This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

September 9, 2009

"Glamping" on the Rise

Years ago, while investigating safari travel in Africa, we discovered this trend in its infancy, though it did not have a special name then. Glamping or "glamorous camping" is simply a more comfortable and luxurious form of sleeping outdoors than regular camping.

For people who love the idea of experiencing nature and sleeping outside, but are somewhat put off by "the bugs and the bears", glamping is an ideal compromise. With a comfortable air mattress and protection from the insects, guests enjoy the best of both worlds. Upscale adventurous couples are the best market for this type of travel; there is something romantic and bonding about restfully sleeping outside together.

Recently when TripAdvisor, the online travel community, surveyed more than 2,000 travelers 15 percent said they had participated in some form of glamping that included "more amenities than generally associated with traditional rustic camping".

Modern glamping could include living in a tent in a national park with an air mattress, hot showers, and flush toilets. If money is no object, you might want to try staying in a furnished yurt (a circular, tent-like structure) at a luxury resort with prepared meals and a pool for upwards of $5,000 for three nights.

Not surprisingly, 65 percent---more than 1,100 travelers---said they were more attracted to the idea of glamping than traditional camping and slightly fewer than 50 percent said glamping was a good compromise between camping and staying in a hotel.

Among survey participants in the TripAdvisor study who said they had tried glamping, 78 percent said their trips included electricity, 77 percent said their trips included running water, while 74 percent featured a comfortable bed, and 45 percent of the trips included gourmet food.

As the November 2008 issue of National Geographic Traveler highlighted, you can go glamping around the world in India, Australia, Mongolia, Namibia, Botswana, or even US Virgin Islands. When the economy recovers, expect this type of travel to become very popular. Other non-traditional types of vacations, like adventure or eco-travel, will also grow in popularity. Jaded Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are looking for new experiences.

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