Glamping business

Discussion in 'First Steps To Starting A Business' started by sheryl, Aug 11, 2017.

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  1. sheryl

    sheryl UKBF Newcomer

    1 1
    My husband and I are wanting to start up a glamping business of our own.
    We don't have land etc so we would be starting from scratch.
    We have about £120,000 equity in our house so would most likely use this.
    Could anyone help us with where to start and even if the amount we have would be enough to purchase some land and get started etc. I really hope we're not dreaming to high but would really like to make this work, any help would be appreciated
    Posted: Aug 11, 2017 By: sheryl Member since: Aug 11, 2017
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  2. dave archer

    dave archer Contributor

    790 165
    You are considering selling your house to start a camp-site ?? :eek:

    You will not find a large area of land for £120,000 unless it is
    extremely remote, hill-side, scrap industrial, or unusable for any other purpose.

    Planning permission, there is the cost of the buildings, water supply, electric supply.
    You will need road access, insurances, advertising, etc.

    Seasonal income, it all adds up to an expensive gamble.

    Posted: Aug 11, 2017 By: dave archer Member since: Mar 8, 2014
  3. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman Contributor

    3,458 1,179
    I love the idea.

    But I am not going to lie. That is not a lot of money to start with, if you have to buy land.

    it is, however, enough to get lenders to take you seriously, but you will need to have a costed plan to present to them, with an actual site in mind.

    Assuming you can get the money, the next challenge is going to be the planning permission. Getting permission for camping sites of any kind varies immensely from area to area. Some councils are opposed to tourism as a concept, some do not understand it, some embrace it and encourage it. And obviously, location is really important.

    If you can get planning, you need to ensure that the installations are of highest quality. The 'tents' or 'pods' need to have an electric supply, and access to drinking water. You need good toilet facilities and showers.

    The good news is that the going rate for a good glamping place is high.
    Posted: Aug 11, 2017 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
  4. Chris @ businesshands

    Chris @ businesshands UKBF Newcomer

    22 8
    I think £120k is enough money to buy a plot of land and set up a small Glamping site. It just depends on where you do it, how you go about it and how willing you are to get your hands dirty. The more you can do / build yourself, the more achievable it becomes. There are plenty of plots of land in the south west of England below £50k - I don't know about the rest of the country.

    That still doesn't leave you a lot for the rest of the business though so before you dive in, have a really deep dive into what you're going to need. Glamping isn't just about the fancy tents (or whatever type of accommodation you want to offer) - it's about sanitation, bathing facilities, health and safety, fire regs, planning consent, accessibility and a whole host of other things. You also need to think about what's in the locality and why people would want to come to yours over someone else's.

    A possible option, if you want to save yourself a bundle of money is going into partnership with a farmer who already has land available, and probably access to sanitation. He /she may offer a long term lease to a plat of land at a half decent rate in return for a slice of the revenue.

    Food for thought - best of luck with your venture. <link removed>
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2017
    Posted: Aug 11, 2017 By: Chris @ businesshands Member since: Aug 10, 2017
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  5. The Byre

    The Byre Full Member

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    Glamping, i.e. glamorous camping, is supposed to be a serious cut above regular camping. So let me put it this way -

    120 will not buy you a viable campsite of any sort and by viable, I mean in an attractive location. An alternative is to buy a plot of agricultural land and hope to get planning permission for a campsite.

    120 may just be enough to get a wash-house with loos, showers, washing machines, etc. built.

    120 will get you a handful, as in about five to ten en-suite wigwams, tepees, or similar. You can realistically expect an annual turnover of about £5k per wigwam or tepee, or whatever it is that you put up.

    There are two ways to enter the 'glamping' business. The usual way, is as a farmer with suitable land and a 'friendly' local planning authority (as you might find in the Highlands of Scotland, where tourism is a very important business). The other way, is to buy a farm or smallholding in a suitable location, with a view to opening a full-time and full-on 'glamping' business.

    You need to live on-site, as people come and go all the time and have all kinds of needs and emergencies. Suitable properties do come up for sale - e.g. -

    You might like to talk to these people
    Posted: Aug 11, 2017 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
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  6. Mitch3473

    Mitch3473 Contributor

    1,200 315
    Have you checked on, visited or even stayed in something silmilar. I think a lot of people go into this with wild ideas but the truth is far from it. We deal with and have been involved with the hospitality trade for many years in a high tourist area, farming, building and tourism is really the only income round here, we dont do any work for anyone in the glamping sector. Do your homework, make some phone calls and then do it again.Remember it's seasonal so realistly work on 30% utilisation at best. The upside is that it seems more people are staying at home and holidaying in the Uk and more people are taking more but shorter breaks. Foreign European tourists are noticably on the increase year on year. My thoughts on it are you will be lucky to break even.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
    Posted: Aug 14, 2017 By: Mitch3473 Member since: Aug 25, 2011
  7. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman Contributor

    3,458 1,179
    I spend a lot of time on various sites, as I have a motor home. Many of these sites have glamping pods of various kinds. They look great. But most of these sites are working on scale - they have maybe 100 caravan pitches and about 6 - 10 pods.

    I suspect that is because the pods are higher maintenance and lower demand.

    But as stated above, the pods that are in demand are high end, and you will not get many of them for £120k. The basic ones stand empty for a lot of time.

    I suspect that a lot of them, as The Byre says, are franchises, and that is potentially a good way to get into it. You could speak to one, at least, and get some ideas of the cost.
    Posted: Aug 15, 2017 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
  8. Sarah Riley

    Sarah Riley UKBF Newcomer

    4 1
    Hi there. I have just found your conversation so thought I would give you the benefit of my experience of supporting new glamping businesses in this industry for 7 years now. So far, I have identified over 16 different glamping models and many ways to launch a glamping business if you're interested. Each model has different costs attached. As a first step, you can join my members-only Facebook group to have a discussion with existing glamping businesses and those, like you, who are exploring this market. Search for 'The Glamping Business Group' on Facebook to get access to it.

    If you are really passionate about launching a business then you might also want to consider diving into the online guide I have set up to help people go through the necessary steps and avoid those costly pitfalls. Search for 'Inspired Courses Glamping' to get access to that. If you have any direct questions for me then please let me know in the FB group. Hope to see you there. Sarah
    Posted: Oct 18, 2017 By: Sarah Riley Member since: Oct 18, 2017
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