GLAMPING – Nature served on silver platter

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Katarina Leci Sakacova
4. term, Tourism, Master (Master Programme)
This research deals with a new trend in tourism, glamping. This type of tourism is rather unexplored, which is the main reason for choosing this topic. The knowledge about glamping is usually very brief and restricted to a short explanation of the term glamping as glamorous or luxury camping. This stresses only bond with nature without having to sacrifice the luxury. However, this clarification is not sufficient for the purpose of suppliers. In order to make their services effective, it is important to know their customers much deeper. Therefore, this research attempts to present at least one part of missing knowledge about glampers.
This study seeks answers to the following questions about glampers, their motivations, needs and happiness during their glamping holidays (as a more profound equivalent of tourist satisfaction):

What characterizes glampers as tourists?
What are the motivations, needs, wants and expectations expressed by glampers?
How do glampers imagine happy holiday?

The first question is the main question of this study. The following questions are sub-questions, which should help to dig deeper into specific areas, and hence to get even better understanding of glampers’ thinking.
This research is an exploratory qualitative study written under the social constructivist paradigm. The data were collected in three stages. The first step was a passive netnography where Facebook groups, travel blogs, glamping sites and online forums about glamping were searched and observed. Furthermore, the preliminary definition of glamping on basis of web pages of glamping suppliers, academic literature, newspaper articles and online definitions (more than 280 different data sources were revised). The second stage was continuing in the more focused passive netnography of two Facebook groups and 13 blogs. The third, and the most important, stage consists of six Skype interviews and six e-interviews. The data from different sources was scrutinized and compared in order to identify patterns of glampers’ behaviour, needs and happiness.
The theories about motivations for nature-based tourism, push & pull factors, consumption of luxury products and services and happiness in tourism were used to explore important characteristics of glampers. The analysis showed that there are two main groups of glampers – resort glampers and caravan glampers. Resort glampers are customers of luxury glamping resorts whilst caravan glampers use their personalized caravans during their holidays. Both groups wish to be close to nature but they do not want to give up the comfort, which they are used to at home. These comforts entail tasty food, good vine, comfortable bed and many small accessories, which create a homely atmosphere. Resort glampers seek relax, adventurous outdoors activities and a lot of privacy, which allows them to bond with their families. Caravan glampers are motivated also by these things. However, the most important for them is the independence and creativity. They can be characterized as travellers, who are keen on personalizing and making their caravans beautiful. They concentrate on sharing their inventions and ideas. They love freedom, which allows them to explore the country and to get to know other people. The socializing aspect of glamping is crucial for them.
The purpose of this research is to fill in at least one part of the aforementioned missing knowledge about glampers and to demonstrate that glamping has more faces than only luxury. The aim is not to find an ultimate answer to the aforesaid questions, and hence the findings should not be generalized. Instead, discovery of patterns about glampers’ motivations, needs, wants and happiness is a goal of this study.
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2013
ID: 76860446