Our glamping and eco-resort operators directory focuses on the industry’s latest new and fresh offerings, with a focus on emerging multi-location operators.
There is a broad definition for this industry as well as for which accommodations fit into a definition of glamping and eco-resorts. But the allure certainly begins with a unique place to stay, in a beautiful natural setting, with some level of services, amenities, and food (and beverage) services, to make the stay just a bit comfortable. Sometimes with sufficient comfort for those that enjoy luxury hotel stays. And with those accommodations offered in an eco-resort setting, there is also the “go green” sensibility at work.
Eco-tourism emerged in the 1970’s. Some would assert that Maho Bay Camps (U.S. Virgin Islands) pioneered the concept starting in 1976, and its a good claim. European Eco-labeling of hotels was introduced in 2003, although a hotel labelled as such is not necessary an eco-resort.
Glamping started to catch fire as an Internet search term in 2007, so many trace the beginnings of this new industry to that time. Those were the days of single site glamping and eco-resort operators pioneering the concept of a camping experience with more home-like conveniences. Just over a decade later, new national operators are emerging, as noted in our Glamping & Eco-Resort Operators directory (below). We think that “customized” offerings from Airbnb, which got started in 2008, likely helped to propel consumer interest in unique overnight stay offerings.
Guest units at glamping and eco-resorts venues can take on almost any format, the only limitation being the creativity of the facility operator. Common formats for these overnight accommodations include canvas tents on platforms, yurts, treehouses, cabins, and customized recreational vehicles (“RV’s”). In the U.S. sometimes Native American teepees (or tipi) or settler’s covered wagons (of the American West) are among the offerings. Then there are the uncommon offerings provided by glamping and eco-resort operators, such as prefabricated pods, geodesic domes, even open-air platforms with the “dark sky” as your roof.