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Glamping Jargon Buster - Glamping Hub Guest Blog

Starting a glamping business and entering the hospitality industry comes with many exciting opportunities. It can also come with a lot of new vocabulary, acronyms, and sometimes jargon that as a business owner or property manager you need to get comfortable with. We’ve teamed up  for a guest blog with Glamping Hub, the leading global booking platform for glamping accommodations, to help you navigate the most important glamping industry terms.

Tools and Software You Need in the Glamping Industry

To operate a successful glamping business, you’ll need to use the latest tools and software. Here are some of the most popular tools for glamping operators:

Booking Engine/Platform: An online booking engine is a reservation management system or app that hotels, glamping owners, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, and other accommodation providers use to take reservations through their websites, social media accounts, or other marketing channels. 

Channel Manager: A channel manager is a piece of software that streamlines guest information, inventory availability, and accommodation rates in real-time. A glamping business owner or property manager can use a channel manager to synchronize all the important data, such as the number of available rooms and their rates, across all online travel agencies, or booking engines.

Calendar sync: A calendar sync is a process that allows you to connect all your online calendars and display your availability accurately across multiple channels. A calendar sync generally comes as part of a channel manager package, and it ensures you never get double booked.

CRM: Customer Relationship Management software is a system that stores the personal data of your customers or guests. CRMs often include automated systems to communicate with your guests before and after their stay.

Dynamic pricing: Dynamic pricing is a fluid pricing strategy used to help adjust your rates based on the market and demand. It is usually an automated process that you can set up in your property management system (PMS) and will be distributed via a channel manager.

OTA (or Online Travel Agency): OTAs are online travel agencies that host multiple properties for guests to book a variety of travel-related services online. Examples include Glamping Hub, Airbnb, Booking.com, and Expedia. 

OTAs are becoming increasingly popular for consumers to find and compare travel destinations. It helps especially to make a booking through a secure payment method and standardized processes for booking a stay.

Thousands of hoteliers and glamping businesses use OTAs as their core marketing channel. OTAs often have simple ways to advertise their businesses to wider audiences, manage reservations, reconcile finances, as well as other services. 

Property Management Software (PMS): Property management software or a PMS is used to manage day-to-day operations, such as availability, check-in/out processes, housekeeping, guest communications, and sometimes reporting. This is a very helpful system for larger glamping resorts to help streamline and automate their processes. 

SEO: You’ll hear the term SEO a lot in reference to your marketing strategy. SEO is an abbreviation for search engine optimization, which is a set of practices aimed at improving the visibility and positioning of web pages, blogs, or listings in organic search results. In a nutshell, it aims to get you to the top of the Google search results. It does this by including search words and phrases that are most often entered into the search bar by internet users. Because many people use search engines such as Google to discover and access content online, it’s important to pay attention to your SEO.

Having a good SEO strategy in place is critical for increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. This can be a tough skill to learn and will need to be reviewed regularly due to ever-changing algorithms, but if you can start to include some basic SEO in your marketing, it will help you in the long term. 

What Metrics Can I Use to Measure the Success of a Glamping Business?

To start your glamping business, you may need to present a business plan or business case to potential investors, and using terminology that aligns with the industry is vital. You may also need to measure how well your glamping business is performing once you’re up and running. Here are a few standard hospitality metrics used in both the hotel, short-term rental, and glamping industries. 

Average Daily Rate (ADR): The average daily rate is a key performance indicator that shows your business’s average revenue per occupied room or unit, per day. The average daily rate should be used to help forecast your revenue.

ADR = Total room or unit revenue / Total number of occupied rooms or units.

Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR): This is another measurement for your daily rate, but it accounts for all available rooms, and not just those that are occupied. This gives you a truer measure of how much you’re making per day.

RevPAR = ADR x Occupancy rate

Occupancy Rate: Occupancy Rate helps you understand how well your glamping site is performing over time. You simply divide the total number of booked units by the total units available.

Cancellation Rate: This is the number of canceled bookings divided by the total bookings for a specific period.

Website conversion rate: This metric indicates how many visitors to your websites convert into paying guests. Conversion rate should also be used as a standard reporting metric when assessing which of your marketing channels is bringing your the highest number of guests. 

In order to calculate your conversion rate correctly, it is important to be clear on your end goal. i.e. do you want to the number of people who visited your website and requested a stay (ideally yes), or the number of guests who visited your website and completed their stay? 

Metrics and data can be overwhelming for new glamping business owners, so try to start with these basics and build up from there.  

Popular Vocabulary to Advertise Your Glamping Business

Here are some general terms you will already be familiar with from your own travels. Use them to define what your glamping site offers and make sure your offer aligns with your guests' expectations. 

Rooms vs Units: Room is a standard term in the hotel industry and is self-explanatory, but you may come across the word unit more commonly in the glamping industry. This is because glamping structures are unlikely to be sold on a room basis; instead, they are rented as a whole accommodation or unit.

For example, a safari tent with 2 bedrooms would be rented as a unit that sleeps 4, whereas a nature lodge may rent as 1 unit, or as individual rooms.

You can apply any of the formulas you’ve discovered in research about the hospitality or hotel industry that uses the word room and swap it for a unit, providing you keep it the same across all your reporting and offers.

All-Inclusive: An all-inclusive rate incorporates more than the price of the accommodation into the price per night. It could include three meals per day, drinks, services, and possible activities.

Amenity: An item or service provided by the glamping host to guests that provide comfort, convenience, or enjoyment ie. toiletries, tea or coffee facilities, bath towels, and linen.

DBB: DBB is a rate that includes dinner, bed, and breakfast.

ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival.

ETD: Estimated Time of Departure.

Extra guest rate: An extra guest rate is usually a lower rate charged per person, per night for additional guests outside of the number of guests the accommodation sleeps. Some hosts may charge an extra guest rate for larger properties; for example, a log cabin that sleeps 12 comfortably but can sleep 15 guests at maximum capacity. The basic rate or nightly rate of the unit may be set for 12, so the additional 3 guests would be charged an extra guest rate or fee to account for additional beds, towels, and linens. 

Facilities: Facilities refer to a building, room or array of equipment that is designed to serve a particular function at your property. This could include a swimming pool, gym, restaurant, or laundry facilities.

Full Board: A full board rate includes bed, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Half Board: A half board rate includes bed, breakfast, and either lunch or dinner.

IB or Instant Booking: Instant Booking is when a guest’s reservation is automatically confirmed. If you’re using instant booking on your website or through an online booking engine, make sure that you have all your calendars synchronized to avoid any double bookings. 

Listing: A listing is a term that online travel agencies or platforms use to talk about your accommodation. If you’re using OTAs to advertise your glamping units, you’ll need to create listings. They should include everything your guest needs to know about your property including images, descriptions, rates, cancellation policies, reviews, etc.

LOS (or Length of Stay): The duration of a guest’s visit.

PRPN: Per room, per night.

PPPN: Per person, per night.

PP: Per person

Become a Glamping Glossary Expert!

This glamping glossary is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a whole language around the different types of glamping and how to describe the differences between a treehouse and an elevated cabin. Want to learn more? Glamping Hub is here to help. Find out more about the glamping industry and start a glamping business through Glamping Hub’s Develop with Glamping Hub program to help you get started, or have look through their blog to find more helpful guides.