A new grading scheme will seek to encapsulate "glamping" properties in the UK for the first time.
Quality in Tourism, the organisation that awards domestic star gradings in more conventional hotels, self-catering and B&B accommodation across England, has decided to now include the category in the types of accommodation it covers.
Glamping has been growing considerably in the UK in recent years and could be worth £1.8 billion in the UK in 2017, covering the likes of yurts, camping, tree houses and double decker buses converted to accommodation, such as he Dandelion Hideaway (pictured) where there are nostalgic canvas cottages in Leicestershire countryside.
“Glamping isn’t an entirely new concept, however the last few years has seen a very steady increase with sites popping up all over the UK,” said Stephanie Currie, the accommodation assessor who will be overseeing this growing alternative accommodation category. “The sites are so unique that it is almost impossible to create a traditional grading scheme around glamping. However, we do realise the need for the level of quality and service to be recognised on these sites.”
Quality Tourism will officially launch the scheme at the Glamping Show, which takes place this week (September 22-24) in Stoneleigh Park.
The organisation said it aims to “give customers confidence about booking accommodation in England” and its 40-plus assessors will now apply their grading nous to the burgeoning sector.
All areas will be rated once a property applies and a minimum score of 60% will be required in order for the accreditation to be awarded. There will also be the option to try and achieve the prestigious Gold Accolade if a property achieves more than 80%.
Currie added that the south-west is England’s most densely populated glamping region, but that “all sorts of businesses are diversifying and appearing nationwide from farms to pubs”.
“That is the attraction of it; it is a somewhat simple and cheap start up when compared to other types of tourist accommodation and with the ease of online marketing today, there is no stopping new glamping enthusiasts,” said Currie. "However, as with everything, guests have expectations and safety is key. This is why the need for an industry standard has become ever more important."