By Sarah Riley
Glamping is one of the best environmentally-friendly and sustainable travel experiences. It combines all the benefits of camping with the comfort and luxuries of an up-market hotel. Glamping amenities range from simple comforts, like fully equipped kitchens and king-sized beds, to extravagant opulence with personal chefs and butler services.
Vacationers--who would not normally consider camping as an option—have the opportunity to look into the night sky and observe the stars. They can go fishing on nearby lakes and rivers, learn about local birds, insects and other animals in the area, take photographs of nearby landscapes and immerse themselves in their surroundings. As more people enjoy the benefits that glamping offers, they become increasingly aware of nature and appreciate it more. This is great for the environment because as we know, if we love something then we will work very hard to protect it.
Glamping encourages curiosity about food and how it has been manufactured, grown and harvested, as business owners often produce their own products on site and buy locally to serve to their guests. Vacationers may also take part in organized foraging groups, where local edible fruits and vegetables are identified and collected for cooking. This desire to support local communities has the added benefit of reducing the carbon footprint of the food on the guests' table, who in turn enjoy the experience of trying new things.
Glampsites often use renewable energy sources for their sites, such as solar power, water generators or wind turbines. Although these can be expensive to install, over time their return on investment is clearly evident. The added benefit for the guest is the ability to stay in accommodations completely off-the-beaten-track without having to sacrifice modern conveniences, while the owner has the joy of knowing they have built an earth-friendly sustainable business.
There has been an increasing need for us to consider the sustainability of everything we do, including how we spend our vacation time. This is one of the reasons why ecotourism has seen such growth in recent years.
Nearly all glamping campsites embrace robust environmental principles by using some form of off-grid technology, sourcing local good and materials, using biodegradable cleaners to protect the water source and so on. As a result, the glamping experience has been attracting people who are not necessarily traditional campers but are looking for something a bit different and much more earth-friendly.
All these elements together help us build stronger relationships with each other and with nature and is a vital step in generating an ethos of love, respect and protection of our precious earth and its ecosystems.
Are you up for the challenge?
Sarah Riley is the Founder of Inspired Camping and Inspired Courses. She is a glamping business specialist who started her consultancy and Industry Networking Group after many years running a boutique hospitality business in the UK. She now shares techniques to help others set up their unique vacation rentals, increase their bookings and gain a more fulfilling life. You can chat with Sarah on Twitter Facebook Instagram and Pinterest