming market and glamping is certainly a growing and exploding segment of the outdoor hospitality industry. We are looking forward to working together with everybody at this conference.”
According to www.glampingsummit.com those attending will learn about the latest products, get tips for success from experienced hosts, obtain profitable and time-saving business solutions, develop unique business value propositions and connect with a likeminded community network to help grow a glamping business. Including Sipe, 12 presenters will speak at the two-day summit.