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Impact of Economic Downturn on Glamping Industry

Are you wondering how inflation and the threat of an economic downturn could affect your glamping business? 

I can’t predict the future, but I have some thoughts about the impact of an economic downturn on the glamping industry and how this will pan out for our industry. 

Recession Proof?

Past events can help shed a light on the future. So, a good place to find answers is to look at how glamping fared during the Great Recession of 2008/09. With a few years of hindsight, the 2013 edition of the Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism highlighted glamping worldwide as having had « stellar performance during the recent global financial slowdown…”

While camping has long been viewed as a recession-proof business, we don’t have as long of a track record for the glamping industry. However, the experience of glamping business owners during the Great Recession is a positive signal for tougher times ahead.

And, let’s not forget that the popularity of glamping sky-rocketed during the pandemic. This wasn’t only because people were locked down – it was also because they still needed to replenish themselves with a getaway during a time of economic uncertainty. Those conditions remain.

Personal Financial Situation

Additionally, with more people looking to tighten their travel budgets in the wake of inflation or a recession (or both!), I suspect that long-awaited post-pandemic trips could continue to be delayed in favour of glamping escapes closer to home until the economic situation becomes more stable. I think this is particularly true in Canada and the U.S. where there is still a significant cost difference between travelling to another country and glamping nearby. 

In addition, although inflation and the threat of a recession are on people’s minds, the most recent Canadian economic forecasts tell us that « household balance sheets are strong, pent-up demand remains high », which means that people generally still have money to spend, and this is likely to persist for some time. 

Limited Travel

In addition, let’s remember that although the world is reopening, a number of people are still hesitant to travel with the looming risk of Covid (and now Monkeypox!?!), still present. So, nearby travels will continue to be a preference for many this season. And, glamping is still a great option for social distancing from other travellers, while indulging in a restorative experience.

Conclusions

What all of this amounts to is: I believe the glamping market is far from saturated in Canada, and that we have a long way to grow, even in the current economic context. I’m still bullish and investing in my business. 

What are your thoughts? Are you seeing bookings coming in faster or slower this year? Are you investing in growing your business?

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