There is a whole spectrum to wilderness vacations. On one end there is complete roughing it- taking almost nothing with you, hiking into the wilderness, catching your food, and living off the land. Some might believe toilet paper to be too extravagant at the extreme. On the other end of the spectrum there is glamping- a complete luxurious stay with no lack of convenience including spas, 5 course meals, fully guided activities, etc. Most people’s definition of camping would fit somewhere in the middle. What they all share in common is a need to return to the wilderness, smell the campfire, be in a remote location, and experience wilderness based activities like hiking, fishing, and maybe horseback riding.
Why not just stay at the Ritz? The reason glamping is growing in popularity is a boredom of the norm. But that boredom does not mean guests want to forgo the luxuries they have become accustomed to. And why should they? These guests want a certain level of extravagance. And glamping provides that unique extravagance. Glamping isn’t new either, the Rockefeller’s developed it almost 100 years ago with their ‘great camps’ and Adirondack styles.
I live at a glamping destination- Clayoquot Wilderness Resort (www.wildretreatblog.com). And costs at destinations such as ours are definately above the norm (approx. $1500/day/person). However, there is a market for a product such as this, and a clientele that is appreciating the ability to venture to a property such as ours.
What such remote properties provide to the rest of the world? We take a percentage of our profits, and charge fees in order to protect the wilderness around us. We rebuild salmon bearing rivers to increase wildlife populations. We provide funds and assist in the Wilderness Tourism Association to continue operations of wilderness tourism across BC. And in doing so- we provide a product that a select few desire.
So there is glamping- at least our version- described in a short post. It is definately not camping, but it doesn’t pretend to be. It isn’t the Ritz Carlton either, but caters to those that would normally stay at the Ritz or the Four Seasons. You could compare a stay at the Ritz to glamping, while a stay at the Howard Johnson’s to Camping. Each to a different market and a different clientele.
Ron Gibson GM
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort