Visitors coming to Northern Arizona to experience the Great Outdoors are leaving their tents at home. They have discovered “glamping” and are connecting with nature without sacrificing creature comforts. The term glamping is a combination of the words ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping’ and is a popular way to experience outdoor adventure. Ever since the term was first coined in the United Kingdom in 2005, its meaning has morphed from images of the “Out of Africa” canvas safari tents with four-poster beds to a wide variety of accommodations.
“Glamping takes on a different meaning for different people,” explained Wendy Temple of Prescott Cabin Rentals. “For women who live a very urban lifestyle, ‘glamping’ does mean a stay in a mountain cabin, even if the cabin has every amenity that you might find in a modern home.” Eighty percent of Temple’s business comes from the urban areas of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Temple and her husband, Greg, started the management company in 1988 and have seen many changes in guests’ requirements over the years. Visitors who once preferred “rustic” mountain cabins are now looking for mountain retreats equipped with washers and dryers, kitchens with dishwashers, two TVs, game rooms and more.
“Short-term rental is booming. People have discovered that vacation rental is great if you are traveling with a family or group of friends… You are not all sitting on one bed in front of one TV in a hotel room. You get a lot more bang for your buck,” added Temple, who advertises all the properties she manages on Glamping Hub, an online booking portal for unique outdoor accommodations across the globe.
Many properties in Prescott, Williams, Sedona, Flagstaff and elsewhere in Arizona are listed at glampinghub.com, which offers guests more than 27 different types of glamping accommodations from safari tents, treehouses and cabins to teepees, villas and domes. The website has easy-to-use search features that include location, pricing, pet-friendly, family-friendly and a variety of price ranges. Glamping Hub’s listings recently grew to beyond 30,000 by partnering with Red Awning, the world’s largest collection of vacation properties in more than 115 countries.
Although the company is worldwide with offices in Sevilla, Spain and Denver, it was birthed in California. Founder and CEO David Troya had the idea for Glamping Hub while studying for his MBA at the University of San Francisco, California in 2011. When he first heard the term glamping in one of his classes, the concept was sparked. Together with two of his classmates, Ruben Martinez and Talal Benjelloun, who eventually became co-founders, he established Glamping Hub as a blog. In 2014, Glamping Hub launched into a fully-transactional booking platform, with 200 accommodations on the site. Today, more than 100 employees and interns from 13 different countries are part of the Glamping Hub team that boasts 30,000-plus listings.
To be eligible for listings on Glamping Hub, accommodations must have close access to nature, hotel-quality comfort and a unique experience to offer to its guests.
“Glamping Hub’s business model is both transactional and highly scalable,” according to a Glamping Hub press release. “For each transaction made through the website, Glamping Hub collects a 4 percent commission from the hosts and a 6 percent to 12 percent service fee from the guest (depending on the size of the booking), resulting in an average of 10 percent of the total booking that Glamping Hub retains from each transaction.”
Glamping Hub claims that listing properties is easy and risk free because there is no contract or fees for property owners or managers. Their marketing team writes a custom profile for the property to catch the eye of shoppers, who number 1.5 million page views per month. Exposure is also increased with Glamping Hub’s 70,000 social media followers. The company reports that in 2016, Glamping Hub received 2.6 million visits, resulting in 12,000 booking requests and $2.1 million in revenue. Those figures are predicted to triple by the end of this year. QCBN
By Stacey Wittig, QCBN
Prescott Cabin Rentals
5555 Onyx Drive, Prescott, AZ 83603